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Dapper Labs is teaming up with NBA star Kevin Durant and his longtime sports manager Rich Kleiman on a collaboration with Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shots.
Vancouver, Canada-based Dapper Labs will partner with Durant and Kleiman’s companies — The Boardroom and Thirty Five Ventures — on nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which can authenticate one-of-a-kind digital items.
The deal comes shortly after Dapper Labs raised $250 million and cut deals to create digital collectible NFTs with the LaLiga soccer league, and it is a new twist on the successful strategy where the company combines a popular brand with NFTs.
NFTs use the transparent and secure digital ledger of blockchain to authenticate items. Using NFTs, Dapper Labs was able to sell NBA Top Shot moments to fans as rare collectibles. In the past year, the company and fans have sold more than $780 million worth of the NBA Top Shot moments in the marketplace.
That has made Dapper Labs, which has come a long way since it launched CryptoKitties in November 2017, a leader in the booming NFT collectibles market. Others are getting in on the action too, as SoftBank invested $680 million in the 30-person firm Sorare, which makes an NFT-based fantasy soccer game.
The two-year Durant and Kleiman partnership will span sponsorship and activations across the sports business media network and will include a creative development role for Kevin Durant and Thirty Five Ventures. Durant, who is NBA Top Shot’s tip-off athlete, will curate and create NBA Top Shot Moments, video content, and more.
In addition to the relationship with Boardroom, Top Shot will also roll out a number of collectible experiences for fans. The company will release Dwyane Wade’s first Run It Back Moments from the 05-06 NBA Season plus a Rare Run it Back Drop. Top Shot will also be making Legendary Moments available for fans to take anywhere they want on blockchain chain starting in November.
And the company will also partner with The Milwaukee Bucks to reward 39 of Top Shot’s most avid Bucks Moment Collectors with a trip to the 75th NBA Tip-Off Game in Milwaukee. The company will also be sending avid WNBA collectors to the WNBA Finals.
Durant said in a statement, “Top Shot is the future for basketball fans – bringing them closer to players and building community across the sport in new and innovative ways. At Boardroom, we’ve also been at the forefront of the NFT space, and I’m excited to partner in advancing NFT’s further into the mainstream, creating and curating exclusive Moments and content with Top Shot.”
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