Sportswear giant Nike has revealed a new virtual world through the online digital platform, Roblox, entitled ‘Nikeland’.
The bespoke environment, created by Nike, turns the brand into an immersive 3D space with a backdrop featuring Nike’s world headquarters. Buildings and fields within the virtual world draw direct inspiration from the real-life location, including areas in which gamers can compete in mini-games.
A digital showroom will also be present in the virtual world, allowing the selection of Nike products to be worn by the in-game avatars. Items include Nike’s Mercurial football boot, Air Force 1 and Nike Blazer, as well as a number of staple Nike apparel.
In order to get kids moving, the companies have implemented an accelerometer feature that allows the transfer of offline movements into online play. Moving a device enables in-game moves like long jumps or speed runs.
Its launch comes as part of Nike’s further goal of turning sports and play into a lifestyle for children. The mission has been present within a number of initiatives by the brand, including a YouTube series hosted by young athletes set with the goal of encouraging viewers to get active.
The decision to launch through Roblox hopes to further enhance that mission, with the digital platform, targeted at younger players, amassing over 200 million active users, according to an April 2020 report by the company. Likewise, other influential brands have made use of this expansive reach, such as Gucci and Vans, both of which also designed immersive experiences in-game, allowing users to dress their avatars in virtual branded goods.
In a further celebration of Nikeland’s launch, the digital world will be brought to Nike’s House of Innovation (HOI) in New York City, through the power of a special Snapchat lens. Users will be able to view an augmented reality version of Nikeland in the kid’s section of HOI, complete with signature characters and games to play.