Puma has just announced its biggest leap into the metaverse. In partnership with 10KTF, an online NFT shop run by fictional character Wagmi-San, the lifestyle brand is bringing its apparel to the digital sphere. Puma teased the project a few weeks ago on Twitter — and promptly changed its name to Puma.Eth” — but speculation was confirmed during NFT NYC this week.
What’s to come — Brands everywhere are catching on to the mass appeal of Web3, NFTs, and the metaverse, especially in terms of digital fashion. Puma’s Chief Brand Officer Adam Petrick told Vogue Business that Puma “as a sports company [has] to think about connecting with people in the physical world and giving people the opportunity to bring physical products into the digital world.” Even a tangible product like a basketball shoe can have athletic abilities in the digital world, he explained.
The new partnership will bring about digital sneakers, NFT collections, and more, providing fans the opportunity to personalize their experiences. While there’s not much insight into what the apparel and digital assets will look like just yet, Petrick says Puma wants to provide users with a space that’s free of physical limitations and open to personal expression.
Can the Puma compete? — That’s not to say Puma doesn’t have its fair share of competition. Big brands like Nike and Adidas are already pretty deep into their metaverse contributions, and excitement for Puma’s digital entrance is probably best reserved for those who would choose the brand over others IRL. Vogue Business reported that Puma’s $7.7 billion revenue in 2021 trails behind Nike’s $44.5 billion and Adidas’s $25 billion of the same year, meaning it’s safe to say it’s still not the average consumer’s number one choice.
Still, Petrick is enthusiastic about the project and plans for the brand to be a relevant and inclusive contributor to the space. “Right now, our goal is to explore that and try to be as authentic as possible and help people learn along the way,” he said. “I know there’s a big investment going into competition, and it’s not necessarily something we’ve done.”