Adidas' first NFT drop earns $23 million

The windfall arrives right as Nike is adding heat.

Lu Qijian/VCG via Getty Images

Adidas' first NFT effort appears to have been a success. The Block has learned the collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney and Punks has raked in more than $23 million in Ethereum between a $15.5 million "Early Access" phase and $7.5 million in a general sale. All told, the drop minted nearly 30,000 NFTs despite a hiccup that led Adidas to pause early transactions.

The number may not sound large for such a well-known brand, but Adidas managed the equivalent of $538.4 million in profit during its latest quarter — $23 million from a limited-run digital release is significant. More sales like this could pad Adidas' bottom line while giving NFTs the hype levels previously reserved for sneakers.

There's a good chance you'll see more NFT releases as a result, not to mention greater involvement in metaverses. Not that Adidas necessarily has much choice. Nike bought RTFKT precisely to deepen its involvement with NFTs and metaverse collectibles like shoes, and Adidas risks ceding ground if it doesn't counter one of its most obvious rivals.