Rob Gronkowski is the latest high-profile name to jump on the NFT trend, becoming the biggest athlete yet to auction a digital card collection featuring himself. Starting Thursday, fans will be able to bid on 87 minted digital cards commemorating each of his four Super Bowl victories, as well as a higher priced “Career Highlight Refractor Card.” The winner of that unique digital item will also get to meet Gronkowski and attend one of his games. The veteran tight end is currently a free agent.
“With the rapid success of NFT’s across platforms like NBA (Top Shot) and OpenSea, I wanted to take the business into my own hands and be the first professional athlete to launch my own NFT collection,” Gronkowski said in a statement. Technically, MMA fighter Cyborg beat him to the punch, releasing digital art on the blockchain this time last year. Baseball players Matt Szczur and Tommy Wilson have also launched entries in the space.
But the digital collectible market has exploded over the last month. Buyers of NFT’s—non-fungible tokens—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.
Bleacher Report offered its first NFTs on Saturday. Taco Bell released its own digital merchandise Monday. Like B/R, Gronk has turned to OpenSea.io to host his auction, where buyers will have to use the Ethereum currency.
Gronkowski’s offering was designed by artist Black Madre, with each card sporting Gronk’s signature. They feature images of him in action, but without any NFL and team logos. Gronkowski partnered with Medium Rare, a management company with which he had an existing relationship, on the project.