Over the last week, Nike has posted five jobs to help the company embed new hires for the metaverse or related functions in what it described as its Technology Innovation Office.
The Beaverton, Oregon-based company is looking to appoint a metaverse director to lead the development of Nike's "rapid end-to-end proof of concepts, prototypes, and production of Metaverse software and device solutions," the company said in its job posting.
Nike is looking for familiarity with a broad range of metaverse technologies, from web3 to spatial web, as it makes a push into alternate-reality tech.
Other job titles posted on professional networking site LinkedIn include principle innovation engineer for the metaverse, senior 3D game designer or metaverse engineer, expert innovation program manager for blockchain and a virtual material designer.
The new hires will join Nike at a time when its ambitions are racing to claim footholds in virtual worlds where people are expected to learn, work, shop and be entertained.
Critics, however, have warned that the metaverse is getting wildly overhyped, and companies are applying the tag to any old project that involves gaming, virtual reality or NFTs.
NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are one-of-a-kind digital objects purchased with cryptocurrencies.
In December, Nike also stepped into the non-fungible token world with plans to produce digital shoes that you can see but not touch or wear.
Nike rival Adidas also launched its “Into the Metaverse” NFT collection and clocked $23 million.
The shoe and clothing behemoth revealed that it was branching out into the digital metaverse after purchasing RTFKT Studios, an outfit that makes NFTs and digital shoes for the metaverse.
In November, last year, Nike filed several new trademarks that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual Nike-branded sneakers and apparel.