Nike Is Using Its New Digital Studio To Build A Community Of Sneakerheads

by MR Magazine Staff

A year after acquiring Virgin Mega, Nike is revealing some of the early results of its experiments with augmented reality and community-building. Virgin Mega was a startup backed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group that focused on fan communities and shopping. Ron Faris, who led the startup, told me that Nike acquired Virgin Mega in order to explore those same ideas. Since then, the team has turned into a “digital studio” called s23NYC. Faris said it still has a “startup culture,” with a small team of 24 startup veterans working out of the old Converse offices on 23rd Street in New York City. s23NYC has taken over Nike’s SNKRS app, which offers insider access to and content around the latest sneakers. Faris, who is now the general managers of SNKRS and s23NYC, said he treats the app as “our digital piranha tank.” “This is like our lab,” he said. “We drop something in the piranha tank and see how fast the piranhas swarm around it.” Read more at TechCrunch.