Editor’s note: This story was updated Sept. 29 following the official announcement.
The NFL initially held back on the NFT craze, but now the league is ready to make its move.
Dapper Labs, the NFL and NFLPA announced it would create an NFT marketplace, according to a news release on Wednesday. The venture — which will be along the same lines as Dapper’s hit NBA Top Shot — is scheduled to launch by season’s end.
- Dapper Labs will become the NFLPA’s second largest licensing partner behind EA Sports, which produces the “Madden” game series. Exact terms were not disclosed.
- Both the NFL and NFLPA will take an equity stake in Dapper Labs.
- Dapper Labs was valued at $7.6 billion last week on a $250 million fundraise, led by Coatue and joined by Google’s GV and Andreesen Horowitz.
- Sales on NBA Top Shot totaled over $700 million from October 2020 through May, but have dropped dramatically, and now sit around $700,000 over the last 30 days.
The NFL had previously barred teams from pursuing sponsorship deals with NFT and blockchain-focused companies.
Sports Business Journal was the first outlet to report the deal on Tuesday.
The exclusive partnership will have Dapper produce blockchain-backed moments and digital cards of NFL highlights, stars, and legends.
Caty Tedman, head of partnerships at Dapper Labs, told FOS in March that the company had “talked to a lot of other major leagues” about developing products similar to NBA Top Shot.
Dapper Labs announced a similar deal with La Liga last week, and with the WNBA in August.