You may have seen Nike’s new brilliant commercial hyping us all up for the World Cup, but despite not being an official sponsor of the tournament, the brand is making moves to strike a chord with their target base.
This is typified by a collaboration with Psyonix’s Rocket League, with a themed mode arriving in-game and lasting for the vast majority of the tournament in Qatar.
We run through the details and look at how this shows what can be done with the power of the metaverse.
Bringing fans together
The Nike FC Cup as it’s called, enables players to complete in-game challenges to unlock Nike Federation and Global “decals” (skins) for dozens of countries in Rocket League.
This includes Nike-sponsored teams in at the World Cup: hosts Qatar, England, Brazil, Netherlands, Portugal, holders France and more, with Item Packs available in the Item Shop – including the Nike CR7 Pack inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Mercurial boot.
Fan Clash: Nike FC Cup also arrives to give players the opportunity to team up and compete for their country and receive exclusive placement rewards.
A Limited Time Mode lands in the form of the Nike FC Showdown, with the Item Shop receiving a second round of goods, including the Nike FC 2022 Pack.
The Item Shop gets things rolling, with the Nike Next Generation Pack supplying three Decals inspired by three famous Nike boots: Nike Phantom GT, Nike Tiempo, and the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial (all in Copper).
Alongside these Octane, Fennec, and Dominus Decals, players will also receive the Nike FC 2022 Goal Explosion. The pack costs 1100 Credits, while each Item is also available for individual purchase.
The World Cup creates icons, and preparing for his fifth World Cup is Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. His Nike CR7 Pack comes with the Nike Air Zoom Mercurial - CR7 Decal and a matching Nike Air Zoom Mercurial - CR7 Player Banner, all for 300 Credits.
Alongside this Item Shop haul comes Challenge Rewards. To unlock 40+ Decals from around the world, players will need to complete challenges by diving into games of Chaos, Dropshot, Snow Day, and Hoops. They can also get a Golden Egg that unlocks an Item from Champions Series 1 through 4.
Both the Nike FC Challenges and Item Shop Items will be available from November 17 to December 6.
Up for the Cup
Starting November 17, fans can sign up at the Fan Clash: Nike FC Cup site. Once they’ve picked their team and sign in, they can unlock the “Footy Fanatic” Player Title.
Once the favourite team is locked in, they can start playing Rocket League matches to earn points. By checking the Fan Clash page as they play, they can track their team's progress on the Global Leaderboard.
Every goal, save, and assist notched throughout the event will add points to the team’s global total, with point normalization making things fair for bigger or smaller countries.
Finally, players will earn Placement Rewards based on how many points their country earns throughout Fan Clash: Nike FC Cup. Higher placements earn higher rewards. Fan Clash: Nike FC Cup will run from November 17 until November 30.
Nike FC Showdown
Say hello to Champions Field (Nike FC). This pink and blue Arena will be home to Nike FC Showdown, a new Limited Time Mode that achieves the unthinkable.
This isn’t the Soccar fans will be familiar with though. In Showdown, two teams square off with a Nike Ball, modified Mutator Settings, and intense 4v4 action. The newly designed Ball will curve and cut through the air depending on how you hit it, with a higher max speed and low bounce settings.
These changes mean the ball will spend more time close to the ground, and it will be easier to dribble with the front of your car instead of the hood. Nike FC Showdown will be playable from November 30 to December 14.
For the back end of the promotion, players will see a new wave of Nike Items in the Item Shop from November 30 to December 6.
From one Ronaldo to another, as they can pick up the Nike Mercurial – R9 Octane Decal, inspire by the Brazilian Ronaldo’s ’98 boot. For those looking for more flair can choose the Nike FC pack featuring futuristic sports apparel for 300 Credits.
That rounds off some fantastic content arriving in Rocket League, with the Nike collaboration possibly bringing in new or dormant players to the game.
Riding a wave, even from the outside
Although Nike aren’t one of the official sponsors of the World Cup, this is another intelligent way of involving themselves in one of the biggest events in the world.
Although Rocket League isn’t a metaverse, this is an example of what brands will be able to do in a virtual space – and ensure they are on trends, regardless if they have any connection to specific events or not.
This is not Nike's first venture with metaverses, having launched Nikeland in Roblox, following the likes of Gucci, Spotify and Chipotle to have had experiences in the space.