DraftKings Charts NFT Long-Game With Marketplace Debut

Tom Brady’s NFT platform, Autograph, is powering the sports betting app’s foray into the world of digital collectibles.

AccessTimeIconAug 10, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:37 p.m. UTC

Sports betting site DraftKings is getting into the non-fungible token (NFT) game with an in-house NFT platform it unveiled Monday.

A collaboration with Tom Brady’s NFT side hustle, Autograph, the DraftKings Marketplace will begin “dropping” NFTs featuring the U.S. football Buccaneers quarterback on Wednesday. More athlete drops will closely follow, DraftKings said. The DraftKings-Autograph tie-up was first revealed last month.

The NFTs will be minted on an “eco-friendly Ethereum layer 2” that DraftKings declined to identify. The company said it recently acquired a Canadian NFT startup, Scarcity Labs, to assist in development. Representatives for that art-focused collective did not immediately comment. Brady’s Autograph appears to be built on Polygon.

The marketplace debut comes as the NFT craze roars back to life, sending deep-pocketed collectors and retail traders racing to trade billions of dollars of blockchain-registered images. Sports companies and athletes are also angling to get into the lucrative mix.

DraftKings is positioned to tap that energy with its 5.5 million-strong user base, said Joel Belfer, a former banking analyst for Guggenheim who writes about sports collectibles for industry newsletter Mint Condition.

“Offering NFTs on the same platform gives DraftKings an advantage: a large existing user base plugged into a platform they already trust, which can’t be overstated given how many new marketplaces are popping up,” he said.

Turning that audience on to NFTs – and keeping them engaged – is a key focus of the marketplace rollout, according to DraftKings President Matt Kalish. 

Part of the strategy comes through offering the audience layered, long-term products. Debut NFTs from the “preseason access collection” will give buyers an early go at future drops from athletes including hockey great Wayne Gretzky, tennis star Naomi Osaka and others.

“Whether someone is well-versed or barely familiar with digital collectibles, we envision DraftKings Marketplace being a premier platform for all within a trend that is decidedly here to stay,” Kalish said in a statement.

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Holds Above $21K in Weekend Trading; Solana Web3 Phone Faces Long Odds

Ether stays over $1,200; prior blockchain phones have failed because the market has realized their functionalities are already available via apps that can be loaded onto any old phone.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Opaque Platforms and Intertwined Protocols Pose Big Risk to Crypto

Second article in a series about risks we’re thinking about during these crypto down days.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Putin Weaponizes Inflation

Examining a recent propaganda speech from the Russian leader.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Morgan Creek Is Trying to Counter FTX’s BlockFi Bailout, Leaked Call Shows

FTX’s $250 million credit facility offer – if inked as initially proposed – stood to effectively wipe out all BlockFi shareholders, including Morgan Creek Digital, the firm told its investors.

CoinDesk - Unknown