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Why We Think Nike’s Partnership With EA Is A Big Deal


Shaan Kooner

Shaan is the Community Manager at ethos. He has a passion for building community and has been interested in blockchain technology from an early age.

Shaan is the Community Manager at ethos. He has a passion for building community and has been interested in blockchain technology from an early age.

Nike and EA recently announced a groundbreaking partnership. The companies will allow gamers to customize their avatars in EA’s popular sports games with Nike’s digital products, which are NFTs that live on the Polygon blockchain and feature .SWOOSH branding. 

This isn’t a simple marketing stunt or a cosmetic feature. It’s a turning point for digital assets (or NFTs), as they become more accessible, desirable, and valuable to millions of gamers around the world. This is a game-changer—not just for the digital asset industry, but also for brands everywhere.


Because with this partnership, gamers can now actually own their in-game Nike items, use them in different EA gaming environments, and even sell them for real money. This is a sign of things to come for brands everywhere, and will serve as a template for similar collaborations in the future.

Setting A New Precedent

By integrating Nike’s NFTs into EA’s games, the two companies are unlocking enormous benefits for their customers. Also, once the benefits of blockchain technology are added into a big gaming title, it’s going to be very hard to undo.

What are these benefits?

For a start, NFTs offer gamers true ownership, interoperability, and scarcity of their digital products. Here’s what that means:

Imagine you play Madden 2024, and you earn a pair of Nike shoes for one of your football players. Blockchain-enabled digital assets like the ones Nike and EA are creating could be transferred across games, users, and platforms.

You could even sell them for real money. And imagine being able to prove the authenticity and rarity of those digital products, as well as enjoying the benefits of digital scarcity and exclusivity. It means being able to participate in the creation and governance of your favorite games, and share in their success.

As gamers get a taste of these new features in EA games, they’ll demand more options, more variety, and more quality from other gaming studios. Hence the snowball effect of blockchain-enabled digital assets.

Following Amazon’s Footsteps

Nike and EA aren’t the first ones to set a precedent in a new industry. In fact, they’re following in the footsteps of another giant that did something similar: Amazon.

Amazon was one of the first companies to introduce free shipping for its online customers, back in 2002. At first, this seemed like a costly move, as it would eat into Amazon’s profits. However, Amazon realized that free shipping wasn’t just a perk for its customers. It was a soon-to-be-required necessity for the growing online shopping industry. 

By offering free shipping, Amazon created a new standard for online shoppers. They no longer had to worry about paying extra fees or waiting long periods for their orders to arrive. They could shop more frequently, more easily, and more confidently from Amazon’s vast selection of products. They could also enjoy other benefits that Amazon offered, such as Prime membership, customer reviews, recommendations, and more.

As a result, Amazon’s customer base grew exponentially, as did its revenue and market share. Amazon became the dominant force in online retailing, leaving its competitors behind (or forcing them to follow suit).

Amazon’s free shipping was an industry-defining moment. It changed the way people shop online forever. It also created a network effect that benefited both Amazon and its customers.

Nike and EA are likely to achieve a similar network effect with their partnership. By offering gamers the ability to customize their avatars with Nike’s digital, blockchain-powered products, they’re creating a new standard for gaming experiences. These products aren’t just cosmetic items—they’re digital assets that gamers can truly, own, control, and transfer as they wish.

They’re also creating a new source of revenue for both themselves and their customers: the more people use Nike’s digital products in EA’s games, the more value they create for themselves, for Nike, and for EA.

Leading The Way For Other Industries

Nike and EA are leading the way for other industries to follow suit.

For years, gamers have been spending billions of dollars on in-game items and experiences. In 2020, that number was estimated to be $54 billion. Yet the “ownership” component has been lacking: users can’t transfer their in-game items across games, platforms, or sell on a secondary marketplace.

Blockchain-enabled digital assets have the potential to address a long-standing need that’s been waiting on a solution for years.

But gaming isn’t the only industry that can benefit from digital assets. There are many other sectors that can leverage this power to create new value propositions, new business models, and new customer experiences.

  • The fashion industry can use digital assets to authenticate luxury clothing items, which can be verified and traced back to their origin, original materials, and history.
  • The music industry can use digital assets to create digital collectibles, which represent songs, albums, or events, and can be owned and traded by fans.
  • The art industry can use—and has used—digital assets to create digital artworks, which can be displayed, sold, or interacted with in virtual galleries, museums, or platforms.

The possibilities are endless, and the potential is massive. Digital assets aren’t just a passing form of technology. They’re a paradigm shift for the burgeoning digital economy.

Nike and EA are among the biggest and most influential brands in their respective industries, and their partnership is a testament to their innovative vision. They’re aligning themselves with the rising tide of digital assets, and they’re creating a positive reputation for this new space.

We think Nike and EA’s partnership is a big deal. And you should too.