ESPN has signed a multiyear agreement with Autograph, Tom Brady’s NFT startup. Today, Polygon will release the first NFTs based on ESPN’s Tom Brady documentary.
NFL quarterback Tom Brady is well-established in the world NFT collectibles. Now, he’s bringing ESPN, the sports media juggernaut, along for the ride.
Today ESPN announced the launch of its first ever NFT collection in partnership Brady’s Autograph platform. This is a sports and entertainment NFT startup that Brady co-founded in 2021. ESPN’s first NFT Drop is based on Brady’s documentary series “Man in the Arena” about him. It was produced by Brady’s Religion of Sports media company.
Today’s release of the Brady NFTs is via the DraftKings Marketplace. This is Autograph’s exclusive partner. There will be three magazine covers-style NFTs, with 250 editions starting at $100, 100 at $250, and 50 digitally signed editions starting at $500 each. All NFTs will be minted using Polygon which is a sidechain scaling solution to Ethereum.
The final episode of ESPN’s series will include a second collection of Brady NFTs. It is scheduled for release later in the month. In February, Brady, seven-time Super Bowl champion, announced that he would be retiring from NFL. However, in March, he revealed that he had changed his mind and would now return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The multi-year agreement between ESPN and Autograph is long. An NFT acts as a receipt to prove ownership of a digital item. The market has risen to $25 billion in total trading volume in 2021.
Dillon Rosenblatt, Autograph’s co-founder, stated that ESPN is the first NFT partner. He also said that the possibilities for technology and sports are limitless and that he couldn’t be happier to help get the content out to the world.
Autograph launched NFT collectibles based on a variety of athletes including Wayne Gretzky and Brady. The company is also expanding into entertainment, with NFTs based musician The Weeknd as well as the “SAW” movie franchise. Autograph received $170 million in Series B funding during January.
Brady’s interest in crypto has expanded beyond Autograph. He also signed up as a global ambassador cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and has appeared on the firm’s commercials. Brady describes himself as a “big believer in cryptocurrency” and shows his “Bitcoin laser eyes Twitter profile photo.
ESPN is not the only sports media company to venture into the NFT market. Sports Illustrated partnered recently with OneOf, a NFT startup, to launch NFTs based upon its classic magazine covers. SLAM, a basketball magazine has launched NFTs via Autograph.