Legacy shoe brand Reebok is leaping full-force into digital worlds and virtual gaming. This week, Reebok announced an exclusive partnership with crypto tech startup Futureverse to develop a wide range of blockchain and AI-powered games and metaverse experiences.
- Reebok has partnered with crypto startup Futureverse to develop AI and blockchain-based games and digital experiences
- They will launch an on-chain gaming experience next year called “Reebok Impact” that incorporates digital wearables
- This aims to extend Reebok’s brand presence into the metaverse and virtual worlds
- Parent company Adidas and rival Nike have also moved into digital fashion, NFTs, and gaming
- But Reebok seems focused on creating immersive gaming experiences for its digital shoes
The goal is to revolutionize digital fashion by transporting the Reebok brand into virtual realms. Reebok and Futureverse plan to showcase digital versions of Reebok’s shoes as on-chain wearable items paired with NFTs. This digital integration mirrors steps already taken by Reebok’s parent company Adidas along with other shoe brands such as Nike.
But uniquely, Reebok’s partnership appears intensely focused on building immersive gaming universes in which its coming digital kicks can live. The centerpiece of the collaboration is an ambitious on-chain game slated for 2024 dubbed “Reebok Impact.”
Excited to partner with @futureverse to launch @ReebokImpact in 2024, a mind and heart-bending digital shoe experience that will allow our community and beyond to dive into AI and digital wearables. https://t.co/uH4CgAiYQn
— Reebok (@Reebok) December 7, 2023
Described as a “mind and heart-bending digital shoe experience,” Impact will demonstrate “that life is not about your sneakers, it’s about what you do while you wear them,” according to Reebok. The game will leverage AI, digital wearables, and haptic feedback for interactive play that seems poised to take the idea of “connected shoes” to new territory.
For Reebok, moving aggressively into web3 gaming and metaverse branding reflects the ethos of its “life is not a spectator sport” campaign. The company wants to use technologies like augmented reality not just to sell digital products, but to create participatory adventures that estrange shoes from real-world practicality.
Reebok’s CEO Todd Krinsky said that through ventures like Reebok Impact, the company “transcend[s] traditional boundaries of innovation to engage our consumers in the digital evolution of our products.” The promise is to revolutionize physical fashion by sending it hurtling into virtual worlds.
Futureverse, Reebok’s technology partner, focuses on establishing an open, multi-platform metaverse ecosystem via major acquisitions. The startup raised $54 million in Series A funding in July 2022 to aid its buying spree of NFT games and crypto companies. While none have specifically dealt with digital wearables yet, Futureverse now seems primed to help Reebok pave new terrain.
For legacy fashion and footwear brands, expanding into metaverse experiences has become imperative amid shifting consumer attitudes and behaviors seen during the pandemic. Companies like Nike and Adidas have already experimented with digital apparel tied to NFTs that offer exclusive access to real products.
But in doubling down on metaverse gaming, Reebok is now betting that virtual worlds won’t just complement physical ones—they’ll be instrumental in redefining products and how brands engage with consumers. The promise of ventures like Reebok Impact is to make real-life shoes almost secondary to the digital experiences they unlock.
It’s a bold leap for a decades-old company steeped in tangible sports heritage. But by targeting new demographics through virtual entry points, Reebok hopes to inject renewed life into its business via digital means—while keeping at least one foot rooted in the physical world.