Non-fungible token (NFT) platform Autograph, co-founded by seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady, announced a strategic partnership with movie studio Lionsgate and fantasy sports and gambling company DraftKings. In addition, the platform also announced multi-year contracts with several renowned athletes, including Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka, and Tony Hawk, who will be joining Autograph’s Advisory Board. The partnership with DraftKings is a huge strategic move for both Autograph and the fantasy sports site.
The launch of Autograph was announced earlier this year following the boom in the NFT industry. The app differentiated itself from previous offers by targeting the pop culture and entertainment industry exclusively and limiting NFT collections launched on the app to celebrities through contract deals and partnerships. Since then, more NFT platforms have launched targeting pop culture and mainstream audiences through exclusive NFT auctions such as Fanatics’ Candy and Beeple’s WENEW.
Sports-related NFTs officially licensed by Autograph will be exclusively sold on DraftKings Marketplace, which is expected to launch in the coming months. The marketplace is designed to attract a mainstream audience. It will have fewer barriers to access than other offers and support secondary-market transactions.
Where Autograph brings the rights deals to the table, DraftKings can contribute users and traffic from its existing gambling and fantasy sports offerings. The site had more than 14 million visits last month, according to SimilarWeb and is the largest fantasy sports destination in the United States. Perhaps the only thing that’s missing is a partner with existing blockchain technology credentials. At the same time, a company without a crypto background might make the solution more accessible.
The DraftKings launch is news in itself. In Europe, Sorare is a fantasy soccer platform based on NFTs with rumors of a huge funding round in the works with a multi-billion valuation. Nasdaq-listed DraftKings has a market capitalization of $19.6 billion.
The partnership with Lionsgate will enable Autograph to launch NFTs for various films and television properties owned by the firm, including Hunger Games, Mad Men and the Twilight saga.
The first official NFT launch on Autograph is set to happen later this Summer. New users who sign up to become members will be able to tokenize their names for free.
“Autograph brings users closer to the world’s most legendary sports and entertainment icons by working hand in hand with our partners to co-produce exclusive digital collections and experiences that can’t be found anywhere else,” said Dillon Rosenblatt, Co-Founder and CEO at Autograph. “Our team is dedicated to providing value to our users through an offering defined by creativity, simplicity and fun as we work to usher in a new era of digital collecting.”
Meanwhile, NFT Sports platform SportsIcon completed a round of funding led by prominent figures such as NBA champion Andrew Bogut. The Cleveland Cavaliers launched an NFT collection on NFT marketplace Foundation, and luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana is set to launch their own collection on digital marketplace UNXD.