Big Brand NFTs Are Here

Big Brand NFT

The NFT landscape has evolved from early experiments, to indie projects that sometimes grab mainstream attention, to global brands with Web3 strategies. Recently, it’s these big brands that are dominating, with an ongoing stream of new developments from huge names such as Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and Louis Vuitton.

Prices may be down on PFPs, metaverse land, and many well known collections, but big brand NFTs are creating some major changes in the landscape, suggesting that there is still a lot more to come from NFTs.

Basically, when you take a look at recent NFT developments, what you’ll find is a lot of news relating to huge, global companies. That’s very different from how things were not so long ago, so let’s take a look at how the space has evolved and what’s coming up next.

How The NFT Landscape has Shifted


The experimental era, when early NFT-like objects weren’t called NFTs. Before Ethereum, you had Colored Coins, Counterparty, and a platform called Ascribe, all on Bitcoin, and what’s regarded as the first NFT, a piece called Quantum, was created on Namecoin in 2014.

2017 to early 2021

In 2017, NFTs gathered a little recognition but were still unheard of outside crypto circles. Development was by this time happening on Ethereum, and both CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties launched in 2017, laying some important foundations. In November 2020, Art Blocks was founded, and as a crypto bull gathered momentum, the JPEG stage was set.

2021 to 2022

The NFT explosion, with hype and prices going through the roof. CryptoPunks became art objects, Bored Apes minted, Beeple and Fidenzas grabbed the spotlight, and huge numbers of new projects launched into the crypto-sphere. But even amid growing mainstream attention, NFT projects still felt indie, creators were anonymous, and corporate players were mainly hanging back.

2023 and ongoing

Despite the NFT market crashing, we appear to be entering the era of big brands executing Web3 strategies. Traditional companies call their NFTs digital collectibles, and there’s an emphasis on easy onboarding through custodial services and credit card payments, along with links between digital assets, and physical products and services.

The Recent Big Brand NFT News

Nike and EA Sports

Big brand NFTs
Image credit: Nike and Electronic Arts

Nike and Electronic Arts are both giants in their respective fields, so it feels like big news that the two are collaborating in Web3, especially as blockchain gaming is a potential-filled area.

Nike Virtual Studios last year launched the .SWOOSH platform, which is focused on NFTs and metaverse-style development, and .SWOOSH will now link up with EA Sports, with the aim of letting users bring assets from .SWOOSH into EA games and experiences.

Details are not yet clear about how the integration will work in practice, but options to outfit in-game avatars in Nike virtual apparel look likely to be implemented.

ANA NFT Marketplace

Big brand NFTs
Image credit: All Nippon Airways

All Nippon Airways is the biggest airline in Japan, and has now launched its own NFT marketplace, ANA GranWhale NFT Marketplace, through ANA NEO, a metaverse-focused arm of the company. This might seem like an unusual combination–airlines and NFTs aren’t usually mentioned together–but it kind of makes sense.

After all, transport attracts enthusiasts (and Japan is the home of otaku culture), who are often into collectibles, and NFTs are a new kind of collectible. In ANA’s case, there is an initial collection of photography NFTs from aviation photographer Luke Ozawa, along with other items including aviation-themed PFPs.

Either way, it’s an interesting move by a huge company, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Mercedes-Benz and Fingerprints DAO

Big brand NFTs
Image credit: Mercedes-Benz

Like several other big companies, Mercedes-Benz now has a Web3/digital division, called Mercedes-Benz NXT, and it just collaborated with Fingerprints DAO and artist Harm van den Dorpel on an NFT drop called Maschine.

Fingerprints is one of the top NFT DAOs, with a substantial art collection and a history of collaborating with artists on new collections. Harm van den Dorpel is a celebrated creator with a history of digital and blockchain experimentation, and Mercedes-Benz is, well, Mercedes-Benz, showing again that major brands are interested in NFTs, in this case taking an artistic angle.

Louis Vuitton Treasure Trunks

Big brand NFTs
Image credit: Louis Vuitton

If you don’t like the word phygital then look away now, because luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton is releasing a collection of NFTs that blend the physical and the digital. The items are called Treasure Trunks and at 39,000 EUR, they’re not cheap.

The collection is part of a Louis Vuitton Web3 project called Via, there will only be a few hundred items, and potential buyers need to sign up for a waiting list. Curiously, the NFTs will be Soul Bound Tokens, meaning they can’t be traded.

Buyers will receive a high-end physical trunk, while the NFT will provide access to future product releases and experiences, both physical and digital, as well as membership of an exclusive community.

Doodles, Red Bull and Camp

Big brand NFTs
Image credit: Red Bull

Burnt Toast, the Doodles artist, recently collaborated with Red Bull for a drop called Red Bull Doodle Art. The collection actually features work from 61 artists who won a contest to be selected, and were then mentored by Burnt Toast.

On top of that, a partnership is lining up between Doodles and physical toy retailers Camp. Doodles will be releasing physical goods and creating in-person immersive experiences, and holders of original Doodles NFTs will receive some special perks.

Reddit Collectible Avatars

Big brand NFTs
Chart from Delphi Digital

Last year’s surge in NFT interest among Reddit users took people by surprise, and there are currently no signs of the enthusiasm abating. This year has seen the release of further Reddit NFTs (or Collectible Avatars, as they’re known), and recent data shows the number of holders climbing to over 10 million, with 82% held by wallets containing one Avatar, meaning there’s a healthy distribution of items.

If you wanted an example of a major Web2 platform that has embraced NFTs (and, arguably, parts of the Web3 ethos), then look no further than Reddit.

Big Brand NFTs Are Here - - 2023

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