Nike’s Jordan Brand has partnered with Epic Games, the team behind popular online video game Fortnite, to launch a new range of sports shoes, that are entirely digital.
The trainers appear on two new characters, called skins. They are wearing Nike’s classic Air Force 1s.
The Jordan partnership comes alongside the launch of a new game mode called Downtown Drop, which is a race through city streets, very different from the traditional Fortnite battle royale.
Fortnite which debuted two years ago and has become a dominant pop cultural force, has become an attractive channel for brands looking to appeal to the younger demographic.
The sale of skins, a form of in-game purchases referred to as micro-transactions, have proved to be a lucrative move for creating revenue from the otherwise free-to-play Fortnite.
Epic Games reportedly grossed $3 billion in profit in 2018, largely thanks to the popularity of Fortnite.
More major marketers have been working with the publisher to get in front of the eyeballs of Fortnite players, who tend to skew young, encompassing desirable but elusive and generally ad-averse consumer groups like Gen Z.
The game was also downloaded more than 100 million times on iOS within 5 months of its launch, pointing to its large mobile audience.
The move is the latest crossover partnership between Fortnite and other pop-culture icons.
Last year, Epic Games teamed up with the NFL to bring virtual jerseys to the game.
Earlier this month, Epic introduced a new place on the Fortnite map modeled after the house from the “John Wick” movie franchise. There have also been “Avengers” crossovers.
These limited-time deals are meant to keep the game fresh, while giving partners some advertising in a youth-friendly venue. Fortnite, which was released in July 2017, now has roughly 250 million registered users.