Candy Digital, a new non-fungible token (NFT) developer, has already signed Major League Baseball (MLB) as its first long-term client. The company was founded by sports gear company Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin, Mike Novogratz CEO of digital assets fund manager Galaxy Digital, and investor Gary Vaynerchuk. Candy is owned by the founders’ respective companies, with Fanatics having majority ownership.
Each of the three founders brings something specific to the table. Rubin can present Candy to over 80 million Fanatics consumers while Novogratz and Vaynerchuk bring expertise in blockchain and social media marketing, respectively.
The NFTs will be developed by digital artists and be available on Candy’s platform. The first collectible to be launched on the platform will be a single edition and of Lou Gehrig’s speech in 1939 about his ALS diagnosis. Profits from the sale will support ALS charities.
Candy is launching a branded storefront and secondary market where consumers can collect, view, and trade the NFTs.
“At its core, Candy is about allowing everyone to own a piece of their passion – whether that be sports or gaming, fashion or art, music or pop culture, the goal is to broaden the fanbase of digital collectibles,” said Co-Chair Michael Rubin.
In terms of technology, Sportico reported that Candy is using Palm from ConsenSys. Technically this runs on a sidechain which interoperates with the public Ethereum mainnet. The net effect is that transactions are far less expensive because of the gas cost savings and its 99% more energy efficient, going some way to address ESG concerns.
Meanwhile, Candy is marketing itself as MLB’s official NFT ecosystem. However, the league already has a partnership with Topps for digital collectibles. MLB stated that the Topps deal is for trading cards, whereas it will now offer a greater variety, including artwork, video moments, and in this initial case, a speech.
Soccer club Manchester City is in a similar situation. It has a games NFT deal with Animoca Brands but recently issued an unrelated NFT to celebrate its Premier League win.