SAN FRANCISCO, California — CryptoKickers, an NFT-based fashion brand designing “Footwear for the New World,” has made Internet history by signing NBA veteran Wilson Chandler to the first-ever completely virtual shoe deal. CryptoKickers and Chandler worked closely together on the design of the shoes and the creative around them.
“As we build out the leading footwear brand for the Metaverse, we wanted to find a star athlete with an innovative spirit and style — someone who actually cares about this stuff,” said CryptoKickers co-founder Thomas Dimson. Added co-founder Joey Flynn: “Beyond Wilson’s huge impact in the NBA, he is already a big part of the NFT community and is a champion for the technology and ideology behind it all. He was our dream collaborator. We reached out to him over Twitter and within days, a partnership was in place.”
Since launching online in March, CryptoKickers has seen immediate traction, selling over 300 pairs of virtual shoes at prices ranging up to 1.26 ETH (~$2,644.11 US). Prices have climbed even higher in the secondary market, with a pair of Matcha Movers selling for 1.5 ETH (~$3,147.75). The brand is currently building out retail stores in multiple virtual worlds including CryptoVoxels and Sandbox, with further expansion deals in the works.
“As soon as I discovered CryptoKickers, it was a no-brainer to collaborate with them,” said Chandler, a 13-year NBA veteran. “I’ve been in the crypto space for some time and recently became obsessed with NFTs. I think these guys are positioned to build a Nike-sized fashion business for virtual worlds.”
The one-of-a-kind, individually numbered shoes will start at 0.021 ETH (~$44.07 US), with prices higher for pairs with rare traits. 11% of each sale will be donated to Cool Earth, a rainforest preservation nonprofit. Chandler will donate all his proceeds to the Benton Harbor Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit aiding social and economic development in his hometown of Benton Harbor, Michigan. The proceeds will buy physical shoes for local youth, and help bring in guest speakers to educate the community on cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain technology.