Adidas enters the metaverse with an NFT you don't actually own

It could become "handy" later, however.

Adidas is making a nebulous entry into the metaverse through an NFT of mysterious purpose.

A digital token was made available Thursday through POAP, a platform for distributing crypto-badges tied to specific events. The terms of service make clear that Adidas maintains ownership for all the NFTs, removing the concept of ownership crucial to the space’s appeal. Instead, the brand is teasing that the token may become useful later, likely for some sort of exclusive product release.

“This digital collectible is our way of rewarding you for following your curiosity... this token proves you were here from the beginning of this journey,” Adidas said in a launch page on the Confirmed app, which redirects to POAP. “Keep it safe — it may come in handy.”

As of publishing, it appears as if all of the tokens have already been claimed. What exactly you’re missing out on, if anything, remains unclear.

Nike entered the metaverse the very same day — Regardless of how much credence you lend to the purported emergence of the metaverse, Adidas’ first foray into the space looks especially underwhelming compared to the launch from its greatest rival on the very same day.

In partnership with Roblox, Nike launched a virtual world dubbed “Nikeland” in which users can deck out their avatars in Swoosh-branded apparel and sneakers. Real-life activity is required to play mini-games within Nikeland, as accelerometers within your mobile device translate your movements to your avatar’s.

Nikeland is free to play through Roblox and at the very least provides clearer motivation for its consumer base to take part in its metaverse pursuits. And unless it surprises us by giving away, say, free Yeezys to owners of its newly minted NFT, Adidas will need to do much more to make its name in a space guaranteed to become the next home of corporate competition.