The sale of the highly-anticipated Nike virtual creations began on May 15, nearly a week after their previously-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 its proposed sale date of May 10 – and aimed to offload any remaining NFTs from its total inventory of 106,453. (Disclaimer: This author collected one)
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.
Chronic delays and technical glitches
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 .SWOOSH tweeted that the platform needed a few more days to "fine-tune" its rollout and create a "seamless" experience.
The General Access sale began on May 24, though the site was again plagued with processing delays. Some users even reported being charged for OF1 NFTs despite not receiving them. In response, .SWOOSH said that it "ran into an unforeseen error that held up the minting process" that "also blocked additional purchases."
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, previously acquiring digital fashion startup RTFKT Studios. RTFKT has launched several successful NFTs, including its CryptoKicks collection, and has partnered with brands like Rimowa and artist Takashi Murakami on limited-edition releases.
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