Losing Steam, or Just Getting Started? More Big Names Announce NFT Projects Even as Hype, Sales Decline

Losing Steam, or Just Getting Started? More Big Names Announce NFT Projects Even as Hype, Sales Decline article feature image

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Fanatics.

If anyone thinks NFTs are yesterday's news, Tuesday morning didn't seem like it.

Fanatics, the largest sports apparel retailer in the world, announced it was getting into the NFT game with its executive chairman and billionaire Michael Rubin teaming up with crypto billionaire Michael Novogratz and influencer Gary Vaynerchuk to start an NFT company called Candy Digital.

The company will produce and sell NFTs on its site, starting with a 1 of 1 NFT of Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech, the first in an exclusive partnership with Major League Baseball. With the announcement, MLB officially enters the NFT game, which, among major American sports leagues, has been dominated by the NBA's relationship with Dapper Labs and its NBA Top Shot.

Also on Tuesday morning, Club Necaxa, a soccer club in Liga MX, announced it was selling 1% of its team, whose investors include Eva Longoria, Kate Upton, Justin Verlander and Victor Oladipo, as an NFT on the blockchain. Bidding, which is taking place on Opensea, concludes on June 18 and like anything on the blockchain that 1% of the team is freely transferable.

Top Shot was the main beneficiary of the rise of NFT's this winter, as fans and collectors rushed to get in queue hoping to receive packs and then the moments for profit.

From mid-January to mid-February, Top Shot's marketplace generated $106.3 million is sales, $54 million in a single week (ending Feb. 20) and $16 million on a single day (Feb. 20). Shortly after, a LeBron James moment sold for a record $208,000.

Investors were high on Dapper, which not only created Top Shot but the blockchain its on called Flow, and pumped $305 million into it on a $2.6 billion valuation in March. The company was raising more money at a $7.5 billion valuation a month later, though that valuation never materialized.

How optimistic are you on the future of NBA Top Shot?

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 1, 2021

But Top Shot, at least, has significantly slowed down. From pacing at $215 million for a month, the last month has seen $40 million in sales — and that's during the playoffs.

Will NFT's be a factor in the future? Some huge names at the very least threw their hat and money further into the ring on Tuesday.

NFT’s as collectibles, smart contracts, investments are…

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 1, 2021

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