Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Nike teases momentous collaboration with Epic Games

However, contrary to the fans' expectations, there will be no NFTs involved in the new sneaker hunt

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Jun 20, 2023 06:45:51 PM IST
Updated: Jun 23, 2023 02:59:05 PM IST

Nike teases momentous collaboration with Epic GamesImage: Shutterstock

In an exciting turn of events, Nike has unveiled a collaboration with Epic Games, the developers of the popular online game "Fortnite." With the combination of these two powerhouse brands, players and enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the monumental engagement this collaboration will bring.

The new game makes the worlds of "Fortnite x Nike Air Max" intersect. Through a teaser clip, Nike showcases the presence of their iconic .Swoosh logo alongside the Unreal Engine logo from Epic Games, teasing the collaboration that has already got fans in a frenzy.

As Fortnite described the new game Airphoria, “It’s time for an airy adventure — Airphoria is a sky-high celebration of sneakerhead culture, complete with stomping (lightly) grounds like “Station 97,” “Shoebox Tower,” and “Museum Max.” Explore the city to find the missing Air Max Grails!”

Twitter users were excited when Nike announced that the drop is slated for June 20, signalling the commencement of the ultimate Sneakerhunt. While specific details about the collaboration and its offerings remained secret, industry insiders predicted that Nike and Epic Games may introduce a new Air Max shoe model connected to NFTs distributed within the Fortnite gaming universe.

However, Epic Games denied any involvement of NFTs in Airphoria: “The connection between Fortnite and Nike doesn’t integrate any NFTs or digital item trading marketplaces into the Fortnite world or its economy. Items recognized across these two ecosystems are purely for the enjoyment of the purchaser, and aren’t tradeable, transferrable, or sellable, as has always been the case in the Fortnite economy,...”.

The decision to choose Fortnite as the platform for this meaningful collaboration is a strategic one on Nike’s part. Since its debut in 2017, Fortnite has skyrocketed in popularity, boasting an impressive 290 million active monthly users as of May 2021. By tapping into the game's vast player base and cultural influence, Nike aims to expand its reach and capture the attention of a broader audience, particularly among the younger demographic.

Nike's venture into the gaming realm is partially uncharted territory. The company has previously integrated its NFTs into games developed by EA Sports, such as the iconic FIFA soccer game franchise. Furthermore, Nike has even partnered with the gaming platform ROBLOX without incorporating digital tokens.

The highly anticipated "Airphoria" NFT event within Fortnite is expected to make a resounding impact, driven by the remarkable combination of Nike's global brand stature and Epic Games' renowned reputation. The collaboration between these two industry titans is predicted to result in an overwhelming success, captivating gamers, sneaker enthusiasts, and collectors alike.

As the NFT market continues to gain momentum, Nike's foray into this digital landscape demonstrates its forward-thinking approach to embracing emerging technologies. The convergence of gaming, fashion, and digital collectables provides a unique opportunity for brands to forge deeper connections with consumers on multiple levels. Nike's involvement in the NFT space showcases its strategic positioning at the forefront of innovation and consumer engagement.

The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash