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Adidas Is Bringing Web3 Into Its Confirmed App

The app, where Adidas releases its most in-demand products, will offer preferred access to select drops through NFTs, a capability enabled by the company’s new three-year partnership with technology provider Tokenproof.
An Adidas Superstar sneaker and special collaboration hoodie float on either side of the brand's Confirmed app, which displays two Adidas NFTs.
Adidas x Tokenproof. (Adidas)

Adidas has a new long-term deal with a web3 company to bring token-gating, which lets brands grant preferred access to drops, offers or events through NFTs, into its Confirmed app, where Adidas releases its most in-demand products.

On Tuesday, the German sneaker maker announced a three-year partnership with Tokenproof, a platform providing blockchain-based authentication. Right now, users of the Confirmed app will see the newest drop from Adidas’ web3 project, Into the Metaverse, including a pair of Superstar sneakers and a hoodie made in collaboration with partners Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney and Punks Comic. To buy it, though, they’ll need to connect a crypto wallet holding specific Adidas NFTs.

The aim isn’t just to limit who can get a product, according to Erika Wykes-Sneyd, co-founder of Adidas’ web3 studio. It’s also a way to guarantee access to certain groups so they never have to wait in line or lose out to bots for a product. She described it as providing a new capability Adidas is calling “direct to fan” or “direct to collector.”

“For the first time ever, you can authenticate a real person and what they own, giving them token-gated access to a very curated shopping, physical experience across the Adidas ecosystem,” she said. “Imagine how this could support teams or clubs or leagues that are looking to get closer to their fans and their loyalists … Same thing goes with other fashion

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brands that we might collaborate with.”

To use the technology, customers will need a crypto wallet and the Tokenproof app, which does create a few extra steps for shoppers and potentially limits the number who would use it, at least until web3 becomes more mainstream.

“We’re working on ways to bring the barriers of friction down even more by embedding a wallet into the Tokenproof app so that it’s an all-in-one shop,” said Fonz Olvera, founder and chief executive of Tokenproof.

But Olvera and Wykes-Sneyd both believe this version of connecting with customers would benefit brands and shoppers alike. When a customer connects their wallet to the Confirmed app, Adidas would be able to see which NFTs they’re holding, such as those tied to products they’ve bought in the past or events they attended. Adidas is thinking about how it can use this information to personalise offers and invites in more innovative ways than sending out an email a customer isn’t likely to read, according to Wykes-Sneyd.

“It’s like a much more robust, much more nuanced [customer relationship management] capability because it’s verified and it’s on chain,” Wykes-Sneyd said.

It would also give Adidas a valuable source of customer data, which is only growing more important as privacy measures make it harder for brands to target shoppers. Customers, meanwhile, would be rewarded for providing their data.

Adidas is now competing against its biggest rivals in sneakers, Nike and Puma, in web3 as well. While the brands have taken different approaches, with Nike avoiding the term NFT altogether, all are exploring the space as a way to build membership programmes and build customer loyalty. They also see an opportunity in virtual goods, which is now an official business area within Adidas.

Prior to signing the new partnership deal, Adidas worked with Tokenproof on token-gating events it’s held recently for its web3 community. Guests who checked in for Adidas’ NFT NYC event at its New York flagship last month were airdropped a 20 percent discount usable in-store with the Tokenproof app.

“I truly believe that marketing is all about orchestrated touchpoints and not these touchpoints in isolation,” Olvera said. “It just shows you how we can further incentivise participation based on previous participation with the brand, and we can do this digitally or in the real world. That opens up a lot of possibilities.”

Further Reading

How Web3 Is Shaking Up Digital Marketing

A growing number of brands will be experimenting with nascent web3 technologies like NFTs, and learning that careful nurturing is needed to thrive, as The State of Fashion 2023 explains.

About the author
Marc Bain
Marc Bain

Marc Bain is Technology Correspondent at The Business of Fashion. He is based in New York and drives BoF’s coverage of technology and innovation, from start-ups to Big Tech.

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