Sportswear giant Adidas made $23.4 million in a single afternoon from its debut “Into the Metaverse” NFT drop yesterday. 

The collection’s phenomenal sales volume over the last 24 hours propelled it to the very top of the leaderboard as the hottest NFT project in the world right now, according to CryptoSlam

The drop was a collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC, itself currently the seventh biggest collection by sales volume), PUNKS Comic NFT creator Pixel Vault, and private NFT collector gmoney. Adidas first unveiled these plans at the beginning of December when it bought a Bored Ape and overlaid it with Adidas apparel.

It was like a hot sneaker drop

There were a total of 30,000 Adidas Originals NFTs up for grabs, minted on the Ethereum blockchain, with 20,000 of them first offered to holders of Pixel Vault NFTs, Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFTs, and holders of gmoney or Adidas Originals POAPs, Ethereum-based proof of attendance badges.

The sportswear company first tweeted about their mysterious POAP token last month, although it didn’t appear to commemorate any particular event. Still, this being crypto, people went ahead and minted them anyway, expecting everything to become clear at a later date. 

Things became clearer when Adidas announced its early access sale. Within the space of an afternoon, all 20,000 early access tokens had sold out. 

Here’s where it gets interesting. Of the remaining 10,000 tokens, “Adidas and partners” held onto 380 of them for “future events” and released the remaining 9,620 to the public at a cap of two per customer. Those sold out in less than a second. 

One customer managed to circumvent the cap by deploying a custom smart contract that generated 165 sub-smart contracts, each with a unique address, to mint two NFTs apiece from Adidas’s smart contract in one transaction, before sending the 330 tokens over to the creator’s main ETH address. 

Blockchain engineer Montana Wong provided a neat breakdown of the procedure on Twitter.

According to Wong, the contract’s creator paid around $104,000 in gas fees to process this, in addition to around $252,000 for the NFTs. Each NFT retailed for 0.2 ETH, meaning the creator needed the tokens’ value to rise to 0.28 ETH each to break even. Considering prices have skyrocketed to almost 0.8 ETH, their effort has paid for itself three times over. 

Hours after Wong wrote the thread, the contract’s creator publicly validated his explanation in a tweet. 

The drop is great news for Adidas, which has made a concerted effort to gain an early foothold in the metaverse. Last month it announced a Coinbase partnership as part of its metaverse strategy. Around the same time, Metaverse game The Sandbox announced that Adidas had a parcel of land earmarked for its use. 

Those lucky enough to have grabbed an Adidas NFT will get exclusive access to Adidas wearables, both IRL and virtual, coming in 2022; no doubt some of the exclusives will appear in The Sandbox.