A leading sports apparel company is teaming up with a cryptocurrency bull and an entrepreneur to launch a new NFT platform with an exclusive deal with Major League Baseball.
What Happened: Candy Digital is an NFT company founded by Fanatics and its Chairman Michael Rubin with Michael Novogratz and Gary Vaynerchuk.
Candy Digital has exclusive rights to digital collectibles for MLB and its 30 teams.
Fanatics will be the majority shareholder in the non-fungible token platform, with Novogratz and Vaynerchuk joining as equity partners. Rubin and Novogratz will serve as co-chairmen of Candy Digital, and Vaynerchuk will serve on the board.
“NFTs are fundamentally changing how we think about owning cultural artifacts,” Novogratz said.
Candy Digital will sell NFTs through an in-house marketplace for primary sales and resale of NFTs rather than using a third-party marketplace.
The Ethereum-based ecosystem Palm will be used as the blockchain technology for Candy Digital.
Why It’s Important: NFTs have been one of the big themes of 2021, with companies and famous people trying to get a piece of the new digital collectible market.
Fanatics is the world’s largest seller of licensed sports apparel with over 80 million customers. The company’s built-in user base could allow for cross-promotion to the new NFT platform.
Candy Digital is in talks with the MLBPA, which could lead to NFTs based on current players in the league. Several MLB players have launched their own NFTs without using MLB team logos.
“We could do NFTs for jerseys, for so much more, we haven’t scratched the surface yet,” Rubin told the New York Post.
Plans call for Candy Digital to start with sports NFTs and then branch out into the music and entertainment sectors.
“We’re in the very early stages of this transformation and Candy’s focus on creativity, community and authenticity will all play a key role in its success in defining this new market,” Novogratz said.
One of the first NFTs from Candy Digital will be a 1/1 digital collectible of the famous “Luckiest Man” speech from Lou Gehrig, according to the New York Post.
Gehrig's speech given on July 4, 1939, was his farewell to baseball after a diagnosis of ALS, now commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
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