Nike’s .SWOOSH Faces Delays and Technical Issues, But NFT Sneaker Sale Surpasses $1 Million in Sales
The highly-anticipated virtual sneaker sale on .SWOOSH encountered ongoing delays, resulting in frustration among some users. Meanwhile, Nike has expressed satisfaction with the release.
Nike’s .SWOOSH Web3 platform recently launched its inaugural non-fungible token (NFT) sneaker collection, generating sales exceeding $1 million despite persistent delays and technical issues that impacted the user experience. The sale of the highly-anticipated Nike virtual creations commenced on May 15, nearly a week later than the initially announced start date of May 8.
The initial sales phase, named “First Access,” exclusively catered to selected users who received “posters” as early entry tickets through an airdrop. Nike reports that a total of 106,453 posters were distributed among its earliest .SWOOSH community members. The subsequent “General Access” sale, intended to offload any remaining NFTs from the inventory of 106,453, commenced on May 24, two weeks after the initially proposed date of May 10.
As of Thursday afternoon, Polygonscan reported the sale of over 66,000 NFTs. Each NFT was priced at $19.82, paying tribute to the year of the Air Force 1 sneaker’s initial release. This indicates that Nike has generated approximately $1.3 million in sales thus far, although the sale is ongoing and now concludes on June 1.
While the initial numbers appear promising, the launch experienced multiple delays attributed to technical and traffic issues, leading to frustration among eager buyers due to the cumbersome process.
Meanwhile, updates from the Nike team suggest that sales are progressing slower than expected. In contrast to popular physical sneaker releases by Nike that often sell out within minutes, over one-third of the OF1 NFTs are still available for purchase. Persistent delays and technical glitches characterized the launch of the First Access sale on May 15, setting the stage for a challenging NFT minting process.
On May 7, the .SWOOSH Twitter account announced the need for a few additional days to “fine-tune” the platform’s rollout and create a “seamless” experience. However, when the First Access sale commenced, the website frequently crashed, resulting in an uneven minting experience that lasted several hours. Some users expressed disappointment given Nike’s expertise in releasing limited-edition collectibles to a wide audience.
On May 16, Nike extended the First Access sale “due to ongoing tech issues,” subsequently delaying the General Access sale. Additional “traffic issues” caused a second round of delays. By May 17, reported that over 85,000 OF1 boxes remained unsold. Even by May 22, this number stood at approximately 83,000, despite a considerable number of users eagerly anticipating the opportunity to purchase their NFTs.
The General Access sale commenced on May 24 but encountered processing delays on the website. Some users reported being charged for OF1 NFTs without receiving them. In response, .SWOOSH attributed this to an unforeseen error that affected the minting process and blocked additional purchases. On May 25, Nike tweeted that over 55,000 OF1 boxes had been sold to more than 30,000 unique buyers, deeming the sale a success. Other Nike staff praised .SWOOSH for skillfully managing the high traffic volume.
Nike did not provide an immediate response to CoinDesk’s request for comment. As a global sneaker powerhouse, Nike has been progressively expanding its Web3 strategy in recent years, including the acquisition of digital fashion startup RTFKT Studios. RTFKT has successfully launched various NFTs, such as its CryptoKicks collection, and has collaborated with brands like Rimowa and artist Takashi Murakami for limited-ed