Tom Brady’s NFT company, Autograph, announced that it raised $170 million in its series B round of funding. This comes after July’s announcement of a partnership with DraftKings, showing that Autograph is gaining traction among major companies.
Popular sports stars have already used Autograph’s services. Naomi Osaka released a manga collection through Autograph. Customers can buy a mystery container that contains one digital collectible. Each collectible is a set of 10. There will be 11,000 of these collectibles in circulation. So, sports fans who are also collectors can trade with each other to try to complete the set.
Osaka’s newest NFT collection drops Thursday, January 20. She also has past NFT collections that new customers can hunt for. This is not only a potential engagement tool for star athletes. It’s also an additional revenue stream because stars can automatically get paid each time their NFTs are traded.
Here’s how Autograph works and why stars would choose NFTs over traditional collectibles, like trading cards.
What Tom Brady’s NFT Company Does
Autograph helps celebrities launch NFT collections without falling on their faces. NFTs remain a novel technology that few celebrities have learned to leverage effectively. While blockchain technology and the metaverse hold promise, these remain speculative industries.
So, a company that can help celebrities align their personal brands with this new technology fills an important market need. It’s likely why Autograph secured $170 million in series B funding.
Why Stars Would Use NFTs
Traditional collectibles, like trading cards, have been popular among sports fans for generations. But NFTs offer stars two important things that traditional collectibles can’t.
First, NFTs allow stars to offer perks or unlockable content with their NFTs. So, someone who buys a Naomi Osaka NFT could also get VIP tickets to one of her matches or a behind-the-scenes practice video. These promises can be built into NFTs and make certain editions more valuable than others.
Second, NFTs allow stars to be compensated every time their NFT gets traded. For example, Naomi Osaka could’ve built a 10% commission into her NFTs. In that scenario, she would get 10% of the price that an NFT’s owner sold it at. This would be true every time someone sold or traded her NFT. Because her NFTs are on a blockchain, this calculation would happen automatically. It adds convenience and financial potential for stars.
So, sports stars can use NFTs to engage fans and profit each time fans trade NFTs with each other. They’re potentially exciting collectibles for fans and profitable low-risk ventures for sports stars. Executed properly, dropping an NFT collection can be a win-win for sports stars and their fans.
Presumably, Autograph can be a middleman that ensures NFTs are created properly and drops fit with celebrity brands. Tom Brady’s NFT company serves a valuable purpose for sports stars and celebrities who want to leverage new technology to engage fans in new ways.