- DraftKings enters agreement with NFLPA
- Agreement will allow DraftKings to sell gamified NFTs
- Gamified NFTs from DraftKings will be available from 2022
Sports betting giant DraftKings achieved its objective of expanding its blockchain operations as it signed a deal with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to sell gamified NFTs. Envisioned as a successful marriage between sports and NFT games, DraftKings’ gamified NFTs will hit the market in 2022-23.
DraftKings Focused on NFL for Gamified Offering
The said NFTs are still at an initial development stage. Only a few details regarding their functions were announced. The digital collectibles will be available at DraftKings’ existing NFT forum which is the DraftKings Marketplace. The NFTs will bear the names and images of current NFL players and will be available for sale, purchase and use in select contests. DraftKings has previously sold collectibles worth $20 million featuring sportspersons Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods and Tom Brady.
DraftKings president Matt Kalish said in July 2021 that the company chose to diversify its NFTs to keep up with their customers’ lifestyles. DraftKings saw its customer base investing heavily in crypto and digital assets during the pandemic.
On opening up to deals from other sports associations, Beth Beiriger SVP product operations at DraftKings Marketplace said that the NFL is the main focus for the offering. Beiriger further disclosed that a dedicated team would overview the NFT development.
Sean C. Sansiveri, head of business affairs and general counsel for NFL Players Inc. said he was pretty eager to see how the gamified NFTs will pan out. Sansiveri said that various products could have an NFT extension when blockchain tech is applied to them. This view might come off as somewhat aggressive, but in the light of a possible NFT extension for each of NFLPA’s 87 licensed partners, Sansiveri’s view seems to be a broad take.
Gamified NFTs in Vogue Before DraftKings Deal
While the current DraftKings-NFL deal is making news, sports-related NFTs are not as novel. Previously, French company Sorare had signed a deal with the MLSPA on its fantasy soccer trading cards in July 2021. The firm reached a valuation of $4.3 billion in September 2021 after raising a $680 million Series B round of funding. Since then, Sorare also opened its office in the United States and is speaking to more leagues about its future product lineup.
Another deal is the Turner Sports-Blocklete Games agreement. The deal allowed the sale and purchase of competitive NFT-based avatars in golf contests. Dapper Labs, another consumer-focused blockchain company has been using NBA Top Shot NFT avatars in its basketball arcade game Hardcourt. Dapper also has a deal with the NFL and NFLPA for its football platform All Day. NFL Players are also promoting the said marketplace on social media.