DraftKings’ push to rule the world continued Wednesday with the announcement the company is now entering the NFT space with plans to launch DraftKings Marketplace, a site that will allow people to buy, sell, and trade digital collectibles using their existing DraftKings account.
Additionally, the company announced it will be the exclusive distributor of NFT content from Autograph — a company co-founded by aspiring late-night talk show host (and seven-time Super Bowl winner) Tom Brady — that will be offering athlete and celebrity-based digital collectables.
“The NFT boom has reinvented the collectibles industry and driven excitement to early-adopting audiences worldwide — including the DraftKings community,” Matt Kalish, DraftKings co-founder and president, said in a press release. “DraftKings Marketplace will sit at the center of this technological and cultural phenomenon, providing our immense existing customer base with an easily accessible experience that rivals all legacy marketplaces. This initial vision in collaboration with Autograph, and its coveted collection of official digital collectibles, is a vital first step as we enter the emergent NFT market. We aim to usher in this new era by introducing millions of collectors to this evolving space while providing beloved content through an intuitive interface built to win over the long term.”
The first “drops” on DraftKings Marketplace will be the “Pre-Season Access” collection from Autograph, which will feature athletic talent from Autograph’s roster.
“As the world becomes more comfortable with digital ownership and collection, we see an incredible opportunity to bring users high-quality and personalized content from their favorite athletes, artists, and franchises,” Dillon Rosenblatt, founder and CEO of Autograph, said in the release. “NFTs are the perfect medium to connect users to both the things they love and those who share those interests, and we want to leverage today’s incredible partnerships to provide continued value to our community.”
The first releases from Autograph are expected sometime this summer. There was no mention in the press release as to when other, non-Autograph NFTs will be available to buy, sell, or trade on the new platform.
NFTs are easy to explain … not!
For the uninitiated, NFT — non-fungible tokens — are one-of-a-kind digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain. In short: There’s only one of each, they are usually numbered as such, and they strictly live in the ether. An NFT can be literally anything one dreams up and creates.
And while the NFT is certainly still in the “craze” phase of its existence, it’s worth noting the money changing hands is in the “crazy” phase. For instance: An NFT created by the artist known as Beeple sold for $69 million at a Christie’s auction.
Additionally, the NFT market grabbed the attention of the sports gambling world in the midst of the pandemic, and was jump started by Jonathan Bales (founder of FantasyLabs) after he wrote a blog post last January titled “I Spent $35,000 on a Video You Can Find All Over the Internet: Here’s Why.”
As for DraftKings’ foray into the NFT space? It is just one more feather the company seems to be collecting in recent months. The DFS company turned sportsbook operator has branched out into media ownership by purchasing VSiN in March and becoming the distributor of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz a month later. The company also recently launched its own social network, and has exclusive deals in place with numerous sports and entertainment leagues.
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