Legendary basketball player Michael Jordan, with the support of his son Jeffrey Jordan, has launched HEIR, a platform to build community between athlete brands and their fans through emerging technologies such as web3. There’s no surprise that HEIR’s focus will be on non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Besides the Jordans, HEIR was also co-founded by Daniel George, an alumnus of Nike, FIFA, and Rakuten and Jeron Smith, who was previously at Nike, Sony and was Deputy Director at the White House Office of Digital Strategy.
HEIR completed a $10 million round of funding earlier this year led by Thrive Capital.
One of the key priorities of the platform is to generate and maintain engagement with supporters, especially fans from Gen Z and millennials. Most NFT initiatives, in one way or another, are looking to engage a younger audience and cater to a changing technological world. However, these technologically native consumers can be complex to attract and it’s even harder to maintain their engagement.
The use of influencers is a key strategy to engage a younger audience. HEIR’s use of athletes and its name association with Michael Jordan is likely to help the company attract a younger generation.
HEIR’s Solana operations will require consumers to purchase HEIR tokens to participate in the platform’s activities, including NFT transactions. This feature may scare off consumers who don’t have experience in crypto and further accentuate the defined demographic which the project is targeting. However, other platforms have found ways to work around these issues by enabling consumers to make conventional payments.
Exclusivity of deals among athletes and sports entities has proven complex in the NFT space and many names have launched digital assets with more than one company. Given that scarcity is a crucial attraction of collectibles, the value gets diluted as athletes sign multiple deals. HEIR is entering a crowded market with the likes of Tom Brady’s Autograph, Calaxy, SportsIcon, and others.
However, HEIR may be looking to do something more than simple NFTs.
“What HEIR Inc. is developing is purpose-built for a new era of athlete enterprise, opening the door for richer storytelling and deeper consumer engagement,” says Jeffrey Jordan. “The Jordan name has cultivated a loyal community for more than 35 years; the focus now is passing that legacy on to the next generation. We hope to continue to build and invest in businesses that bring that same reverence to the media and tech space.”