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Seven-Time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady Gives a Bitcoin to a Buccaneers Fan

Seven-Time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady Gives a Bitcoin to a Buccaneers FanSeven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady announced on ESPN that he was giving a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan a bitcoin for returning the star quarterback’s 600th touchdown pass ball. However, experts have said that if the fan kept the ball it possibly could have sold for $500K. Tom Brady Announces Intention to Give Fan a […]

ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

Pro sports leagues are no longer resisting NFTs: Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs’ head of partnerships said pro sports leagues have opened to their arms to NFTs amid the sector's booming growth this year.

Dapper Labs, the firm behind NBA Top Shot, said that pro sports leagues are no longer resistant to exploring nonfungible tokens (NFTs) now that the sector is hot.

Speaking at Yahoo Finance's All Markets Summit on Oct. 25, Dapper Labs’ head of partnerships, Caty Tedman, said that the stance of professional sporting organisations suddenly shifted regarding NFTs amid the sector’s booming growth in early 2021, stating:

"The conversation has shifted dramatically, where I think there's a little bit of an understanding that there's something here. I meet very little resistance these days that NFTs are a thing."

Dapper emerged as a pioneer in officially-licensed sports NFTs when it launched NBA Top Shot in late 2020. The firm has since inked partnerships with other major sporting franchises including the National Football League (NFL), the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the Spanish soccer organization La Liga, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Speaking on Dapper’s initial discussions with the NBA, Tedman recounted that the organization expressed apprehension over the fact that NFTs had not yet been proven to work as a means for sports merchandising, stating:

"At that time, it was a lot of explanation and we spent a lot of time with lawyers and people in finance to talk about what it looks like to have secondary revenue.You don't have secondary revenue on merchandise [...] what does it look like to have ownership in perpetuity of assets for consumers.”

Tedman added that Dapper had been “lucky to start with the NBA" as the organization's Associate Vice President of Global Partnerships & Media, Adrienne O’Keeffe, was open to exploring NFTs.

Related: Nifty News: The rise of environmentally-focused NFT collections

According to data from CryptoSlam, NBA Top Shot NFTs have generated more than $32 million worth of secondary sales in October, with the figure representing a 58% increase compared to the month before.

Cointelegraph reported last week that daily trade volume for NBA Top Shot NFTs surged more than 440% after the project launched its retro “Run It Back 2005-06” packs on Oct. 15.

Despite the surging growth in October, trading volumes are still well below the heights seen in February, which saw a record of $224 million worth of secondary sales.

ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

Nifty News: DJ Paul Oakenfold to launch album on Cardano, NFL confirms NFTs, and more

The NFL has official confirmed its partnership with Dapper Labs to drop NFTs, renowned DJ Paul Oakenfold is dropping a tokenized album on Cardano, DC is giving away free comic book cover NFTs.

Cardano’s daggy dad turns DJ

Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson has teamed up with legendary electronic dance music (EDM) DJ Paul Oakenfold to launch a tokenized album on Cardano.

Oakenfold is a three-time Grammy Award nominee and his career in the music industry spans back to the early 1980s. His upcoming album dubbed “Zombie Lobster” was announced during the Cardano summit on Sept. 27.

Every aspect of the album will be tokenized on the Cardano blockchain, including cover art, tracks, sleeve notes and remixes. The album is part of a release from an NFT project named “Starship Universe”, which is operated by music entrepreneur Alon Shulman, who manages DJ’s such as Carl Cox.

Starship Universe will reportedly release thousands of NFTs on Cardano, as part of the collaborative partnership. “I’m excited to welcome Starship Universe as it lands on Cardano and we open up new frontiers together,” Hoskinson said.

While a release date for the tokenized album hasn’t been set, Hoskinson teased on Tuesday that it is coming soon, after he changed his Twitter profile picture to a photo of himself working a DJ turn-table.

DJ Chaz the Hosk-Cat (Twitter)

Become a Stoner Cats star

Mila Kunis’s Stoner Cats — the NFT project tied to an animated cartoon series that clogged the Ethereum network during its first drop — is offering two members of the community a chance to feature as guest stars for the second episode.

The audition was announced on Oct. 1 and is calling for people to read lines for two guest characters named “Employee” and “Delivery Guy.” The chosen voice actors will also receive a free NFT from a future Stoner Cats drop, and receive an acting credit on IMDb.

Wannabe voice actors have until midnight on Saturday (PST) to submit their line reads and must record three different variants of each line.

The Stoner Cats show is voiced by a long list of celebs such as Kunis, her husband Ashton Kutcher, Jane Fonda, Seth MacFarlane, Chris Rock and even Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. The first collection of 10,420 NFTs was dropped in July, and sold out within 35 minutes.

NFL confirms partnership with Dapper Labs

The NFL and Dapper Labs have confirmed rumors they are parnering to launch tokenized collectibles.

According to a Sept. 29 announcement, the partnership will see the creation of digital highlight NFTs in a similar fashion to the widely popular NBA Top Shot marketplace.

“The irreplaceable nature of the NFT captures what is special about sports fandom," said Steve Scebelo the President of NFL Players Inc. "Our players are immensely excited for the NFLPA [...] to make this significant push into the digital collectibles market.”

Henry Lowenfels, the chief product officer at OneTeam Partners, who handles digital licensing for the NFL Players Association, said in an interview with GamesBeat they are hoping to replicate the “provenance” of NBA Top Shot with the NFL’s collectibles.

“The games are played pretty much every Sunday during the season, and these moments can be dropped at the same time and be the topic of conversation for the week,” he said.

“I view this as the early innings of blockchain-based products in the same way that people were using the internet in 1993. It was mostly technologists and early adopters of the technology. People want to spend on the things they love,” he added.

Related: Ripple launches $250M fund for NFT creators

DC enters the NFT sector

WarnerMedia’s superhero comic giant DC is giving away free NFTs as part of its upcoming DC FanDome event on Oct. 16.

According to a Sept. 29 report from Variety, DC has partnered with Palm NFT Studio to release tokenized comic book covers depicting superheroes such as Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn.

Comic Book NFTs (DC Comics)

“This drop pays homage to our 87-year history while visualizing a future in which NFTs play a foundational role in novel ways of interacting with DC content and unlocking new experiences,” said Jim Lee, DC’s publisher and chief creative officer.

The NFT drop will go live on Oct. 5, and the tokens will be issued to users who register for the free virtual FanDome event that will be hosted on multiple platforms this month including Twitch and YouTube.

Palm NFT Studio chief content officer Matt Mason, told Variety that varying rarity levels “will make the less-common NFTs more valuable, and the entire collection will grow in importance to fans as it becomes clearer that this drop represents the start of an entirely new chapter for DC Comics, and the use of blockchain as a medium for fan engagement and storytelling.”

Roundup

Social media platform TikTok has announced its first foray into the NFT market with a new collection inspired by its leading trendsetters such as Lil Nas X, Bella Poarch, Brittany Broski and Curtis Roach.

Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 30 that Twitter unveiled an in-development tool that will enable users to display a verified NFT as their profile picture.

ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

Dapper Labs to launch Top Shot for NFL, as FTX signs the Packers’ Aaron Jones

Dapper Labs will reportedly become the second-largest source of digital licensing revenue for the NFL Player’s Association as part of a deal to launch tokenized NFL collectibles.

Dapper Labs, the creators of NBA Top Shot and top crypto derivatives exchange FTX are both turning to the National Football League as part of their expansion initiatives.

Dapper Labs is reportedly working on an NFL collectibles marketplace, while FTX has signed an endorsement deal with star running back Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers.

Dapper’s latest move comes one week after the firm teased — as part of its latest $250 million funding round announcement — that it would venture beyond its basketball-based NFT project NBA Top Shot and expand into other sporting codes and areas of entertainment.

According to Sports Business Journal sources, the new NFL marketplace is expected to launch before the 2022 season begins in January. The NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) will acquire an equity stake in Dapper as part of the deal.

The platform is set to follow the model of Top Shot, which tokenizes NBA basketball highlights and sells them to users as collectibles on its marketplace. While details are sparse, the sources told the publication that deal makes Dapper the NFLPA’s second-largest source of digital licensing revenue — second only to the “Madden” video game series from EA Sports.

The new deal may be related to the NFL’s reported decision at the start of this month to bar all teams from the sponsorship deals with crypto trading firms or NFTs until the league established a strategy “for sports digital trading cards and art.”

The NFL has many crypto-friendly players such as Tom Brady who launched the Autograph NFT marketplace earlier this year, Trevor Lawrence who inked an endorsement deal with Blockfolio and Saquon Barkley who converts his endorsement money into BTC via Strike.

Related: FTX crypto exchange expands to Bahamas with new registration

More FTX endorsements

Meanwhile FTX and owners West Realm Shires Services have signed u Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones for the exchange’s ambassador team in a long-term partnership deal.

Jones joins other star athletes such as three-time NBA Champion Steph Curry and six-time super bowl winner Tom Brady in signing an endorsement deal with FTX.

Jones will be paid in crypto for his promotional work and will also integrate FTX Pay into the website of his youth outreach charity dubbed “A&A All the Way.”

The star running back and his free-agent brother Alvin have purchased an equity stake in FTX via their investment firm Showtyme Ventures, LLC.

The deal is the latest in a long line of sporting promotions and endorsements FTX has undertaken, suggesting the exchange sees sports fans as a fast route to mainstream adoption.

The firm has naming rights deals with Miami Heat’s home stadium, the University of California’s Cal Memorial Stadium along with a sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball.

Last week FTX also partnered with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team for a multiple race season deal.

The FTX branding will be featured prominently on the racing team’s cars and drivers, along with the team's fleet of trucks, in the garages, and in trackside hospitality and communications facilities. FTX branding featured at the Russian Grand Prix on September 26.

As part of the deal, FTX also gains access to work with star drivers from Mercedes such as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, and the firm has also teased that NFT collectibles will be rolled out at a later date.

Cointelegraph has reached out to FTX regarding its sports-related partnership strategy.

ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

Green Bay Packers Running Back Aaron Jones Joins Crypto Exchange FTX’s Ambassador Team

Green Bay Packers Running Back Aaron Jones Joins Crypto Exchange FTX’s Ambassador TeamOn Tuesday, the crypto firm FTX Trading Ltd, announced that the Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones has joined the company as an FTX Ambassador in a long-term partnership. The collaboration with the NFL player follows the firm’s partnership with seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen. FTX Inks Long-Term […]

ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

Nifty News: Dolce & Gabbana’s historic NFTs, ’26 minute’ CryptoPunk flip, FTX spammed

People on Twitter were accusing Pranksy of wash trading a CryptoPunk NFT, Dolce & Gabbana is auctioning luxury NFTs to “approved bidders” and FTX was spammed with tokenized fish.

Dolce & Gabbana knocking on the Dior of NFTs

Luxury Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana is entering the NFT sector with a nine-piece collection of tokenized fashion pieces in collaboration with the Polygon-based UNXD marketplace.

The firm was founded by designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in 1985 and has since evolved into a multinational giant that offers high-end fashion items for eye-watering prices.

Dubbed “Collezione Genesi” the collection consists of nine one-of-one NFTs that are up for auction starting Sept. 20. The NFTs depict illustrations and digital art of garments designed by Dolce and Gabbana, which can be utilized as wearables in an unspecified metaverse.

Ordinary NFT fans won’t be able to ape into this one as the firm is only allowing “approved bidders” to participate in the exclusive auction. The firm tweeted on Sept. 7:

“This is a celebration of human artistry and craftsmanship. Of what humans can do that machines simply cannot on their own. These creations, both digital and physical, are magical. They took thousands upon thousands of hours to craft. They will 100% end up in a museum one day.”

While details are sparse at the time of publication, the firm has hinted at long-term ambitions in the NFT space after stating that it will unveil an “exciting roadmap” next week.

“As with all successful NFT projects, this debut collection is not where the story ends, but where it truly begins. Winning collectors/hodlers can also be assured there will be more exclusive surprises for them in the future,” the firm said.

Temporary CryptoPunk mystery

There were reports this week that well known NFT whale Pranksy held a CryptoPunk NFT for just 26 minutes before selling for a $1.23 million profit.

Web Smith, a writer for online publication 2PMinc highlighted the half hour NFT trade via Twitter on Sept. 6 and noted that:

“If you went to school to specialize in wealth management or finance, you are likely paralyzed by this moment in time.”

The NFT in question is CryptoPunk 6275 which depicts a green zombie with a mohawk. Its transaction history shows that Pranksy bought the NFT for 1,000 Ethereum (ETH) worth $3.89 million on Sept.4.

Smith’s claim that the CryptoPunk was held for 26 minutes appears to be mistaken, as the transaction data shows that Pranksy held the NFT for six hours before selling it for $5.12 million later that day.

In response to Smith’s post, various users accused it of being a wash trade to pump the price of the asset. CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre — who thinks everything is a scam and is rich enough to make defamatory accusations without any evidence — questioned whether it was “to manipulate the market or launder money, or both… that is the only real question.”

Pranksy himself posted about the trade via Twitter on Sept. 5, and emphasized that liquidity is key when dealing with NFTs:

Rakuten to launch NFT marketplace

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is set to launch an NFT marketplace in the spring of 2022.

The Rakuten NFT marketplace will follow a similar route to Jack Ma’s Alibaba-based NFT platform, as it is aimed at enabling IP holders to sell their tokenized content from categories such as sports, entertainment, music and anime.

Along with ecommerce, Rakuten also provides services in sectors such as fintech, telecommunications and entertainment. The firm has stated that the new NFT marketplace will be linked to its other services, with users being able to acquire NFTs as prizes or rewards related to other products and services. There are also plans to enable users to redeem Rakuten points when trading on its NFT marketplace.

Rakuten is no stranger to crypto and blockchain tech, and Cointelegraph reported in March that the firm integrated its digital wallet with its e-commerce platform to enable customers to use Bitcoin for online shopping payments.

Related: 1inch Network sponsors crypto-themed animated NFT series

FTX spammed with fish

Following the launch of FTX’s new NFT marketplace, the platform was spammed with so many pictures of fish that it temporarily changed its NFT submission fee to $500.

Founder and multi-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted on Sept. 6 that ”due to the massive number of submissions, too many of which were just a picture of a fish, we are now charging a one-time $500 fee to submit NFTs.”

In response to the move, a significant number of users pointed out that the expensive fee structure will deter people from using the platform while highlighting that there are cheaper alternatives on the market.

It appears that Bankman-Fried was responsive to the concerns of the community, and revealed on Twitter that the platform removed the $500 fee, and instead will charge a flat $10 per minted NFT.

Roundup

In rare NFT FUD, the NFL has reportedly barred all teams and members from crypto-related sponsorships and advertisements, as well as nonfungible token (NFT) sales until the league establishes a strategy “for sports digital trading cards and art.”

Cointelegraph reported on Sept.6 that Lobby Lobster NFTs depicting cartoon lobsters in suits raised more than $4 million to support lobbying efforts supporting the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.

ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

NFL Bans Teams From Selling NFTs, Entering Crypto Sponsorships: Report

The National Football League (NFL) is reportedly banning teams from selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and entering sponsorship deals with crypto trading firms for now.  According to The Athletic, the league is imposing the temporary policy as it comes up with a strategy to enter the market for sports digital cards and arts.  The league is […]

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ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

NFL Bars Teams From Participating in Certain Cryptocurrency and NFT Ventures: Report

NFL Bars Teams From Participating in Certain Cryptocurrency and NFT Ventures: ReportAccording to a recent report, the National Football League (NFL) advised teams that they could not, at least for now, sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and sponsorships to digital currency companies. Advertisements for specific crypto assets were mentioned alongside initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to various club sources who remained anonymous. Anonymous Club Sources Disclose the […]

ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

New York Giants Star Goes Crypto, Converting All Endorsement Money to Bitcoin

A pro-football player is converting his endorsement earnings straight to Bitcoin (BTC). New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley made the announcement on Bitcoin bull Anthony Pompliano’s podcast. Barkley says his concerns about fiat inflation prompted his decision to receive Bitcoin in place of cash. “You see inflation and you see how high it […]

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ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event

New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley Plans to Convert Endorsement Revenue to Bitcoin

New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley Plans to Convert Endorsement Revenue to BitcoinAnother pro athlete in the National Football League (NFL) is planning to convert some of his earnings into bitcoin. The 24-year-old running back for the New York Giants, Saquon Barkley, discussed converting his endorsement revenue into bitcoin during a recent interview with the Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano. Inflation Concerns Push Saquon Barkley Toward […]

ESL Gaming to Offer NFTs at Flagship E-Sports Event