If you’ve been looking to get into the NFT game, and have a particular love for all things running, you might be a little more than thrilled to learn about Run As You Are, otherwise known as RAYA.
For those out there who might not quite know what an NFT is all about just yet (no shame in that, Pete Davidson has an entire parody song about this), the easiest way it can be described is this: think of an NFT, or non-fungible token, as an original, digital collector’s item.
Unlike traditional crypto-currency, an NFT is completely unique, and therefore by nature cannot be traded for something of equal value. So, you can imagine how special it is to own one.
And one recently launched NFT project, created by runners for runners, continues this trend. Aiming to put diversity and inclusion within the global community of runners at its forefront, RAYA is spearheaded by a collaboration of… well, people who love to run.
This includes Vancouver Running Co., a BC-based specialty running store, and OddFutur3, a Web3 creative studio, plus some other collaborating brands at both the local and international levels.
Like, for example, Swiss-engineered performance sportswear brand On. On will be RAYA’s very first brand partner – they promote movement, technology and sustainability at the forefront of their brand values, so their partnership with RAYA is a perfect match.
According to Nick Lo, one of the brand’s founders, “the long-term vision of RAYA is to be a borderless community, where everyone is welcome.”
Starting off as a “reimagined membership offering at Vancouver Running Company,” it didn’t take long for the venture to evolve into what it is today. And, according to Lo, that’s “a global membership with local roots, which brings together a network of amazing retail partners around the world.”
Although the RAYA NFT project might have roots in Vancouver, it’s meant to be incredibly inclusive, accessible to runners globally – Lo states that the project was “made for the world. The long-term vision of RAYA is to be a borderless community, where everyone is welcome.”
The concept is simple. These mintable pieces of generative digital art, created by Marlon Soriano and animated by Vancouver-based studio Ordinary Folk, celebrate diversity in running by featuring 10 different characters, all of which represent different runner archetypes (such as “The Trail Runner”, “The Newcomer”, or “The Fashionista”).
But that’s not all they’re based on. Each piece will also include different gender identities, colours, backgrounds, and running shoes – which will be based on official styles offered by On, and RAYA’s other brand partners.
RAYA NFTs will be randomly generated, and getting an image featuring On (or other brand partners) means that purchasers will enjoy access to special brand-specific perks, like products, events or experiences.
And while that sounds pretty awesome, that’s not the only thing RAYA minters will enjoy. Although specific perks vary depending on which randomly-generated brand each artwork features, every NFT holder will get general benefits, like access to membership perks from local run retail partners around the world, as well as access to the RAYA platform and community.
The NFT will be purchasable via cryptocurrency or credit card. Exact dates and prices are to be announced at the end of August via RAYA’s Discord channel, although prices are stated to be in line with standard annual membership fees, according to Lo.