Today is a huge day in the land of digital collectibles, as legendary athletes have combined with some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment to form alliances that will impact the digital world for years to come.
NFL icon Tom Brady recently co-founded Autograph, a new endeavor that intends to release “exclusive digital collections produced by the most iconic names in sports, entertainment and culture”. Autograph made some major moves to turn that mission statement into reality today, as they announced a deal to release sports-related Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) exclusively on the newly announced DraftKings Marketplacelater this summer. Autograph also announced that they will be producing movie-related content with Hollywood studio Lionsgate slated for release this fall. Considering that Brady just publicly announced Autograph in early April, it would be hard to imagine a bigger splash than deals with DraftKings and Lionsgate for the digital collectibles startup.
DraftKings is a sports gaming giant that provides daily fantasy contests, sports betting and online casino games to millions of users. Their announcement to enter the NFT space with sports-related options through Autograph is particularly interesting because DraftKings is, effectively, trying to provide their core audience of sports bettors and fantasy players with every potential method one can engage with and invest in professional athletes. Few companies, if any, have a larger ready-made base of users that could realistically be interested in buying and selling sports-related digital collectibles than DraftKings.
Autograph’s Presence in Digital Sports Collectibles
Autograph’s current lineup of famous athletes includes golfer Tiger Woods, former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, skater Tony Hawk, tennis star Naomi Osaka and the greatest hockey player in history Wayne Gretzky. Brady and Woods are both legends in their sport that are nearing the end of their careers. Jeter, Hawk and Gretzky are already retired icons. Osaka is a unique case as she’s a very successful tennis star, but currently taking a break from competition despite only being 23 years old. Based on this collection of Autograph looks like they may be laying the foundation for professional athletes to release NFTs after their playing careers are over. It will be super interesting to see if Autograph has any licensing deals with major sports organizations heading into their initial offerings on DraftKings Marketplace.
Regardless of Autograph’s ability to produce Derek Jeter NFTs with a Yankees logo, their initial offerings of iconic athletes could draw considerable interest on DraftKings Marketplace. Autograph does not currently have an NBA star, famous fighter, or historic driver among their ranks, but given the rest of their roster it feels like this would be a key target of theirs moving forward. We will be diving into all of Autograph’s offerings more as details are released.
Autograph’s Move Into TV and Cinema
Autograph’s venture into entertainment with Lionsgate is equally intriguing, as Autograph announced on Twitter that iconic Lionsgate film and TV franchises such as John Wick, The Hunger Games, Mad Men and The Twilight Saga will be coming to Autograph. Iconic movie scenes and timeless one-liners from well-known films and TV shows turned into digital collectibles has the potential to bring new users to Autograph and the DraftKings Marketplace. It also at least opens the door to creating digital collectibles related to specific actors and actresses apart from the TV shows or movies they have been in. Actresss Eva Longoria Baston is already engaged with Autograph at this early stage, and given the names that are engaged in the sports side we can only imagine that she'll be the first in a long line of A-list stars on the roster.
Autograph may be a new company, but it is clear that they have been built to be a major player in the digital collectibles space for years to come by rostering iconic athletes, bringing in business advisors from global brands like Spotify and LiveNation, while aligning themselves with bigtime partners like Lionsgate and DraftKings. That’s all come before Autograph has even released a product that anyone can buy.
How to Make an Autograph Account
You can sign up today on Autograph here