The digital basketball images will be minted in two sets. This weekend, B/R will auction off the more limited gold edition images, selling 10 copies per rapper that will also come with a physical version. The more common silver editions (150 per rapper) will be available for purchase in digital currency Ethereum, costing .4 ETH or roughly $600.
The sale, which is tied to B/R’s celebrity-driven All-Star Weekend programming, comes as digital art sales boom. Buyers of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) don’t actually acquire sole ownership of their purchase but instead receive a unique (or non-fungible) identifier linked to their version of the digital item (The Verge recently published a more detailed explainer).
Kings of Leon will release its new album as an NFT Friday, while digital tokens from NBA Top Shot have sold for more than $100,000. According to nonfungible.com, sales of NFTs amounted to $250 million in 2019. Top Shot alone has generated $250 million in sales over the last month, according to cryptoslam.io.
“You see the popularity around things like Top Shot and NFT,” Bleacher Report VP of brand and experience Tyler Stewart said. “It’s a way for us to expand our physical merchandising effort into the digital realm and capitalize on what B/R does best.”
Stewart said the digital effort evolved over the last week, with his team leaning on partner GigLabs to navigate the new world. B/R’s NFTs will be minted and sold on OpenSea, a large NFT marketplace.
Bleacher Report parent company Turner Sports has a history with GigLabs and the blockchain. It launched its first NFT game, Blocklete Golf, in February 2020.
“We’re really excited about this as a whole,” Stewart said. “I honestly don’t know where it’s going to go.”