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Nike Signals Big Moves on Virtual Footwear, Apparel

Trademark applications filed with the feds reiterate Phil Knight and Co.’s seriousness about taking its products beyond just the physical world.

While Facebook may have made the most waves last week in its efforts to dominate the Metaverse, Nike made a stealth move last week hinting at a major push into the virtual space.

The sneaker and apparel giant filed four trademark applications on Wednesday with the US Patent and Trademark Office that prominently featured its ubiquitous Nike wordmark, “Just Do It” slogan, swoosh logo, andcombined swoosh and wordmark logo, as noted by trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Law.

Per the filing, Nike would like those marks to be used on “downloadable virtual goods, namely, computer programs featuring footwear, clothing, headwear, eyewear, bags, sports bags, backpacks, sports equipment, art toys, and accessories for use online and in online virtual worlds.”

Those marks will also be used, according to the filing, on retail store services that incorporate the aforementioned virtual goods. If Nike has its way, the company will be diving headlong into virtual clothing and accessories that could be downloaded and purchased online or at physical store locations.

We’ve seen virtual purchases for years in the gaming world, from specific skins and outfits in games like Fortnite and Call of Duty to custom looks in franchises like NBA 2K. But this evolution would bring this digital phenomenon from the gaming world to the global forefront thanks to Nike being the world’s biggest, most valuable brand in both footwear and apparel.

In September, Nike announced revenues of $12.2 billion for the first quarter of the 2022 fiscal year, up 16% year over year, with a 29% increase in digital sales.

And these trademark filings indicate that the swoosh has some incredibly ambitious plans for the virtual, digital space in the near future.

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.