They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re not going away just yet either.
Major League Baseball has partnered with Fanatics and the newly created Candy Digital for a new line of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Candy Digital is being launched by Michael Rubin, Executive Chairman of the powerhouse sports apparel and collectible company Fanatics; Mike Novogratz, founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital; and investor/entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.
Candy promises that it is “building Major League Baseball’s official NFT ecosystem where fans and collectors will be able to purchase, trade and share officially licensed NFTs through an online platform.”
The company now has a website and has listed multiple positions for which it is currently hiring.
NFTs are digital collectibles that live on the blockchain where ownership can be easily transferred. The NBA’s Top Shot program offers short action clips of games while the Topps NFT offerings are flashier, digital versions of its flagship baseball cards.
Candy and Major League Baseball’s first release will be a 1-of-1 NFT of Lou Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” speech that he delivered on July 4, 1939, after being diagnosed with ALS. The NFT will commemorate the league’s first official Lou Gehrig Day taking place Wednesday June 2, to raise awareness and funds to fight ALS. Proceeds from the sale of the NFT, which is scheduled to be released July 4th weekend, will support ALS charities.
“As a lifetime collector myself, I couldn’t be more excited for what this partnership means for both creators and consumers, especially the uber-passionate MLB community who craves collectibles and celebrating the iconic moments that makes this game so special. We’re at the forefront of a massive technology shift and Candy will be at the center,” Vaynerchuk stated.
So far, traditional sports memorabilia collectors have yet to fully embrace the idea of digital collectibles, although the NBA’s Top Shot platform and the new Topps digital baseball card NFT concept have drawn a lot of attention.
“From trading cards to autographed balls, baseball fans have demonstrated their passion for the sport and its players through collectibles for decades,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “In working with Candy Digital to offer NFTs to MLB fans, we’re delivering an exciting new addition to the robust baseball collectible market. The founders of Candy are a dynamic group of executives with an impressive track record.”
Candy intends to utilize a new NFT ecosystem developed on Ethereum as its core blockchain technology.
Candy has plans for expansion in the digital asset marketplace and anticipates the announcement of additional partners and products in the coming weeks.