Nike's.SWOOSHWeb3 platform has released its first non-fungible token (NFT) sneaker collection, surpassing $1 million in sales despite persistent delays and technical issues that hindered the user experience.
The sale of thehighly-anticipated Nike virtual creationsbegan on May 15, nearly a week after theirpreviously-announced start date of May 8. The first round of sales, called "First Access," was open exclusively for select users who were airdropped "posters" that served as their early entry ticket. In total, Nike says there were 106,453 posters distributed to its earliest .SWOOSH community members.
The "General Access" sale began on May 24 – two weeks after itsproposed sale dateof May 10 – and aimed to offload any remaining NFTs from its total inventory of 106,453.
As of Thursday afternoon, over 66,000 NFTs had been sold,according to Polygonscan. Each NFT was priced at $19.82 – a tribute to the year the Air Force 1 sneaker was first released – indicating that Nike has raked in about $1.3 million from sales so far, though the sale is ongoing and now ends on June 1.
While initial numbers look promising, the launch was delayed several times due to technical and traffic issues, according to Nike, leaving excited buyers frustrated by the cumbersome process.
Meanwhile, updates from the Nike team have hinted that sales aremoving slower than expected. While popular Nike physical sneaker releasesoften sell out in minutes,over a third of the OF1 NFTs are still available for purchase.
When the First Access sale finally took off on May 15, the launch was bogged down by repeated delays, setting the tone for a bumpy NFT mint.
On May 7, the Twitter account for .SWOOSHtweetedthat the platform needed a few more days to "fine-tune" its rollout and create a "seamless" experience.
However, when the First Access sale began,the website frequently crashed, leading to an uneven minting experience thatlasted several hours. Some users expresseddisappointmentwith the finicky experience, considering Nike's expertise in releasing limited-edition collectibles to the masses.
On May 16, Nikeextended its First Access sale"due to the ongoing tech issues," pushing back its General Access sale in response. Additional "traffic issues"led to a second delay.
On May 17, Nike said thatthere were still over 85,000 OF1 boxes left. By May 22, thatnumber still hovered around 83,000, despite what appeared to be a large number of users eagerly awaiting the ability to purchase their NFTs.
The General Access sale began on May 24, though the site was againplagued with processing delays. Some users evenreported being chargedfor OF1 NFTs despite not receiving them. In response, .SWOOSHsaidthat it "ran into an unforeseen error that held up the minting process" that "also blocked additional purchases."
On May 25, Nike tweeted thatover 55,000 OF1 boxes had been soldto over 30,000 unique buyers and hailed the sale a success. Other Nike staff praised .SWOOSH for "managing some insane traffic."
Nike did not immediately respond to CoinDesk for comment.
The global sneaker giant has been making steady moves to expand its Web3 strategy over the past several years, previouslyacquiring digital fashion startup RTFKT Studios. RTFKT has launched several successful NFTs, including itsCryptoKicks collection, and has partnered with brands likeRimowaand artistTakashi Murakamion limited-edition releases.
.SWOOSH hasteased the release of a .SWOOSH marketplacein the coming months and has toutedplans to expand into virtual and IRL experiences, gaming, mint passes and 3D Files.