Even people who don’t watch sports have likely heard of NFL legend Tom Brady. With multiple Super Bowl championships and a solidified place in pop culture, Brady has become a recognizable face within and outside the world of sports.
Now, this football icon is set to take on the digital world as well. It was announced on April 6, 2022, that Brady will be partnering with ESPN and Autograph to release several collections of NFTs that are in celebration of his over two-decade-long career in the NFL.
NFTs for the NFL
According to the official announcement, the first NFT collection will be tied to the new Man in the Arena: Tom Brady documentary. The 10-episode documentary was aired on the ESPN streaming service around the time of release.
The collection also featured three limited editions of ESPN covers that celebrate Brady’s career highlights. An additional 50 signed NFTs from the athlete were also included and all these were released on April 6, 2022.
The collection, called Man in the Arena: Tom Brady Collection, is to be the first of several collections released on the DraftKings Marketplace. A second collection titled “Back in the Arena” will be released along with the 10th episode of the series.
This marks the first-ever NFT collection from ESPN but the network seems optimistic about possible future projects.
“This unique collection around Tom’s ‘Man in the Arena’ docuseries marks the beginning of our relationship with ESPN,” said Dillon Rosenblatt, Co-Founder and CEO at Autograph, about the announcement, “As the first NFT partner for ESPN, the possibilities across sports and technology are endless, and we couldn’t be more excited to get this content out to the world in a massive way.”
NFTs have become more of a mainstay in the sports world these days, and for good reason. Sports fans are known to spend billions each year on merchandise and memorabilia of their favorite athletes and teams. Thus NFTs of a legend like Tom Brady are sure to be popular among his supporters.
But more than a novelty collectible, these NFTs are tied to a digital celebration of one of the most beloved sports figures of the 21st century. This offers fans a truly once in a lifetime experience and is a great way to kick off ESPN’s foray into the world of NFTs.
What Comes Next?
These new collections seem to be ESPN dipping its toes in the water of NFTs. Should this endeavor be a success, we could see top athletes releasing NFTs to commemorate their careers as a rite of passage.
For sports fans, this could be a new and exciting way to get even closer to the sports and stars they love.
As Kevin Lopes, Vice President of Sports Business Development & Innovation at ESPN, explains, “Our work with ESPN Edge has led us to where we are today, exploring new, innovative ways of engaging fans, and we are thrilled to partner with Autograph for this collection and others in the future.”