ESPN Enters the NFT Realm
Earlier this month, Tom Brady’s Web3 brand Autograph signed a multi-year deal, marking ESPN’s entry into the NFT space. The collaboration gave rise to ESPN’s NFT collection based on Tom Brady’s docu-series named “Man in the Arena: Tom Brady.” The Religion of Sports produces the 10-part series co-founded by Tom Brady.
The ESPN NFT collection called “Man in the Arena: Tom Brady Collection” is available for sale on DraftKings Marketplace and aligns with the documentary’s release, which can be viewed on ESPN+, Hulu or Disney+.
Three power players and one of the most famous sports people have contributed to the NFT world.
Who is Tom Brady?
Though he needs no introduction, Tom Brady is an NFL (National Football League) legend. One of the best players American Football has ever seen, Brady’s 22-year career has witnessed some great moments. As quarterback for New England Patriots and currently, for Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady’s association with ESPN has been a longstanding one, with multiple iconic magazines featuring his most recent documentary produced by ESPN and ESPN’s NFT collection that is set to feature Tom Brady. Tom Brady has also co-founded both Autograph and Religion of Sports.
What is an Autograph?
Co-founded by Tom Brady himself, Autograph is essentially a Web3 brand and an NFT platform focusing on sports, entertainment and culture. Autograph aims to launch creative digital collections with its headquarters in Los Angeles that leave users worldwide with an unforgettable experience.
What is the Religion of Sports?
Another of Tom Brady’s ventures, Religion of Sports, is a sports-focused storytelling platform that commemorates legendary moments from various sports. The platform inspires and excites sports enthusiasts with its tagline: We tell stories that make believers.
Why is ESPN Entering the NFT Space?
ESPN has been a leading sports entertainment brand for years. The Walt Disney Company’s indirect subsidiary ABC Inc owns 80% of ESPN. ESPN also has an OTT platform named ESPN+ and has produced the 10-part documentary on famous basketball player Michael Jordan called “The Last Dance.”
Their recent production of Tom Brady’s documentary lines up with the launch of the ESPN NFT as well. The Man in the Arena: Tom Brady NFT Collection, is the result of the combined efforts of Autograph and Religion of Sports. The collection can be viewed on Autograph.io exclusively and can be purchased from the DraftKings Marketplace.
The ESPN NFT collection comprises three magazine covers following Tom Brady’s illustrious career, including the titles he won and his other achievements. Fifty of these NFTs will be signed by Tom Brady. The second collection, named “Back in the Arena,” will drop with the final episode of Tom Brady’s ESPN-produced documentary.
An NFT derives its value from its popularity and utility. With big names like Tom Brady and ESPN involved, the popularity and the benefit of owning an NFT with ESPN’s name attached to it automatically gains immense value.
ESPN’s NFT Collection featuring Brady is valued between $100 to $500 per token. The 50 tokens signed by Tom Brady are valued at $500, whereas the “Tom Brady: Legacy” covers are available for $250. The rest of the 250 “Tom Brady: Greatest of All Time” covers are available for $100 each.
The Dream Team: Sports and NFT
The ESPN NFT Collection’s popularity is a nod in the direction of Sports NFTs, which are extremely popular with investors and collectors. Previously, Sports NFTs in the form of memorabilia with the utility of giving physical collectibles or exclusive match passes have been extremely popular. Currently valued at $14 billion, the sports segment of NFTs alone is expected to touch $75 billion. This prediction is based on the value of Dapper Labs, the most prominent Sports NFT Marketplace, which doubled from $361 million in 2019 to $700 million in 2021.
The most popular Sports NFTs are:
- Statue of LeBron – $21.6 Million (Basketball)
- MLB Champions Brett Gardner – $21.28 Million (Basketball)
- Jermall Charlo: Lions Only GOLD ULTIMATE – $19.1 Million (Boxing)
- Michael Jordan SportPunk – $5.06 Million (Basketball)
- Rare Diego Maradona 2020-21 – $4.3 Million (Football/Association Football/Soccer)
ESPN’s entry into NFTs through the multi-year deal with Autograph starts with Tom Brady but will not end there. ESPN’s 40+ year legacy and impact in the Sports industry transforming into the digital zone will be one to grab a lot of attention in the coming years.