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UTA has signed three NFT artists and the NFT collection MV3, co-created by Stranger Things writer Jessie Nickson-Lopez, as part of the agency’s continued push into representation for clients and projects in the Web3 space.
Joining the agency’s roster of Web3 clients are the visual artists Emonee LaRussa, who was selected as one of three artists to create NFTs for the Grammys; Vinnie Hager, who released the NFT collection Letters last year; and Andrew Wang, the founder of the Web3 art studio Devotion.
The agency will also represent the MV3 NFT collection from the Metav3rse, a digital publication that provides readers updates on NFT news across various social media platforms. The collection — co-created by Nickson-Lopez, Roberto Nickson and Torey Kohara — features different characters from the fictional world of Eluna City and sold out after its initial public launch.
Similarly to other NFT collections with strong fan bases, such as the Bored Apes, the MV3 collection is expected to expand its IP into film, TV, video games, books, events and more. MV3 NFT holders will be given the opportunity to have a say in future storylines related to the MV3 characters.
“Just like with the emergence of YouTube as a new platform, many years ago, we see the emergence of NFTs, specifically, but also more broadly, Web3, as an area that will spawn a whole new group of important creators,” Lesley Silverman, the head of UTA’s Web3 division, told The Hollywood Reporter.
NFT sales have fallen in recent months, with the NFT marketplace OpenSea seeing a 70 percent drop in sales between May and June and blue-chip collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club seeing floor prices drop by 33 percent during a similar time frame, according to data reported on by Bloomberg.
But Silverman says she sees this as a time to “build.”
“I have not seen a slowdown in the number of traditional, or Web2, brands looking to enter into the space,” Silverman says. “The brands that are smart and wise are going to see this adjustment in the market as an opportunity to catch up to get up to speed.”
To meet that demand, UTA has also added three new agents to the Web3 team: Caroline Hooven, a former senior brand project manager at Thrive Market; Erlan Nyssanov, formerly a startup business development associate at Amazon Web Services and an analyst at Evercore; and Griffin Lasker, the co-founder of Internet Friends DAO and a former staffer in UTA’s entertainment and culture marketing and ventures divisions.
The agents, reporting up to Silverman, will help identify talent and key partnerships.
“We are seeing an uptick in deal flow for access to these crypto-native creators, and I think a lot of the reason for that is an interest in entering into the space authentically. So if a brand is looking to enter, they’re looking to partner with a creator that’s native to the space,” Silverman said. “You’re going to see a lot more of that in the months to come.”
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