Fortnite x Jordan Blends Your Real-World and Online Personas
This week, Fortnite launched its latest licensed content partnership, this time with Jordan. There’s a new Downtown Drop limited-time game mode and new skins that feature the Air Jordan 1s. The Jordan partnership comes just a week after Fortnite had its John Wick crossover event, promoting the new movie, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum.
Fortnite appears to be accelerating its efforts to integrate pop culture, including the virtual Marshmello concert, two Avengers promotions, John Wick, and the NFL.
Increasingly, Fortnite allows players to build their personal brands. For digital natives, digital and real personas are one and the same. The NY Times recently profiled 100 Thieves, an esports organization, highlighting the rise of style in the gaming community. As gaming goes mainstream, traditional brands are taking an interest in the space and players have a broader range of options for self-expression.
Via Fortnite, the Jordan brand brings its gear into virtual worlds — an incremental and synergistic market — just as Jordan and Nike did with NBA 2K. In our view, the arrival of Jordan footwear into the world of Fortnite takes the strategy a step further, outside of basketball into esports more broadly.
For gamers, their online persona is an extension of their real-world persona. The purchase decision is not about a skin with Jordan shoes; rather, it’s about aligning with the Jordan brand. Virtual goods are a massive business today and will continue to grow, particularly as we get closer and closer to the metaverse. For example, we estimate that the Fortnite x Marshmello concert generated more than $30M in revenue from virtual goods, compared with $5M to $10M on a typical day.
It’s early but we’re starting to see commitments from brands with deep pockets and big budgets. Net-net, Fortnite is well positioned to remain the leader in building a dominant virtual world.
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