Nike announced that it is partnering with Roblox to create a virtual world called Nikeland on Roblox’s online gaming platform.
The virtual world includes Nike buildings, fields and arenas for players to compete in various mini-games, ranging from tag and dodgeball to “The Floor Is Lava.” It’s modeled after the company’s real-life headquarters. Nikeland will be free (for now).
The company eventually plans to integrate in-play moments that emulate global sporting events. Examples may include a soccer event during the World Cup or a flag football game during the Super Bowl. Nike said it will continue to update the virtual world to include athlete and product integration.
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People with accelerometers in their mobile devices will be able to use real-world movements to power their online play. For example, you can move your body in a jumping motion and it will translate in the virtual world to enhance the experience.
Users will also be able to enter a digital showroom to dress their avatar in everything Nike and check out the company’s latest product offerings. Items could be modeled after real-life Nike products being offered or from past launches. Nike could also tease future products or allow kids to co-create items.
Sam Poser, an analyst who covers Nike at Williams Trading, said he sees Nikeland being successful not only as a way to introduce the brand early to kids but also for the information and use as a testing ground for the brand. He envisions it being used as a way for Nike to try out new products to see what sticks. “If they know a bunch of kids are wearing it on Nikeland, then they will then come out with it in the physical world,” said Poser.