When Orlando Magic point guard Jalen Suggs became one of the first amateur athletes to auction an NFT, it was hard to imagine the technology entering the mainstream. After all, most of us still had no clue what a non-fungible token was at that point. But that was 2021, and now if there’s any sign the NFT craze has hit its peak, here it is. Tom Brady is partnering with ESPN to release an NFT collection celebrating his 22-year career.
Brady’s Autograph brand has signed a multi-year partnership with the Disney-owned broadcaster to release a series of NFT drops, starting with one based on the ESPN+ Man in the Arena documentary series. The first collection includes three limited-edition ESPN zine covers commemorating Brady’s career. The quarterback will also sign 50 NFTs. The drop is set for 3PM ET today, with the auction taking place on the DraftKings Marketplace. It all coincides with Man in the Arena becoming more widely available across Disney’s streaming platforms.
Brady’s foray into NFTs comes just as more people question the technology. Cent, the company that helped Jack Dorsey auction an NFT of his first tweet last year, recently said it was temporarily halting most transactions to address “rampant” sales of fake and plagiarized tokens. Outside of those issues, most reports suggest NFTs are the playground of a few rich players, with a recent study from Nature finding that about 10 percent of traders conducted the majority of NFT transactions in 2021.