Nike’s .SWOOSH Web3 platform has released its first non-fungible token (NFT) sneaker collection, generating sales surpassing $1 million despite facing persistent delays and technical issues that affected the user experience.
The sale of the highly-anticipated Nike virtual creations commenced on May 15, slightly later than the originally announced date of May 8. The initial round of sales, known as “First Access,” exclusively catered to select users who received “posters” via airdrop, serving as their early entry tickets. Nike distributed a total of 106,453 posters among its earliest .SWOOSH community members.
Following the proposed sale date of May 10, the “General Access” sale began on May 24, aiming to sell any remaining NFTs from the inventory of 106,453.
As of Thursday afternoon, Polygonscan reported the sale of over 66,000 NFTs. Each NFT was priced at $19.82 as a tribute to the year of the Air Force 1 sneaker’s initial release. Thus far, Nike has accumulated approximately $1.3 million in sales. It is important to note that the sale is still ongoing and now concludes on June 1.
Despite promising initial figures, the launch encountered multiple delays and technical glitches, causing frustration among eager buyers. Nike acknowledged that technical and traffic issues were responsible for the delays and the resulting cumbersome process.
Moreover, updates from the Nike team indicated that sales were progressing slower than anticipated. While physical sneaker releases from Nike often sell out within minutes, more than a third of the OF1 NFTs are still available for purchase.
Chronic delays and technical glitches plagued the First Access sale when it finally commenced on May 15, setting the stage for a challenging NFT minting experience. On May 7, the .SWOOSH Twitter account announced the need for a few additional days to fine-tune the platform and create a seamless experience. However, the website frequently crashed during the First Access sale, leading to an uneven minting process that endured for several hours. Some users expressed disappointment considering Nike’s expertise in releasing limited-edition collectibles to the masses.
On May 16, Nike extended the First Access sale due to ongoing tech issues, consequently pushing back the General Access sale. Additional traffic issues caused a second delay.
By May 22, despite a significant number of users eagerly waiting to purchase their NFTs, Nike stated that over 85,000 OF1 boxes remained. The General Access sale commenced on May 24 but encountered processing delays on the website. Some users reported being charged for OF1 NFTs without receiving them. In response, .SWOOSH acknowledged an unforeseen error that impeded the minting process and also blocked additional purchases.
On May 25, Nike tweeted the successful sale of over 55,000 OF1 boxes to more than 30,000 unique buyers. Nike staff members praised .SWOOSH for effectively managing the high traffic.
As a global sneaker giant, Nike has steadily expanded its Web3 strategy in recent years, including the acquisition of digital fashion startup RTFKT Studios. RTFKT has previously launched successful NFTs such as the CryptoKicks collection and collaborated with brands like Rimowa and artist Takashi Murakami for limited-edition releases.
.SWOOSH has teased the upcoming release of a .SWOOSH marketplace in the following months and has ambitious plans to expand into virtual and real-world experiences, gaming, mint passes, and 3D Files.