OneOf, the largest NFT platform for music, announced its expansion into sports and lifestyle on the Polygon blockchain through NFT collections that celebrate legendary athletes, teams, and brands. Being unveiled today is OneOf’s major sports initiative in collaboration with Sports Illustrated (or “SI”). Sports Illustrated has partnered with select cover stars and entered into a platform deal with OneOf to create NFT collections that highlight superstar athletes, inspired by their career-defining Sports Illustrated covers.
“Thinking about the time I was on the cover of Sports Illustrated brings back many great memories for me”, says Jerry Rice. “This NFT collection will allow me to connect with my fans in a unique way and it’s really exciting to watch how technology and innovation keeps evolving. I’m glad to be a part of the Sports Illustrated and OneOf collaboration.”
“I am thrilled to be releasing my first NFT collection with Sports Illustrated and OneOf, leaders in the emerging tech and NFT space,” says Emmitt Smith. “Over the years, I have enjoyed finding new ways to engage with my fans, and I am excited to share with the world what we created together.”
Launching first will be the Sports Illustrated cover collections for football legends Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and Dick Butkus, in the days following “The Big Game” in Los Angeles on February 13. The drops will culminate with a rare Super Diamond NFT that imagines “The Greatest Play That Never Was,” featuring the three athletes together. The remaining collections are expected to drop every few weeks thereafter. Go to https://www.oneof.com.
Each of the initial athletes’ Sports Illustrated drops will feature their career-defining Sports Illustrated cover as interpreted by Jonathan Winbush, an award-winning 3D animation artist and virtual reality pioneer that has worked with major film studios and brands, including Nike and Hasbro. Winbush’s NFTs are also featured in the collections of some of the biggest names in the space. Each collection will be centered around digital 3D animated artwork that imagines the moments leading up to the famous photograph featured on each Sports Illustrated cover.
Billie Jean King, the first woman to be chosen as SI’s Sportsperson of Year in 1972 and the 2021 recipient of SI’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, is expected to be the first woman featured in the NFT collection.
With this expansion into sports and lifestyle, OneOf’s partners and brands will have the option to mint NFTs on a variety of proof-of-stake blockchains that are substantially more energy efficient than traditional networks, including Polygon and Tezos. OneOf has announced that Polygon will host the drops for these mega-star athlete collections.
The initial group of athletes that Sports Illustrated is bringing to the platform represent some of the most famous and decorated sports figures of all time: Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Billie Jean King, Wayne Gretzky, Mia Hamm, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Dick Butkus.
“The expansion into sports and lifestyle is a natural evolution to further our mission to bring the next 100 million non-crypto-native fans into web3 through cultural passion points,” says Josh James, co-founder and COO of OneOf. “This collaboration with Sports Illustrated to mint legendary athletes’ NFTs on the energy-efficient Polygon blockchain is the perfect way to launch our Sports and Lifestyle marketplace, and we are excited for the opportunity to engage millions of sports fans worldwide.”
“For almost 70 years, Sports Illustrated covers have showcased the greatest moments in sports and made them history,” says Michael Sherman, VP Media at Authentic Brands Group, owner of Sports Illustrated. “In partnering with superstar athletes, OneOf, and renowned crypto artists, we are now able to bring those iconic covers to life in a new and creative way.”
“Sports NFTs have the potential to onboard an entirely new demographic of users to Web3,” says Sandeep Nailwal, Polygon co-founder. “We’re delighted that OneOf and Sports Illustrated have decided to leverage the Polygon blockchain for this momentous NFT launch. We’re eager to show the world how our energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly network is the perfect staging platform for large-scale NFT rollouts. This has the potential to boost crypto adoption while simultaneously demonstrating the sustainability of the underlying technology.”
The news arrives on the heels of a tremendous past few months for OneOf, including the announcement of their three-year partnership with the GRAMMY Awards and the OneOf Whitney Houston Collection, in which a never-before-heard recording was sold at auction on the OneOf site for $1 million.
OneOf is a NFT platform designed to create an environmentally sustainable, creator-and-fan-friendly experience. Built on multiple environmentally responsible proof-of-stake blockchain protocol, including Tezos and Polygon, minting a NFT on OneOf’s platform uses up to two million times less energy than other proof-of-work networks, and for its artist, athletes and brand partners, minting NFTs costs $0 in blockchain transaction fees. OneOf aims to bring the next 100M non-crypto-native fans into web3 by removing the technical frictions and allowing fans to pay for their NFTs with credit/debit cards as well as many top cryptocurrencies. Dedicated to charitable causes, OneOf offers partners using their platform the option to donate portions of their NFT proceeds to charities of their choice.
About Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated (SI) is an unparalleled and influential leader recognized for shaping modern culture and uniting athletes, teams and fans worldwide. At the intersection of sports, lifestyle and entertainment, Sports Illustrated is a 360-degree enterprise that delivers immersive content, innovative digital experiences, unforgettable events, and original products. Its award-winning media outlet brings powerful storytelling to life through probing profiles, up-to-date news and game-day stats on SI.com, social media and the monthly print magazine.
For more information, visit SI.com
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About Authentic Brands Group
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, which owns a portfolio of global media, entertainment and lifestyle brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG elevates and builds the long-term value of more than 30 consumer brands and properties by partnering with best-in-class manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Its brands have a global retail footprint across the luxury, specialty, department store, mid-tier, mass and e-commerce channels and in more than 7,800* freestanding stores and shop-in-shops around the world.
ABG is committed to transforming brands by delivering compelling product, content, business and immersive experiences. It creates and activates original marketing strategies to drive the success of its brands across all consumer touchpoints, platforms and emerging media. ABG’s portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands includes Marilyn Monroe®, Elvis Presley®, Muhammad Ali®, Shaquille O’Neal®, Dr. J®, Greg Norman®, Neil Lane®, Thalia®, Sports Illustrated®, Reebok®*, Eddie Bauer®, Spyder®, Volcom®, Airwalk®, Nautica®, Izod®, Forever 21®, Aéropostale®, Juicy Couture®, Vince Camuto®, Lucky Brand®, Nine West®, Jones New York®, Frederick’s of Hollywood®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Van Heusen®, Arrow®, Tretorn®, Tapout®, Prince®, Vision Street Wear®, Brooks Brothers®, Barneys New York®, Judith Leiber®, Herve Leger®, Frye®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Thomasville®, Drexel® and Henredon®. Pending acquisition in Q1 2022*.
For more information, visit authenticbrands.com
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