Adidas’ Bumpy and Historic Step Into the Metaverse

The sportswear giant’s first NFT drop raked in $23.5 million in sales on Friday despite a couple of snags in its launch

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Source: Adidas

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key takeaways

  • The collection’s general sale NFT drop sold out in a matter of seconds, according to Adidas
  • One buyer snagged over 300 of Adidas NFTs despite the company’s two-per-customer limit

Adidas dropped 30,000 non-fungible tokens on Friday, netting $23.5 million worth of ether in NFT sales during the retail giant’s historic yet bumpy foray into the metaverse.

“The sale of NFTs by Adidas is a clear indication that not only are major brands widely adopting NFTs but more importantly, they are getting ready for the metaverse,” Scott H. Weissman, CEO and co-founder of TokenSociety.io, told Blockworks after the sale. “Soon, everyone will be living their normal life and their Metaverse life in parallel.”

The collection, dubbed “Into the Metaverse,” currently ranks as the third-largest NFT collection by sales volume, according to CryptoSlam.  It was one of the most widely-distributed NFT drops in history, according to the company. 

Adidas’ original plans for its NFT launch promised “early access” to holders of tokens from NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Pixel Vault NFT and others, making an already hard-to-get NFT available to a limited number of people. Users had to mint the Adidas NFT for 0.2 ether, worth roughly $800 at time of sale.

A minimum of 9,620 NFTs were reserved for general sale, which later sold out in a matter of seconds on Friday. Adidas promised NFT holders exclusive access to Adidas wearables, in the form of both virtual and physical merchandise, which is scheduled to be unveiled sometime next year, according to the website. 

Adidas first teased NFT plans on Dec. 2 when the brand tweeted a video of a Bored Ape NFT sporting Adidas apparel, adding that “it’s time to enter a world of limitless possibilities.”

“The Metaverse is currently one of the most exciting developments in digital, making it an interesting platform for Adidas,” a spokesperson for the company recently told CityAM.

Rocky launch

Early-access minting began at 1:26 pm ET on Friday. Shortly after its launch, various users raised concerns, including failed transactions. 

Mutant Ape NFT holders – who had early access to the drop – could not complete their transactions after they had already paid gas fees for the digital collectibles. The brand briefly paused the highly-anticipated NFT launch “while the developers investigated issues,” Adidas tweeted.  

The retail giant later said they would reimburse anyone who lost money on fees during failed transactions and later issued a statement saying that the “NFT drop is the beginning of Into the Metaverse, not the end.” It is unclear if all refunds have been issued.

“Even with all the measures we took, it wasn’t perfect. But, for the first time, thousands of new adopters experienced the thrills and risks of Web3. We’ll never stop learning,” Adidas said in a tweet on Monday.  

The collection later sold out in a matter of seconds once Adidas resumed the drop, netting almost $24 million in sales. 

Adidas additionally issued a two-per-customer limit on the NFT drop, according to the company’s website. However, one user grabbed 330 tokens, using an alternative smart contract, which bypassed the rule. 

“Unfortunately, the platforms are not able to keep up with hackers who find new ways to trick the systems using bots that are upgraded just as quickly as they are identified,” Weissman said, adding that regardless of a few snags NFTs still open an entirely new revenue stream for clothing brands. 

Despite criticism of the launch, many still see Adidas’ first step into blockchain-based digital collectibles as a signal of further adoption. 

“However the drop was executed; It’s interesting to see people’s reactions to macro,” Kieran Daniels, co-founder of SmartDeFi, told Blockworks. “If we truly want ‘mass adoption,’ I believe we should [still] welcome large brands with open arms.”

Adidas did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ requests for comment.

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