Autograph, an NFT platform co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady, debuted its first collectibles in August, initially focusing solely on sports offerings. However, the company has broader ambitions in the entertainment industry and is adding some notable members to its board to help bring those plans to fruition.
The Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye) has joined the startup’s board of directors, and the company will launch a music collectibles vertical.
While Autograph NFTs based on The Weekend have yet to be confirmed, fellow board member Tom Brady has his own NFTs on the platform. In April, The Weekend released his own NFT collectibles through Nifty Gateway, generating more than $2 million in sales.
Autograph has also added Sam Bankman-Fried (aka SBF) to its board of directors. Bankman-Fried is the founder and CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, and a friend of Tom Brady, who is an investor in and brand ambassador for FTX. FTX recently announced a $420.69 million fundraise, valuing the company at $25 billion.
SCS Financial founder and chairman Peter Mattoon, as well as Discovery Land Company founder and chairman Michael Meldman, have also joined the Autograph board. Together with actor George Clooney, he co-founded the tequila company Casamigos.
“As an artist, I am constantly compelled to push the boundaries of how to deliver art within culture and have been intrigued with NFTs for some years,” The Weeknd said in a statement. “I was excited to collaborate with [Autograph] on the launch of a new vertical in the music space that explores what the metaverse could be.”
Many of the athletes who have launched NFTs on the platform, including Wayne Gretzky, Simone Biles, Tiger Woods, Tony Hawk, and Naomi Osaka, are already on Autograph’s advisory board, which is separate from the board of directors.
An NFT is essentially a deed of ownership to a valuable digital item, such as an illustration, video file, or avatar image. The market exploded earlier in 2021 and has since risen to new heights, with $10.67 billion in trading volume in Q3. Sports collectibles have played a significant role in the boom, thanks to the early-year success of Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot.
Autograph sells NFTs in a variety of price points and edition sizes, with prices ranging from $12 for a common collectible to hundreds of dollars for a version with the athlete’s digital signature. The collectibles are minted on Polygon, an Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution, and are only available through the DraftKings Marketplace.
However, music will not be Autograph’s first venture outside of the sports realm: beginning next week, the company will release NFTs based on Lionsgate’s “Saw” horror film franchise.