Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, likely the greatest player of all-time at football’s marquee position, announced his retirement today. But there could be implications for DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) in that news.
In social media posts announcing his retirement, Brady said he’s “excited to continue to help build and grow” companies he’s cofounded, including Autograph — a non-fungible token (TKN) platform DraftKings has an arrangement with.
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2022
Last July, the gaming company revealed plans for DraftKings Marketplace, simultaneously announcing a partnership with Autograph. In addition to the DraftKings relationship, Brady’s company also has content agreements with movie studio Lionsgate, as well as NFT deals with Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka, and Tony Hawk.
DraftKings Marketplace will serve as the exclusive distributor of Autograph’s NFT content. Financial terms of that arrangement weren’t disclosed.
Potential Brady Benefits for DraftKings Marketplace
In addition to Autograph, Brady has other business ventures to tend, so it remains to be seen what his level of involvement will be with the NFT company now that he’s retired.
Still, the combination of his star power, DraftKings’ brand recognition, and the status of NFTs as an emerging, nascent, viable asset class could prove potent. It could also jibe with what some market observers believe are ongoing efforts by DraftKings to be much more than just a daily fantasy sports (DFS) and online sportsbook operator.
There’s already a captive audience for NFTs because the asset class is heavily rooted in cryptocurrency. For example, DraftKings MarketPlace transactions are conducted using Polygon, which is based on the ethereum blockchain.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins is a self-proclaimed NFT bull, and previously said he’d like his company to accept crypto as a form of payment for online casinos and sports betting.
DraftKings Marketplace Expanding
The time could be right for Brady to throw himself into Autograph, because DraftKings Marketplace is already growing. In December, the company said it struck a deal with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to roll out “gamified” NFT collections.
Analysts view NFTs as a natural market for DraftKings, noting it could be a revenue diversification tool for the company.
DraftKings clients — who are already sports fans — could be receptive to not only investing in NFTs, particularly those of the sports variety, but also leveraging those assets for potential upside via gamification.
In the third quarter, DraftKings Marketplace generated more than $20 million in gross merchandise volume on over 120,000 primary and secondary transactions, according to DraftKings’ third-quarter earnings report.
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