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    Asics steps further into web3 with Solana partnership

    The sportswear company is releasing two new pairs of lifestyle shoes dubbed the “UI Collection,” which come with a NFT and can only be purchased using cryptocurrency.

    Asics has launched a new campaign aimed at promoting physical activity in the web3 community – and also at positioning the brand as a big stepper in the emerging space. 

    Today, the Japanese sportswear company unveils the “UI Collection,” created in partnership with blockchain brand Solana. The collection – which according to Asics “has been exclusively designed for everyday activity” – includes two versions of Asics’ GT-2000 shoe: a white “light mode,” and a black “dark mode.”

    “The understated Solana-inspired design comes from the user interfaces (UI) on computer and phone screens to symbolize a healthy balance between screen time and physical activity,” Asics said in a statement.

    “We see web3 as an opportunity to take our mission to inspire physical activity for healthy body and mind to a new audience – at a global scale – and encourage them to be active through fun and exciting blockchain-based experiences built around our products,” Joe Pace, director of web3 and digital goods at Solana, told The Drum in an email. 

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    Every shoe purchase will come with a “loyalty Asics Badge NFT,” which the brand says “will unlock access to future tokengated ASICS rewards and experiences.” Purchasers will also unlock a chance to receive additional NFTs from Asics and web3 brand Stepn via airdrop which will provide access to an app called “Move and Earn” that rewards physical activity with NFTs. 

    The UI Collection is exclusively available for purchase via Solana Pay, Solana’s free payment platform. Payments can only be using USD Coin (USDC), an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency known as a “stablecoin” – which means its value is programmed to fluctuate in lockstep with that of a fiat, reserve currency, in this case the US dollar.

    “The launch of the Asica x Solana UI Collection is a major step forward for Asics web3 commerce,” Pace said in a statement. “We’re proud to leverage Solana Pay and partner with Stepn to help us scale our mission to inspire the global web3 community to create healthy habits with our products.”

    Last year, Asics released an NFT collection called “Sunrise Red,” the profits from which went to the digital artists who had created the designs for the tokens. 

    The new UI Collection is available for preorder now through 1:59am ET on November 9.

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