It’s no surprise Tom Brady would get a lot of attention for his new non-fungible token (NFT) company. The six-time Super Bowl winner is an American superstar and his off-field venture, Autograph, is thriving. But Autograph is not just the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback’s doing. Behind it stands 23-year-old Dillon Rosenblatt.
The son of entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt, Dillon Rosenblatt came to his own entrepreneurship early. He got a first-class education at the prestigious USC Iovine and Young Academy, a school for young entrepreneurs. At age 15, Rosenblatt created his first company, an app called Tutor that was designed to bring students and tutors together.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and hunger, growing up in an entrepreneurial household, it was always my dream and what I wanted to do,” he said.
Now he gets to work with a legend, who just happens to be a friend of the family.
“It was a mix of pre-existing interest in sports and the relationship with Tom that led to this,” Rosenblatt said. “Tom wanted to be one of the bigger names leading the charge of stepping into this world.”
Rosenblatt first heard about crypto in college. In2019, he noticed the NFT space and projects like NBA Top Shot. However, it was when he was working on a crypto hedge fund idea that he started looking deeper into the NFT space and started thinking about the concept of taking talent and concepts mainstream and adapt them to the digital world.
“A light bulb just went off in my head and the whole concept of ‘let’s bring the most amazing people we can together and become the official partner to the world’s biggest talent,’” Rosenblatt said. “From that moment I brought it to Tom and to the people around me that I knew could really help move the needle.”
Autograph has launched several sports NFT collections with athletes across the world since its launch in April, the latest in cooperation with four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.
The choice to work with athletes came from Rosenblatt’s interest in football (his favorite team? The Seattle Seahawks, perhaps the one thing on which he and Brady disagree) and his prior relationship with Brady. “I’ve always been a big football fan and we had known Tom years prior, with his interest in the space,” Rosenblatt said. “It’s always been a dream to work with Tom in some capacity.”
Sports collectibles were an easy way to step into the digital art space because owning an autograph or a signed baseball in the physical world has been a trend for many generations, Rosenblatt said.
While Tom Brady is among the list of talents whose autographs can be bought and owned through platforms like DraftKings, one of Autograph’s partners, Brady wants to be seen as a business person in this company.
“People would be surprised with how involved Tom is. He is available for a call or text every time and we have a casual shorthand from working and talking together so much. We talk every day about the business. He’s really interested in the story telling,” Rosenblatt said.
The success of the company, however, is thanks to the rise of the NFT market and increasing global interest, Rosenblatt said, and that is what gave him the ability to convince Brady and others, such as entertainment company Lionsgate, that getting involved in Autograph is a risk worth taking.
UPDATE (Aug. 27 15:32 UTC): Corrects information about Richard Rosenblatt.
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