Nike’s.SWOOSH Web3 platform has successfully launched its inaugural collection of non-fungible token (NFT) sneakers, generating over $1 million in sales despite persistent delays and technical challenges impacting the overall user experience.
The much-anticipated sale of Nike’s virtual creations started on May 15, nearly a week later than the initially announced start date of May 8. The initial sales phase, named “First Access,” was exclusively available to a selected group of users who received “posters” via airdrops, granting them early entry privileges. Nike revealed that 106,453 posters were distributed among its earliest members.
Following the “First Access” phase, the “General Access” sale finally began on May 24, encountering a delay of two weeks from its originally scheduled date of May 10. This phase aimed to sell any remaining NFTs from the overall inventory of 106,453 that Nike had made available.
Despite high expectations, Nike’s OF1 NFTs sales have been slower than anticipated, with more than a third of the collection still available for purchase. Unlike the rapid sellouts often seen with physical Nike sneaker releases, the NFTs have struggled to gain momentum. The First Access sale, which finally commenced on May 15, encountered multiple delays that hindered the minting process, setting a rocky tone for the launch.
— .SWOOSH (@dotSWOOSH) May 7, 2023
Before the sale, the .SWOOSH’s Twitter account announced a delay to fine-tune the platform for a seamless experience. However, the website experienced frequent crashes when the sale began, leading to a frustrating minting experience. Users expressed disappointment, considering Nike’s expertise in handling limited-edition releases.
Due to ongoing technical issues, Nike extended the First Access sale and subsequently pushed back the General Access sale. Traffic-related challenges further contributed to the delays. Despite the anticipation from eager users, over 85,000 OF1 boxes remained unsold by May 17, and the number only slightly decreased to around 83,000 by May 22.
4 New Wave? 2 of each? You can split your OF1 Boxes up however you want between Classic Remix and New Wave but each box must be purchased individually.
1 transaction = 1 OF1 Box 💳
— .SWOOSH (@dotSWOOSH) May 22, 2023
The General Access sale finally commenced on May 24, but processing delays plagued the website. Some users reported being charged for OF1 NFTs without actually receiving them. In response, .SWOOSH acknowledged an unforeseen error that caused delays in the minting process and blocked additional purchases. On May 25, Nike announced that over 55,000 OF1 boxes had been sold to more than 30,000 unique buyers, considering it a successful sale. Nike staff praised .SWOOSH for managing the overwhelming traffic.
CoinDesk’s request for comment from Nike went unanswered at the time of reporting. As a global sneaker giant, Nike has strategically expanded its Web3 strategy, including acquiring digital fashion startup RTFKT Studios. RTFKT has previously launched successful NFTs like the CryptoKicks collection and collaborated with brands such as Rimowa and artist Takashi Murakami for limited-edition releases.