This week adidas has been teasing ALTS by adidas, via the Twitter handle of its Web3 mouthpiece, Bored Ape #8774 that goes by the name of Indigo Herz and which adidas purchased in September 2021 for 46ETH.
ALTS by adidas is the third phase in adidas’ Web3 roadmap played out on its recently rebranded collect.adidas.com platform and essentially constitutes a hyper-personalized, token-gated Web3 loyalty program where your membership card is you, or rather the alternative you, your ALTer ego, aka your avatar.
Focuses are identity, community participation, utility and, of course, that all important physical product.
Said avatars or ALTS, to be revealed to their adidas non fungible token (NFT) holders in the near future, will soon acquire one of eight traits with different rarities. These correspond to various sports or lifestyle based genres and include Strikes (soccer), Hoops (basketball), Thrills (gaming), Amps (music and film), Soles (sneakers and skate), Drips (Fashion). At respectively 3% of the supply, the two latter are the rarest. Think the ALTS equivalent of Amex Black.
“ALTS brings the entire breadth of adidas as a sports and lifestyle brand into the digital space,” said VP of the adidas /// studio, Erika Wykes-Sneyd, in an exclusive interview last week. “Token holders will get special access behind the velvet rope.”
Each trait comes with its own specific utility, conferring exclusive or early access to both physical and virtual products plus access to event tickets for example. Conceit being that said benefits are tailored to the interests of the holder.
All the ALTS will have additional utilities like private use and specific commercial IP rights, personalization options via virtual wearables, access to holder only gatherings (both real life and virtual), exclusive points based rewards and co-creation opportunities. Holders will also be able to use their ALT as their profile picture on Twitter and Discord.
specifics on ALTS by adidas.
According to a consumer behavior report conducted by DappRadar, utility matters. 92% of respondents saw an advantage in purchasing NFTs that provide benefits, 61% mentioned this as one of the two most important considerations while 33% said it was the most important when choosing an NFT.
Such expression of individuality was paramount said Wykes-Sneyd. “People are looking for ways to express their own unique identity. They want to feel individual and don’t want to be told how to look or behave or show up in the world”
According to Wykes-Sneyd, the ALTS “will evolve over time based on the holder’s decisions and engagement. As you participate you will be able to earn and collect (further) personalized traits to customize your unique ALT.”
While digital identity is obviously a major factor, the fact that the program links back to the adidas physical universe is also a crucial component, she says, citing the brand’s 75 year old history in product. The objective is “giving people the ability to flex their fandom across the spectrum of how they identify — as avatars, profile-pictures and real people.”
Gucci is another major brand leaning into physically backed tokens. Latest iteration involves its 3333 phygital KodaPendants sold on Yuga Labs’ gamified Otherside metaverse as of April 6 for the equivalent of around $2000. Similar to the ALTS project, you need to hold an NFT native to the Gucci Otherside project to be eligible for purchase. Said pendants can then be burned onto the NFT as a trait. Come summer, holders can claim their physical counterparts, made in 925 sterling silver, on a Gucci e-commerce site.
Let’s back up for some context. The adidas Into The Metaverse program had its genesis at the end of 2021 with the brand’s primary mint sale of 30,000 tokens in partnership with digital native communities Bored Ape Yacht Club, Crypto Punks, Punk Comics and that of G Money. Each sold for 0.2ETH totaling around $22 million at the time. The following year holders received physical merchandise including Firebird tracksuits, beanies and hoodies plus, later, an additional airdrop of digital product dubbed Virtual Gear. In March over Metaverse Fashion Week they received a version of said product called a ‘linked wearable’ that could be worn in the Decentraland metaverse.
For now, only the holders of these 30,000 tokens (purchased directly in the original mint or on the secondary market via Opensea) are eligible to join the ALTS community. Asked why said community is currently being limited to that number, Wykes-Sneyd explained that adidas is “prioritizing credibility over quantity.”
“Instead of diluting the market or short-term fixes we’re looking to partner with publishers, developers and partners who want to maximize the community credibility we’re earned. We aim to scale, thoughtfully and protect our collectors’ holdings while we build new offerings.”
Likewise, while the intention is for ALTS to “become an avatar project,” the new adidas.collect is not a metaverse in itself. Rather, a blockchain based hub for both transactions and storytelling. As interoperability increases adidas will partner with different, existing metaverses according to community feedback on the utility of this such as the learnings from aforementioned Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week partnership.
Along with that of Gucci, the adidas Web3 strategy is one of the most creative, carefully considered and well defined of its kind.
In fact, both share many common components. Like adidas, instead of creating its own metaverse, Gucci has, as mentioned, partnered with Yuga Labs’ metaverse Otherside. Yuga Labs being the Web3 group comprising digital native brands such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Meebits and 10KFT.
The multi-year strategic partnership between Gucci and Yuga was announced earlier this month. According to a statement from Gucci, the aim is “extending the dialogue between fashion and entertainment in the metaverse,” and “pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in both physical and digital spaces to create entirely new experiences for their communities through creative story telling.”
It’s interesting and telling that the two power brands have both aligned themselves with established Web3 communities in this way, not least Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Tonight during NFT.NYC, adidas will host an in person event celebrating the launch of ALTS by adidas at its New York physical flagship store when the brand will stage activations showcasing aspects of the eight initial ALTS by adidas traits.
adidas’ Bored Ape Indigo Herz.
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