Mizuno, one of Japan’s leading sportswear manufacturers, has entered the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the launch of its first-ever line. The company announced that it had released three sets of tokens, one for each of the sports that it specializes in, on the OpenSea platform. The NFTs will be sold at auction on the Ethereum network.
Judo is one of Mizuno’s core sports, with the company being one of the world’s largest manufacturers of judo gi, which it supplies to national teams in Japan, the USA, Brazil, and France. The firm has commissioned digital artist Ryokke Draw to create artwork featuring representations of several Japanese champion judo practitioners, including Naohisa Takafuji and Hifumi Abe, the men’s champions, and Naori Hamada, the women’s 78kg gold medallist at the Tokyo Olympics.
Mizuno has also released seven commemorative Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro running shoes, each with a unique Osaka Marathon theme, in seven different rainbow colors. The running-themed NFTs can be redeemed for the “actual” shoes in the same design, with the company stating that these shoes will be the “only” ones of their kind “in the world.” Mizuno is a major sponsor of the Osaka Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label race and one of the most significant sporting events in Japan.
Mizuno has also released three redeemable NFT soccer boots in its Mizuno Alpha range, offering an additional avenue for sports enthusiasts and collectors to engage with the brand.
The Japanese government has identified NFTs as a potential growth engine and has launched a dedicated ministerial-level task force to facilitate the sector’s growth. The government has also sought to promote NFT-related businesses by presenting NFT awards to local government bodies.
Bidding for the Mizuno NFTs will close at midnight Japan Standard Time on March 31, with bids opening at ethereum (ETH) 0.5 for the running items and wrapped ethereum (WETH) 0.3 for the judo artwork and soccer attire.