- Adidas is one of several sportswear manufacturers to enter Web 3.0
- Into the Metaverse first launched in December 2021
- ALTs promise real-life and virtual experiences with NFTs that evolve over time
Adidas is pushing ahead with the ‘third phase’ of its Web 3.0 roadmap, hoping its new ‘ALTs’ non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will unlock a valuable new revenue stream and drive loyalty amongst consumers.
The sportswear giant first launched its ‘Into the Metaverse’ collection in December 2021, selling out the initial drop of 30,000 NFTs and generating US$22 million.
The collection hoped to tap into demand for sports-related fashion, with NFT owners able to purchase exclusive digital and physical merchandise co-branded with Adidas’ collaborators Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Punk Comics, and GMoney. Token holders were also able to participate in a further drop in 2022.
Now, Adidas is inviting the ‘Into the Metaverse’ community to ‘burn’, or destroy, their existing NFTs in exchange for an ‘ALT’ token that unlocks an interoperable avatar in the form of a ‘dynamic’ NFT that can evolve over time and be used in various interactive experiences.
All ALT owners gain certain IP rights to their NFTs, the ability to customise their avatar, and gain premium access to a new Adidas Collect marketplace. They will also continue to have early or exclusive access to digital and physical products as well as member-only experiences.
On top of this, each ALT is given a ‘storyline’, which essentially means they have specific characteristics and utilities depending on which of eight sports or lifestyle ‘types’ it belongs to. For example, soccer-themed ‘Strikes’ ALTs gain access to athlete experiences, basketball-related ‘Hoops’ ALTs open doors to US athlete experiences, and ‘Decos’ unlock co-creation opportunities with up-and-coming artists.
Web 3.0 has struggled to shake off an unfavourable reputation, cultivated by multiple examples of NFT projects that were at best tools of speculation and at worst outright scams. However, proponents of blockchain continue to believe there are genuine use cases for ledger-based technologies that can establish the concept of ownership in the digital world.
Some of the most successful Web 3.0 projects are ones that have managed to foster a sense of community or fused physical and digital elements to create genuine utility. Adidas’ ‘Into the Metaverse’ achieves both of these outcomes and has managed to create a highly-engaged ecosystem of fashion fanatics capable of becoming brand ambassadors in both the real and virtual worlds.
The NFTs this community possess are not valuable in themselves – not least because previous NFTs have to be destroyed to acquire ALTs – but their owners see real value in the benefits that come with ownership. The ambition for Adidas is long-term loyalty. By keeping ownership limited to those who purchased NFTs in earlier phases, the company can’t be accused of a cash grab.