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The NFTs will be based on the 10-part ESPN docuseries Man in the Arena: Tom Brady, which debuted on ESPN+ late last year, and which will begin streaming on Hulu and Disney+ today.
Brady will be the focus of the NFTs (an example is embedded below), which will be sold beginning today on DraftKings Marketplace. The collection will launch with three ESPN digital magazine covers highlighting moments from Brady’s career, with a second collection called “Back in the Arena” set to drop when the 10th episode in the series is released. Brady will also be “signing” 50 of the NFTs in the collection.
The NFTs were designed in partnership with Autograph and Man in the Arena production company Religion of Sports (which Brady is also a co-founder of). However, the Man in the Arena NFTs are just the first drop, with other collections expected to follow.
“ESPN is excited to offer our first NFTs to meet our fans at the intersection of sports, technology and content,” said Kevin Lopes, vp of sports business development & innovation at ESPN, in a statement. “Our work with ESPN Edge has led us to where we are today, exploring new, innovative ways of engaging fans, and we are thrilled to partner with Autograph for this collection and others in the future.”
Brady, of course, retired and then un-retired from the NFL earlier this year, announcing that he would return to play for the Buccaneers next season. He was active in his brief retirement, including a deal to produce and appear in a road trip comedy called 80 for Brady at Paramount. Brady is producing that project through another one of his companies, 199 Productions.
Autograph, meanwhile, has found early success in the NFT space through partnerships with athletes like Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods, Naomi Osaka and Tony Hawk, and with entertainment companies like Lionsgate.
“This unique collection around Tom’s Man in the Arena docuseries marks the beginning of our relationship with ESPN,” added Dillon Rosenblatt, co-founder and CEO at Autograph. “As the first NFT partner for ESPN, the possibilities across sports and technology are endless, and we couldn’t be more excited to get this content out to the world in a massive way.”
While ESPN linking up with Brady on an NFT project is significant, it is also notable that Disney is making the Man in the Arena doc series more widely available through its other streaming services. While the series should fit nicely in Hulu’s library, it will also serve as a more adult offering within the Disney+ library, for the period that it is available.
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