Marketing and production company Dolphin Entertainment and cryptocurrency exchange FTX.US have announced a partnership to develop a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for sports and entertainment brands. FTX will provide technical expertise and Dolphin will take on the branding and marketing, leveraging the multiple PR brands it owns.
Apart from technical expertise, FTX brings deep pockets. Last month sister firm FTX Trading raised $900 million at an $18 billion valuation.
One of the issues with many NFT marketplaces today is the barriers to entry for consumers unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Digital wallets and NFT marketplaces are often separate, and credit card or fiat currency payments are not always available. FTX’s technology can address these challenges. The NFTs will be available for direct purchase through the app and customer support will be provided when necessary. Purchasing options will also include credit cards and cryptocurrencies.
This project is looking to put NFTs at the same level as other consumer products. As such, there are still challenges that go beyond the quality of the product and ease of access. For one, NFTs are still seen by many as not much more than a URL and their utility is limited to the value purchasers put in the ownership of the digital asset. They also have a poor environmental reputation, but some blockchains are far less electricity hungry than others.
Nevertheless, Dolphin’s reach and the funding available has the potential to make NFTs more mainstream. Some popular products were not well understood when launched and are now part of everyday society. NFTs can be the next.
“Dolphin’s reach and scale across all of pop culture is very impressive to us,” said the President of FTX.US Brett Harrison. “We are excited to build marketplaces with Dolphin, both because of their ability to access content and IP, but also because they are leaders in public relations and influencer marketing for every major vertical of entertainment.”
Dolphin launched an NFT division earlier this year, Dolphin Digital Studios, which is dedicated to promoting NFTs for its clients. The division has partnered with famous chefs to launch a digital collectible recipe card system.
Meanwhile, FTX has a long term partnership with NBA team Miami Heat for it’s stadium’s naming rights, which is now called the FTX Arena. The cryptocurrency exchange also has a $210 million naming rights agreement with global esports organization TSM.
FTX is one of the most well-known companies in the crypto world and Dolphin’s network has extensive reach in the entertainment sector. Both are highly respected in their industries and the project between the two is likely to become a significant competitor for similar offerings such as Tom Brady’s Autograph, which recently partnered with DraftKings and Lionsgate, and Fanatic’s Candy.