- Under Armour is celebrating brand ambassador Stephen Curry breaking the NBA's three-point record on Dec. 14 with a collection of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) that are applicable across multiple metaverse platforms, according to news emailed to Marketing Dive.
- Tokens are based on the Genesis Curry Flow sneaker that the Golden State Warriors point guard wore when he made league history. There are 2,974 copies of the virtual shoe available, representing the number of three-point shots Curry completed to break the record. Priced at $333 with proceeds benefiting charities focused on increasing youth access to sports, an initial offering sold out but is available on secondary marketplace OpenSea.
- Under Armour claims the digital goods represent the first "wearable" cross-platform NFTs for users of Decentraland, Gala Games, Sandbox and Rumble Kong League. The strategy represents an attempt to make NFTs more tangible to consumers who may otherwise be skeptical of their utility.
Under Armour is stepping into the red-hot NFT market with a promotion that honors Steph Curry shattering the NBA's three-point scoring record, previously held by Ray Allen. Curry has been a key ambassador for the sportswear marketer, and the move doubles as an opportunity to promote the Genesis Curry Flow line of sneakers that the star point guard reps on the court as part of the Curry Brand banner.
Designed with WPP-owned creative agency Berlin Cameron, the collection positions itself as addressing some of the criticisms around NFTs, namely that the format doesn't offer much value beyond the monetary. The drop adds an element of gamification in allowing those who acquire one of the Genesis Curry Flow pieces to "wear" their virtual gear across multiple metaverse services, including the VR platform Decentraland and Rumble Kong League, a "web3" sports game whose parent company recently raised $4.5 million in financing.
Gaming features, including the ability to purchase "skins" for digital avatars, are closely linked to metaverse tactics like NFTs. NFT production company NewKino and marketplace Luna provided additional assistance on the Under Armour campaign's execution.
"While NFT and Metaverse have become the buzz words of our industry this year. Most brand work has basically been about jpegs you can use as a profile picture," Ewen Cameron, Berlin Cameron's founder, said in a press statement. "With the stature of Stephen's achievement, we wanted to do something that truly 'changed the metaverse game for good,' and so the notion of the first sneaker that can travel across the platform and have genuine functionality and performance was born."
Other sportswear marketers are jumping in on NFTs, trying to extend the collectible craze around real-world sneakers and memorabilia into the online sphere. Adidas recently partnered with Bored Apes Yacht Club, one of the more prominent NFT brands, on a collection that drew media attention and quickly racked up $22 million in sales. Nike earlier this month acquired RTFKT, a digital studio that develops virtual collectibles and experiences with a focus on sneakers and apparel.