German sportswear giant Adidas said Thursday it was releasing its first range of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), joining a wave of brands buying into the excitement over virtual assets.
Adidas Originals vice president Erika Wykes-Sneyd called the emerging digital market a "natural place" for the brand to be.
The NFT scene was "a wild world where possibilities are truly limitless and where anyone can express and be rewarded for their most original ideas," Wykes-Sneyd said.
Also read: Why luxury brands want a metaverse future
The items, which go on sale Friday, were developed alongside established NFT names, including the Bored Ape Yacht Club, whose cartoon portraits of primates are highly sought after by collectors.
The clamour over virtual goods comes over feverish predictions that the "metaverse", a virtual reality version of the internet, will eventually replace the web of today.
Adidas is just the latest brand to jump into NFTs, which have become a mainstay of auction houses and the art market, where virtual works have fetched multi-million dollar prices.
On Monday, competitor Nike announced the purchase of digital sneakers-maker RTFKT, pronounced "artifact", and already has a virtual marketplace on the Roblox platform.
Adidas's digital products be displayed in a virtual showroom, the Bavarian company having acquired a virtual plot in the metaverse on platform The Sandbox.
Adidas NFTs will be purchased in crypto-currency and cost 0.2 Ethereum (716 euros) a piece.
NFTs have generated huge interest over the past year, with enthusiasts predicting they will become a widespread form of ownership.