DraftKings Branches Out With New Digital Marketplace

DraftKings Branches Out With New Digital Marketplace
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DraftKings is adding to its traditional businesses by moving into the emerging field of digital collectibles known as NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

Better known for DraftKings Sportsbook, DraftKings Casino and DraftKings Daily Fantasy, the company revealed plans Wednesday to launch DraftKings Marketplace, which is described as a “digital collectibles ecosystem designed for mainstream accessibility that offers curated NFT drops and supports secondary-market transactions.”

The concept feels like other more familiar online secondary markets for tangible goods, such as eBay. At DraftKings Marketplace, customers can buy, sell and trade digital collectibles across sports, entertainment and culture using their existing DraftKings account, according to a news release. The collectibles generally feature popular personalities or tableaus.

Content from Autograph

As part of DraftKings entering the NFT universe, the DraftKings Marketplace will also be the exclusive distributor of content from NFT platform Autograph, which leverages the official licensing of prominent athletes and celebrities to provide an expansive inventory of digital collectibles, the release said.

DraftKings apparently believes that its own customer base of online sports bettors and DFS players is a ripe market for the NFT concept, which can include aspects of speculative investing.

“The NFT boom has reinvented the collectibles industry and driven excitement to early-adopting audiences worldwide — including the DraftKings community,” Matt Kalish, DraftKings co-founder and president, said in the release. “DraftKings Marketplace will sit at the center of this technological and cultural phenomenon, providing our immense existing customer base with an easily accessible experience that rivals all legacy marketplaces. This initial vision in collaboration with Autograph, and its coveted collection of official digital collectibles, is a vital first step as we enter the emergent NFT market.”

’Pre-Season Access’ Collection

The initial drops on DraftKings Marketplace for purchase will be what is being called the “Pre-Season Access” collection. That collection will include NFTs of famous athletes from Autograph’s roster of talent. It will also give customers the opportunity for preferred access to future releases. Further details about DraftKings Marketplace will be announced in August. Those interested to acquire the introductory batch of NFTs can visit www.draftkings.com/about/marketplace to learn more.

“As the world becomes more comfortable with digital ownership and collection, we see an incredible opportunity to bring users high-quality and personalized content from their favorite athletes, artists and franchises,'' Dillon Rosenblatt, founder and CEO of Autograph, said in the release. “NFTs are the perfect medium to connect users to both the things they love and those who share those interests, and we want to leverage today’s incredible partnerships to provide continued value to our community.”

An Autograph advisory board will help design custom NFTs later this summer via DraftKings Marketplace drops.

While DraftKings Marketplace will be the exclusive purveyor of sports NFTs from Autograph, the collaboration may eventually branch into other verticals, such as entertainment, lifestyle and culture. Autograph recently teamed up with Lionsgate to derive NFT content from iconic films and television series with a portfolio that ranges across “The Hunger Games” and “Mad Men.”

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