As part of its partnership with NBA 2K20, which kicked off last year, Nike has just revealed that players will have more chances to grab exclusive sneakers inside the video game. With the MyPLAYER Nation Playoffs set to on April 18, the brand now plans to drop extra Gamer Exclusive limited-edition sneakers as the tournament progresses. Nike has already launched pairs of LeBron James' and the late Kobe Bryant's signature shoes in 2K20, which gamers could unlock on its SNKRS app by completing different in-game challenges and, on April 11, it will be dropping a new one: the Zoom Freak "All Bros 4," designed for the Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Inspiration — "Growing up with Kostas, Thanasis, Alexis, and Francis, brotherhood has always been everything to Giannis. In turn, he also knows that brotherhood extends beyond the bounds and bonds of family," Nike said about the design inspiration for this new Gamer Exclusive sneaker. "The All Bros 4 GE again honors Giannis’ belief that family runs deeper than blood and that the same sense of kinship can be found amongst teammates and friends."
More on the way — In addition to the All Bros 4, Nike told Input it's going to follow that up with four other exclusive styles that players in the NBA 2K20 MyPLAYER Nation Playoffs can compete for and unlock as they play the game. To be clear, these are all sneakers that people can actually wear in real life, not just pairs for their 2K20 avatar. The challenges to get any of these will start on April 11, with Nike expected to reveal the rest of the unreleased GEs in the coming days.
When Nike announced it would be working with NBA 2K in 2019, it instantly created another digital venue for the company to gamify selling sneakers. What made the partnership with the game developer even more interesting is that the brand isn't just dropping existing models, but rather completely designing new ones — and, on top of that, making them rare.
Gamer Exclusives beyond NBA 2K? — It's unclear whether Nike plans to bring this experience outside of 2K20, but you can see how it could play out if it decided to do the same for, say, FIFA, Madden or other sports games. I don't know about you, but I would like Gamer Exclusive versions of Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar's soccer cleats.
What makes 2K20 more appealing to Nike, perhaps, is that NBA sneakers can be great for both performance and lifestyle, whereas soccer or football cleats have a more specific purpose. Either way, these GEs are a perfect way to keep sneakerheads and gamers entertained — which is something we're all in desperate need of right now.