The National Football League Players Association, or NFLPA, in collaboration with sports betting operator DraftKings Inc., announced the launch of a gamified nonfungible token, or NFT, collection to drop on DraftKings Marketplace during the 2022–2023 NFL season. Starting next year, fans will be able to play NFT-based games featuring their favorite NFL Players, according to the company.
OneTeam, the official media business partner of the NFLPA, helped facilitate the deal with DraftKings, giving them the necessary licensing rights to use the name, image and likeness for active NFL players.
In a statement shared on the DraftKings website, Beth Beiriger, senior vice president of product operations for DraftKings Marketplace said, “The future of fandom is unfolding in front of us, and few organizations beyond DraftKings are as equipped to capitalize on the increasing intersection between sports and NFTs that will be cornerstones of engagement and entertainment within Web 3.0.”
The DraftKings Marketplace went live this past August with its inaugural Tom Brady NFT collection in partnership with the NFT platform co-founded by Brady, himself, called Autograph. Besides NFTs, Brady further displayed his backing of crypto by giving a fan 1 BTC for his 600th touchdown pass.
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The announcement suggested that DraftKings’ upcoming NFTs will enable customers to buy and sell collectibles via the Polygon network, and use them within games against other players. The goal of the DraftKings’ NFT experience is to “create authentic connections for avid fans,” according to Sean C. Sansiveri, general counsel and head of business affairs at NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the NFLPA.
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Last month, the NFL also entered a collaboration with Ticketmaster to tie NFT collectibles to select game tickets when purchased, emphasizing the pro sports league’s broad adoption of blockchain technology.