How Nike Generated Over 7M Metaverse Visits with NIKELAND

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June 1, 2022
Sporting Goods & Outdoor

Key Takeaways

Since launching NIKELAND on Roblox in November 2021, Nike has reported having over 7M visitors to its virtual world. Here’s how: 

  1. Driving Visits: 
  • Cross-promotions: Nike promoted the launch of NIKELAND on its Twitter and Instagram accounts with boosted video posts which drove over 6M views.
  • Real-World Activations: Nike brought its NIKELAND to life at the Nike House of Innovation via Snapchat, providing customers with a cohesive brand experience. 
  • Celebrity Partnerships: Nike partnered with Lebron James to promote NIKELAND by having him visit the virtual world and contribute to its basketball-focused features. The NIKELAND Showroom featured virtual styles from Lebron's signature Nike LeBron 19 collection. 
  1. Audience Engagement through Gamification: NIKELAND is an immersive experience where visitors can connect, create and compete in mini-games with their friends. Tapping into Roblox's co-creative ecosystem, visitors can create their own mini-games using in-game elements. In NIKELAND, visitors can connect and interact with others in real-time. 
  2. Brand Purpose: Nike uses NIKELAND to encourage real-life movement. Mobile users can utilize their smartphone’s accelerometer to transfer their movement to online play. Additionally, NIKELAND is free for everyone to visit and aims to break down the biggest barriers to sport —access.
  3. Brand Awareness: In NIKELAND, visitors can visit its digital showroom, where visitors can dress their avatars in the hottest Nike products — providing visitors with an authentic, exciting brand experience. Nike's advertising feels natural and native to the platform within the virtual world.

In 2021, Nike embraced the Web2 metaverse and heavily invested in its Web3 strategy, which helped generate a +41% YoY increase in NIKE Brand Digital revenue in Q4 '21*. The following two initiatives have been at the core of its strategy:

NIKELAND

Inspired by its world headquarters, NIKELAND is a bespoke world inside Roblox’s immersive 3D space, building on its goal to turn sport and play into a lifestyle.

CryptoKicks

CryptoKicks are Nike's first blockchain-based sneaker collection that are being auctioned off as non-fungible tokens.

From late 2021 to early 2022, we have experienced a rise in brands entering virtual worlds. Roblox, the gaming platform which boasts 54M DAU, has been the go-to place for brands looking to reach a younger audience in the (web2) metaverse. Roblox has partnered with various brands such as Gucci and Vans to create immersive experiences within the platform*.

*Source 

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Roblox has experienced significant growth, with its DAU increasing from 16M in Q1 ‘19 to 54M in Q1 ‘22. In Europe specifically, Roblox’s DAU has increased by 226% since Q1 ‘19. 

*Data from RBLX’s Q1 2022 Financial Reports. Rest of World (ROW)

Roblox has successfully grown its Gen Z user base, with over 52% of its DAU being over 13 years old in Q1 '22.

Additionally, Roblox has reported that 17 to 24 years old has been its fastest-growing age demographic*.

*Source. Data from RBLX’s Q1 2022 Financial Reports. 

In November 2021, Nike entered the Metaverse with the launch of NIKELAND in Roblox. 

NIKELAND is a place for fans to connect, create, share experiences and compete in various mini games with friends.

In March 2022, Nike reported having had over 7M visitors to NIKELAND from 224 different countries since its launch in November 2021.

NIKELAND 🏀 ☁2x XP☁ - Roblox

Nike promoted the launch of NIKELAND on its Twitter and Instagram account with the following three boosted posts: 

The NIKELAND launch video featured a hit song by Drake, whose music is popular amongst Gen Zs and Millennials.

2M Views | 10K Engagements | $400 Ad Spend*

4M Views | 312K Engagements | $56K Ad Spend*

23K Views | 2K Engagements | $4K Ad Spend*

*Spend is a directional approximation based on the US and does not include retargeting, behavioural targeting.

Immersive Experience

Generating Audience Engagement

To drive 7M visits to NIKELAND, Nike created an immersive experience where visitors could connect, create and compete.

NIKELAND visitors can participate in games such as tag, the floor is lava, and dodgeball with their friends. 

Nike tapped into Roblox's co-creative ecosystem by allowing visitors to create their own mini-games using in-game elements, including tennis court patterns and nets, basketball hoops, and benches for spectators.

📹  Tactics:

  • Gamify: Create games to motivate user engagement in the metaverse.
  • UGC: The metaverse is about UGC—look for ways for users to create or enhance their content within your virtual world.
  • Community: Gaming is a highly social activity for Gen Zs. NIKELAND provides visitors with opportunities to meet and socialize with others.
NIKELAND 🏀 ☁2x XP☁ - Roblox

Digital Showroom

Generating Brand Awareness

NIKELAND delivers a fresh way to experience the brand in an immersive environment that draws on native advertising, brand awareness and exciting product interactions.

In NIKELAND, visitors can visit its digital showroom, where visitors can dress their avatars in the latest Nike products, such as the Air Force Fontanka and the Air Max 2021. 

📹  Tactics:

  • Native Advertising: NIKELAND offers visitors a fun and engaging experience while maintaining a high level of brand awareness. Advertising in the metaverse should be unobtrusive and feel natural in the virtual world. 
  • Digital Products: Over 90% of people surveyed said that they considered customization an important part of creating a virtual avatar*. NIKELAND's digital showroom allows people to personalize their avatars' appearance.
*Source 

Brand Purpose

Incorporating Meaning 

Inspired by Nike’s goal to “turn sport and play into a lifestyle”, NIKELAND encourages real-life movement — bridging the gap between the real world and the metaverse. 

Visitors can use mobile devices equipped with accelerometers to transfer their movement to online play. In-game activities such as long jumps and speed runs encourage players to actively participate in order to achieve results.

Additionally, NIKELAND is free for everyone to visit and aims to break down "the biggest barriers to sport  — access". 

📹  Tactics:

  • Purpose-Driven: 8 out of 10 consumers say they’re more loyal to purpose-driven brands.  By adding features such as the in-game accelerometers and making NIKELAND accessible for all, Nike upholds its brand purpose to break down barriers in sports.  

Real-World Activations

Bridging the Gap

In December 2021, Nike brought their digital world to life at Nike’s House of Innovation (HOI) in New York City via Snapchat

For the month-long initiative, Nike's HOI turned its kids floor into an augmented reality version of NIKELAND, allowing shoppers to use the Snapchat Lense to alter their own 3D avatars with Nike products and play games.

This initiative helped to bring awareness to customers on the full breadth of Nike’s digital offerings and provide them with a complete and cohesive brand experience.

📹  Tactics:

IRL: Real-world activations can bring the elements of a digital experience to life, creating a unified brand experience.

Celebrity Partnerships

Bringing Lebron to the Metaverse

Nike partnered with NBA star Lebron James to promote NIKELAND by having him visit the virtual world and contribute to its basketball-focused features. This five-day initiative involved Lebron coaching players and teaching players the fundamentals of basketball through a series of new mini-games.

Additionally, the NIKELAND Showroom featured virtual styles from Lebron's signature Nike LeBron 19 collection, including the not-yet-released "Chosen 1" and "Bron Bites" sneakers.

Nike promoted the campaign with boosted posts on their Nike Basketball Twitter and Instagram accounts. 

📹  Tactics:

Celeb Partnerships: As the metaverse is still a new technology, partnering with celebrities like Lebron James helps draw visitors to the metaverse who may have been hesitant about entering before. 

6M Impressions | 244K Engagements | $50K Ad Spend*

1M Impressions | 10K Engagements | $5K Ad Spend*

*Spend is a directional approximation based on the US and does not include retargeting, behavioural targeting. 

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