Even before Dapper Labs executives launched NBA Top Shot, they knew to expect volatility. Such is life in the early days of blockchain technology. Through the ups and downs, Dapper Labs head of partnerships Caty Tedman said in an interview Tuesday that her hope is that, “every time there’s a spike, there’s something new for people to do… so that there’s a reason to stick around.”
When cryptocurrencies caught fire this winter, Top Shot boomed, as NBA fans were introduced to the product for the first time. Individual clips sold for more than $100,000 each, and Dapper Labs ultimately achieved a reported valuation over $7.5 billion.
Later this spring, the cryptomarket cooled and NFT prices plummeted. However, a rebound has been afoot in recent weeks, pushed by other projects like Art Blocks, CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. According to CryptoSlam, the total value of Top Shot moments is up 40% over the last 30 days, to roughly $730 million. Evaluate.Market has measured an 8% bump over the past week.
And this time, Top Shot once again has something new to offer. Dapper Labs will begin selling WNBA moments Friday. In an effort to hook first-time users, the company is also giving away 60,000 free moments. The first 10,000 of them will feature Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson.
“We’re going to try a couple new onboarding flows and see if they’re stickier, and if we’re providing value to people and explaining value upfront,” Tedman said. Wilson and Basketball Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie are also partnering with the company as ambassadors.
The release comes as the WNBA enters the home stretch of its 25th regular season. “Top Shot presents an exciting opportunity for the WNBA to engage passionate fans on a whole new level and celebrate the league as it continues to make history,” WNBA chief operating officer Christy Hedgpeth said in a statement. “We have been at the forefront of innovation in many respects and partnering with Dapper Labs on Top Shot allows us to highlight the talent and incredible performances of WNBA players in a heightened way through a digital experience.”
OneTeam helped create the WNBPA’s NFT strategy and facilitated the Top Shot deal.
To start, WNBA moments will be integrated into the NBA Top Shot site, though Tedman said the company is working on an WNBA-specific environment. “The fan bases don’t have a perfect crossover,” she said, “and we want to serve WNBA fans as well as we serve NBA fans.”