A day before his Cooperstown enshrinement, Derek Jeter joined an even more exclusive (if less prestigious) group Tuesday, becoming the latest star athlete to release NFTs on the DraftKings Marketplace.
Through a collaboration with Autograph, an NFT platform co-founded by Tom Brady, Jeter sold more than 10,000 digital collectibles for a total of roughly $800,000. More expensive, rarer versions that are digitally “signed” by the Yankee great are set to sell later this week. The first set sold out quickly Tuesday, with the entry-level $12 NFT selling on the secondary market for close to $200 Tuesday night.
Jeter is on Autograph’s advisory board, along with Simone Biles, Wayne Gretzky and Tiger Woods, among others. Executives from Apple, DraftKings and Spotify also sit on the board. “NFTs bring an entirely new dimension to the collector experience,” Brady said before his NFTs dropped. “We created Autograph as a way for fans and collectors to own a piece of iconic moments in sports and entertainment through authenticated and official digital collectibles.”
DraftKings launched its NFT marketplace this summer, aiming to offer affordable collectibles for its many users who already have money in accounts on the company’s platform. “By being a little bit more culturally relevant with what’s happening right now in our users’ life, I think that will really help us attract and retain attention and keep that retention rate really high over time,” DraftKings North America president Matt Kalish said last month.
Brady’s first batch of 10,000 NFTs quickly sold out, registering $1 million in gross merchandise volume. He couldn’t match the $3.4 million Patrick Mahomes generated in March though. NFT sale prices are generally down from their spring peak, rebounding somewhat before sliding again this week. Several star athletes have also recently gotten into the NFT world as buyers, in addition to sellers.