- Asics unveiled a limited-edition shoe and tie-up with blockchain platform Solana Pay to offer exclusive NFTs tied to the purchase of shoes, according to a press release.
- The Asics x Solana UI collection is a custom-made GT-2000 11 running shoe available in “light mode” and “dark mode,” or white and black, meant to symbolize the balance between screen time and physical activity. The shoes can be pre-ordered until Nov. 9 using USDC cryptocurrency on Solana Pay.
- Purchasers will automatically receive an Asics Badge NFT, which unlocks gated opportunities like the chance to receive an airdrop of limited-edition Asics x Stepn NFT sneakers that can be used to play Stepn, the Web3 app that rewards users with tokens for staying active.
Asics’ tie-up with blockchain platform Solana allows consumers globally to purchase its limited-edition shoes through decentralized currency, an effort the shoe-maker describes as the first of its kind. The move also sees an emphasis on rewards, opening the door to increased consumer loyalty that could lead to opportunities for data gathering.
After using Solana to purchase from the Asics x Solana UI collection, consumers automatically receive the Asics Badge NFT that will serve as the ticket to potentially unlocking the Asics x Stepn NFT sneakers along with other rewards and experiences. The second NFT can be used to play the Stepn Web3 lifestyle app, created by Find Satoshi Lab, that combines elements of gaming with fitness experiences. Users on the app can earn tokens for their physical activity.
The emphasis on Stepn is an extension of an existing partnership with the move-and-earn app. The two first came together in April of this year to create the Asics x Stepn Origins collection. The continued tie-up is a nod to the growing efforts to support physical and mental wellbeing in the Web3 community, the release detailed.
"As a first mover in this space, ASICS is leading the industry by showing how customers and brands can come together around tokengated experiences that provide ongoing e-benefits to both sides," said Josh Fried, Head of Payments Business Development at Solana Labs, in the release.
The ASICS x Solana UI Collection shoes are available for pre-order until Nov. 9 at 6:59 a.m. UTC for $200 USDC. The brand is also opting for a limited pre-order window to reduce inventory and increase production efficiencies by ensuring it won’t make or ship more product than necessary, though there is no bar on how many shoes can be purchased per person.
The latest NFT push follows other Web3 plays by the shoe-maker. In July 2021, Asics dove into the NFT market with its 189-piece “Sunrise Red NFT Collection.” Company executives claimed the collection was the first digital shoe release from a major sporting goods company, and proceeds from the sales were invested back into the digital arts community and creators.