Adidas’ new digital artist residency, plus Mercedes-Benz’s latest NFT drop crashes servers
Adidas is kicking off the month with a bang. Often hailed as the ‘January of fashion,’ September is already shaping up to be a standout period of Web3 activity thanks to the sportswear behemoth’s latest initiative, which sees the brand launch its debut digital residency program.
In other news, Mercedes-Benz continues to extend its indomitable presence into Web3. The automaker has been deploying non-fungible tokens (NFT) as long-term community passes over ephemeral marketing maneuvers under its blockchain-based digital studio NXT, but its latest drop brought to light teething problems that still afflict this burgeoning landscape.
Adidas’ new digital artist residency heralds new era for Web3 creatives
What happened: Adidas is deepening its investment in Web3. On August 31, the athleisure conglomerate unveiled its first-of-its-kind residency program designed to help foster and amplify the works of Web3 artists.
The ‘Residency by Adidas’ initiative went live on Wednesday this week – timed in conjunction with Blockchain Week in Seoul, South Korea – with the inaugural sale of four NFT artworks commissioned by Adidas, created by pseudonymous MonkeeMoto, and Adra Kandil, aka DearNostalgia.
Two hundred pieces were available for sale for ETH0.15 (approx $245), with each piece arriving with its own exclusive physical hoodie for conference attendees. The NFT art is also available to purchase via Adidas’ Open-Edition sale, hosted on token platform Manifold, for ETH0.03 (approx $49) each.
The Verdict: After the fashion industry began streamlining its approach to Web3 last year, brands have been eager to develop their own residency initiatives to demonstrate their commitment to the virtual terrain. Adidas has been a consistent leader in the space, notably with the launch of its Three Stripes Studio loyalty program in January this year.
The digital realm may still divide the masses, but major players remain convinced of its value. Gucci’s recent tie-up with Christie’s, for example, heralds a new era for digital artists, one that sees major industry players support these creatives, and give them the leg-up needed to win over the mainstream.
1/ We are working hard to provide a full resolution of the website downtime last Tuesday (see tweets below for the latest). In the meantime, we will get back to exploring Mercedes-Benz NXT Icons and our other activities. Here’s a trait combination from “The Era of Luxury” ↓ pic.twitter.com/rBEFDHtOcv
— Mercedes-Benz NXT (@MercedesBenzNXT) September 8, 2023
Mercedes-Benz’ Web3 community drops latest NFT project, underestimates demand
What Happened: Mercedes-Benz’ Web3 ecosystem NXT released on Tuesday this week its latest token-powered project, coined ‘The Era of Luxury.’ The automaker’s newest series arrived in the form of cards, designed to cover seven unique eras of car design and celebrate automotive design heritage.
Each era is made up of 2,694 NFTs, covering six vehicle designs, nine card special effects, 19 vehicle colors, 10 card fronts, and 18 card back designs. The project also marks the first time that these period designs will be released as digital objects.
The Verdict: The brand has been building up hype around its latest project for quite some time, and its efforts seemed to have paid off. Demand for the drop was so huge that Mercedes-Benz had to close its dedicated website after a large influx of users caused the server to crash.
The company responded promptly, stating that it would be investigating the root cause of the failure and rescheduling the sale. Though enthusiasts expressed frustration over the abandoned sale, the crash proves that token-gated communities like NXT are still in huge demand, and are the lifeline the NFT market needs to mature.
Casio files for trademark applications for digital collectibles, but is it enough to overtake competitors?
What happened: Japanese manufacturer and cult-favorite watchmaker Casio has filed trademark applications for digital collectibles with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to a post on X (formerly Twitter) by Mike Kondoudis, a USPTO licensed attorney, the recent trademark application will see the company launch a range of virtual assets. Web3 media outlet CoinGeek reports that the applications include NFT watches, personal digital assistants, animation packages, clothing, and fashion accessories for avatars in the digital world.
The Verdict: Timeless, affordable, and often spotted adorning the wrists of high-profile stars from Tyler The Creator to Bill Gates, Casio has staked its claim as one of the most renowned watch producers across the globe. Now, it appears to be gearing up to expand that cultural clout to Web3.
But the brand faces well-established peers. To make headway against competitors such as Rolex and Hublot, which have already crafted robust virtual communities, Casio will need to pull something completely unexpected out of the bag. For brands entering Web3 so late in the game, it’s a case of go big or go home.
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