How NFTs are used by marketers—a continually updated list
Tracking how marketers are trying their hand at non-fungible tokens.
Feb. 24, 2022
4:45 PM ET
Duke University announces NFT collection for men’s basketball team
Duke University announced it will drop a collection of NFTs inspired by its men’s basketball team. The collection will be available on the OneOf NFT platform from March 3-5, so as to line up with head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last home game at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 5. A portion of the proceeds will support Krzyzewski’s higher education nonprofit, The Emily K Center. More details about the NFTs and their tiers will be released before March 3.
Feb. 22, 2022
11 AM ET
Wrangler announces Leon Bridges-inspired NFT auction
Jeans retailer Wrangler announced an upcoming NFT auction celebrating singer-songwriter and longtime Wrangler fan Leon Bridges. The collection will feature 76 tokens of a custom outfit that Wrangler designed for Bridges last year, one of which will also award the winning bidder a physical replica of the outfit. The remaining 75 tokens—meant to honor Wrangler’s 75th anniversary this year—will be digital-only and provide access to exclusive online content and communities. The auction will be held during New York Fashion Week in September.
Feb. 17, 2022
2 PM ET
NBA uses on-screen QR codes to kick off All-Star NFT auction
The NBA is launching an auction for access to upcoming All-Star weekends through 31 “All-Star VIP Pass NFTs” that offer an expansive package for the next five All-Star weekends, including tickets to the games. First, it is granting fans entry to a giveaway through QR codes appearing during two games. The first code will appear onscreen during the broadcast of tonight’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. Another QR code is scheduled to appear during the All-Star game on Sunday, Feb. 20. Fans who scan tonight’s code will receive one entry; fans who scan Sunday’s code will receive five entries to the same giveaway. A winner will be chosen on March 8.
Then, beginning Feb. 23, the NBA will auction one unique “All-Star VIP Pass NFT” for 30 consecutive days, each representing one team, on its NFT platform, NBA Top Shot. The token will grant all the same benefits as the giveaway NFT. NBA Top Shot is a marketplace co-developed by blockchain company Dapper Labs.
12:16 PM ET
Beware: Monsters unleashed in the metaverse
Horror fans will be able to mint one of 10 CryptTV monsters through a drop of 10,000 NFTs, dubbed “Monster Fight Club.” The horror TV studio, which has produced monster-themed content for NBC's Peacock, partnered with NFT studio Metaversal for the project.
Owners of these NFTs will receive a collectible NFT card, the ability to generate an NFT profile picture, access to exclusive CryptTV content, and a downloadable 3D model of their monster that can be used across the metaverse or in their own storytelling projects. Future updates will allow owners to upgrade their monsters for the game-like “Flight Club” extension of the project. The brand was started by CEO Jack Davis and Eli Roth, the popular horror movie director, producer and actor. The studio hosts a roster of monstrous IP that appears across streaming television and movies, social media, YouTube, video games and live events.
“I truly believe NFTs and Web3 could set off a new era of IP creation, community development and restack the deck in favor of creators,” said Jack Davis, CEO of Crypt TV, in a statement. “When I started Crypt in 2015 I did so wanting to create IP for a new generation of internet consumers. With this step to NFTs, I feel we are closer than ever to fulfilling our original mission.”
Feb. 16, 2022
1:45 PM ET
New NFT platform will launch projects for University of Oregon student-athletes
Sport venture company Division Street is opening an NFT marketplace to help University of Oregon student-athletes build their brands and connect with fans, boosters and collectors. Dubbed “Ducks of a Feather,” the platform will also contribute to a fund for other athletes from the university’s teams. Division Street, which was founded by Nike co-founder and major University of Oregon benefactor Phil Knight, is experimenting with new marketing programs around the NIL rule, which allows college athletes to financially benefit from their name, image and likeness.
The marketplace’s first drop, “Flying Formations,” is a collaboration with the school’s football team that will pair each of the 120 unique digital tokens with a limited-edition Nike Air Max 1. The shoes will feature the corresponding NFT on its tongue. Nike designer Tinker Hatfield created the tokens from stories of brotherhood told by Oregon football players, who will receive 70% of the auction’s proceeds. Another 10% will go to the aforementioned student-athlete fund.
Feb. 11, 2022
11 AM ET
OnlyFans, Playboy expanding NFT capabilities
Adult content is embracing Web 3.0 technology. OnlyFans, the subscription site where content creators can share sexually explicit content, will now allow users to display NFTs as their profile pictures. The feature is similar to that which Twitter launched last month, whereby the profile picture expands in detailed fashion to verify that the user actually owns the underlying NFT. The picture will appear with an Ethereum icon that users can click to receive more information about the digital piece on OpenSea.
Playboy is also expanding its NFT functionality through plans to rebuild its brand in the metaverse, according to CNBC. The magazine is hoping to capitalize on its massive pool of IP by releasing more NFTs, offering digital subscriptions and recreating the Playboy mansion in a virtual world. Last October, the brand released its first NFT collection, a series of 11,953 bunny avatars called “Rabbitars.”
“We have 10 million pieces of content in our archive that we can also drop as NFT’s [sic] moving forward,” CEO Ben Kohn told CNBC.
Feb. 10, 2022
4:30 PM ET
Buffalo Wild Wings celebrates Super Bowl overtime with “NF-OTs”
Buffalo Wild Wings is selling three NFTs, dubbed “NF-OTs,” to honor the five-year anniversary of the only Super Bowl to have been decided in overtime (a.k.a. OT). That game—Super Bowl LI—saw the New England Patriots overcome a 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in extra time. The three buyers of the NFTs will receive a year’s worth of wings from the restaurant chain. The tokens will feature original artwork by artist JordanNYC and be sold on marketplace Rarible for 24 hours beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 13).
10:30 AM ET
Salesforce considering NFT cloud service
Salesforce, the software company that provides cloud-based tools for sales, marketing and e-commerce entities, is expressing interest in creating an NFT service for artists and content creators, according to CNBC. On a call with employees, co-chief executives Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor said they were planning to launch an NFT Cloud, which would presumably combine Salesforce’s cloud tools with NFT technology.
A Salesforce-owned marketplace for buying and selling NFTs could also be in the mix. The news comes after Salesforce unveiled its Super Bowl ad, which urges viewers to focus on cultivating the earth despite “others [looking] to the metaverse and Mars.” It appears that Salesforce is now one of these “others.”
Feb. 8, 2022
9:30 AM ET
College football players in Senior Bowl get personalized NFTs
Players participating in last weekend’s Reese’s Senior Bowl were gifted their own personalized NFT trading cards. The one-of-one digital tokens feature six-second videos of each player and are minted on a private blockchain run by collectibles company Panini. Players have the option to hold onto their tokens or sell them right away on Panini’s NFT marketplace.
The Senior Bowl is an annual showcase for college football players to help their NFL draft stock. With unique NFTs, these players could build their personal brands and monetize them in a similar way to how traditional trading cards have functioned, only the tokens are wholly owned by the athletes. More NFT activations could be seen in college sports now that the NCAA is allowing collegiate players to profit from their name, image and likeness.
Feb. 3, 2022
5:30 PM ET
Disney is looking to hire NFT experts
Disney is looking for NFT experts to help develop its metaverse strategy. A posting for manager of business development—which is listed on the company’s career site—describes someone who will “help lead Disney's efforts in the NFT space including monitoring the evolving marketplace, setting category strategy, and managing key partners.” Three other jobs currently listed—culture trend marketing manager, director of sales and digital marketing and an MBA intern for ESPN’s business development and innovation team—all reference NFT-related duties and knowledge in their descriptions.
Previously, former Disney CEO Bob Iger said he expected to see “an explosion” in the NFT space, and, on an earnings call, current CEO Bob Chapek said that the company’s efforts are working toward “[being] able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse.”
Feb. 3, 2022
12:00 PM ET
Cameo’s NFT project
Personalized video app Cameo is launching Cameo Pass, an NFT project aimed at talent, fans, and “Web3 enthusiasts.” A pass will give the owner access to limited release art, virtual and IRL events, and merchandise drops. Minting more passes grants access to more art, which can be resold or transferred.
During the pre-sale, which started today, interested customers can mint up to six passes, and nine passes after the public launch on February 17. The company didn’t say how many passes will be minted in total. Cameo will work with OpenSea to mint the NFTs, which will be created by artists Burnt Toast of Doodles, Vinnie Hager of Letters, and illustrator Luke McGarry. The NFT passes will go for around $500 each.
The NFL is giving each spectator at this year’s Super Bowl a free NFT that is unique to their respective section, row and seat. It will also release seven NFTs for purchase to commemorate the game’s seven previous appearances in Los Angeles. A new token will be dropped daily from Feb. 6 to game day on Feb. 13, when a final NFT will be released that features the artwork for this year’s ticket, as designed by a local southern California artist.
The giveaway extends similar efforts the league has made throughout the season to combine popular interest in collecting ticket stubs with its official NFT marketplace—a collaboration with Ticketmaster.
Feb. 2, 2022
9 AM ET
Verizon turns lame love into NFTs
Verizon is getting into the NFT space by asking consumers about their worst Valentine’s Day gift. Fans can enter the “Token of Love” contest to have their lame gift turned into an NFT. From February 2-6, people can enter by tweeting their worst V-Day gift and tagging Verizon with the hashtag #MakeItUltra, a nod to the carrier’s 5G Ultra Wideband campaign that started last month. Eighteen winners will have their gift made into any NFT by Chibi Labs, an NFT studio. The NFTs will be viewable and for resale on OpenSea.
Feb. 1, 2022
3 PM ET
Coachella launches NFT marketplace with lifetime passes
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has teamed with crypto exchange FTX to launch an NFT marketplace. Three collections of NFTs will be dropped on Feb. 4, highlighted by the Keys Collection, which features lifetime passes to the festival, unique rewards for the 2022 event (April 15-24) and virtual experiences in the future. Fans will have to bid for the ten collectibles from this collection.
Two more collections will be launched at the same time. The Sights and Sounds collection consists of 10,000 NFTs from 10 unique combinations, each depicting a photo and soundscape from past festivals, and will cost $60 to mint and be redeemable for a physical print of the image. The Desert Reflections collection ($180) will consist of 1,000 NFTs consisting of 1 of 10 digitally rendered Coachella posters from a past year from the artist Emek, and be redeemable for a real copy of "Coachella | The Photographs: 1999-2019" photo book. Secondary sales are expected to occur on the festival’s NFT marketplace, which will use the Solana blockchain.
Jan. 31, 2022
3:33 PM ET
PacSun's Mall Rats
Clothing brand PacSun has taken the term “mall rat” into the metaverse. The brand is rolling out a series of NFTs of cartoon rats wearing its clothing. Only three have been released so far, priced at $200 each. The retailer plans to eventually release 300 in all, the same number of stores it has. With each NFT purchase, buyers will receive a physical item of clothing depicting the selected Pac Mall Rat. This is PacSun’s second NFT drop, following a November 2021 release of the brand’s wave logo. The current collection of Pac Mall Rats is available for auction on OpenSea until February 7.
Jan. 27, 2022
10:30 AM ET
Frank’s RedHot unveils edible NFT challenge ahead of Super Bowl
Frank’s RedHot is entering the NFT space with a token that is paired with an edible replica, dubbed an “eNFT.” The hot sauce brand has also released “Bonecoin,” its own spoof cryptocurrency that fans can collect in order to win the NFT and its edible counterpart.
Starting Jan. 27 and through the end of the Super Bowl (Feb. 13), fans can scan images of their chicken wing bones (which presumably had been drenched in Frank’s sauce) and earn “Bonecoin” through a mobile site. The fan with the most “Bonecoin” after the Super Bowl will win the NFT and “eNFT.” Former NFL quarterback Eli Manning will give out free Frank’s RedHot wings in New York City on Feb. 2 in order to help fans start earning “Bonecoin.” Comedian Eric André will also promote the campaign on social media. Extra “Bonecoin” opportunities will be available through the mobile site via links to follow Frank’s social handles and download the Flavor Maker app.
Jan. 25, 2022
1:30 PM ET
Paris Hilton gives out NFTs on “The Tonight Show”
During her appearance on “The Tonight Show” on Jan. 24, Paris Hilton gave away a free NFT from her upcoming collection to each member of the audience. Although the crowd eventually cheered, there was some initial hesitation, perhaps indicating that the general public is still confused about the space.January 25, 2022
Hilton’s collection is with digital toy company Superplastic and will eventually be dropped on the Origin Protocol, a decentralized platform that creates NFT marketplaces. Hilton also gave an NFT to host Jimmy Fallon. During the show, both Hilton and Fallon also discussed their ownership of collectibles from Bored Ape Yacht Club, which is one of the most successful collections yet (and popular among celebrities). Hilton has been an outspoken advocate of NFTs and was previously scheduled to speak about the technology at a CES panel, but she did not show up and gave no reason for her absence.
Jan. 20, 2022
1:30 PM ET
Adidas to launch interactive art project that will be sold as an NFT— adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) January 20, 2022
Adidas is launching “Adidas for Prada re-source,” a digital art creation project that will allow fans to contribute to a tiled canvas that will eventually be minted into an NFT and sold at auction. A 15% share of the final sale will be split among fans who contribute, with 80% donated to non-profit Share Factory and the remaining 5% to digital artist Zach Lieberman, who will help to curate the design.
The project, a collaboration with luxury fashion house Prada, is in-part a make-up for Adidas’ clumsy NFT drop last month, in which numerous fans were unable to mint the “Into the Metaverse” collectibles. Adidas will allocate 500 spots to this group for the project’s waitlist.
Another 1,000 spots will be allocated for holders of the “Into the Metaverse” token, making good on the retailer’s promise of exclusive rewards. The final 1,500 spots will be allocated to the public. The waitlist opens Jan. 24.
11 AM ET
Patrón’s NFT drop grants access to limited-edition tequila bottles
Patrón is releasing its first batch of NFTs that will unlock real bottles of its limited-edition Chairman’s Reserve tequila. The collection will drop Jan. 25 on BlockBar.com, a direct-to-consumer NFT marketplace for wine and spirits. Buyers will have the choice to redeem their token for the delivery of a physical bottle, trade it on the BlockBar marketplace, keep it in their “virtual bar” or gift it to someone else.
The collection includes 150 NFTs tied to their respective bottles, and will be sold for 1.5 ETH (approximately $4,500), purchasable with Ether or by credit card.
9:20 AM ET
Tom Brady’s NFT agency nets $170 million in Series B funding
Autograph, a startup NFT agency co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady, closed a $170 million Series B round funded primarily by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Kleiner Perkins. Additional participation came from a new fund led by crypto investor Katie Haun and Lightspeed partner Nicole Quinn. As part of the investments, Autograph will add three new members to its board: Haun, a16z’s Arianna Simpson and Kleiner Perkins’ Ilya Fushman.
Autograph is hoping to serve as a middle-man between popular athletes and entertainers and the growing NFT space. Current partners represent big names like Tiger Woods, Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and Tony Hawk.
— Asa Hiken
Jan. 18, 2022
1:30 PM ET
Coinbase to allow NFT purchases with Mastercard
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will soon begin to allow Mastercard as a method of purchase on its forthcoming NFT marketplace, Coinbase NFT. Until now, most NFTs could only be bought using a cryptocurrency, like Ether (ETH), which requires consumers to conduct a multi-step process just to become eligible buyers. With Mastercard, however, Coinbase is working to classify NFTs as “digital goods,” allowing consumers to buy the tokens with their Mastercard credit card.
— Asa Hiken
StockX ties NFTs to sneakers in new type of trading
Sneaker resale marketplace StockX is starting a service that allows users to trade sneakers without ever taking possession of them. Vault NFTs, as it is being called, uses NFTs tied to physical products that sneaker traders can buy and sell using blockchain technology to ensure authenticity. Buyers will own the token and sneakers and may have them delivered at any time.
Jan. 14, 2022
4 PM ET
NFT creators, investors owe billions in taxes
Investors and creators of nonfungible tokens— whose market has ballooned to $44 billion, Chainalysis data show—face billions of dollars in taxes and rates as high as 37%, according to tax experts. Internal Revenue Service officials who deal with tax evaders say they are gearing up for a crackdown.
The surprises looming for NFT enthusiasts when tax filing season begins this month are crypto’s latest wake-up call from Washington as officials across the U.S. government set their sights on the burgeoning industry. The rules about taxing tokens aren’t clear, leaving NFT collectors scrambling to calculate how much they owe. Investors may not realize they need to pay any taxes at all or that they should file more than once a year, increasing the odds they’ll face future penalties.
11 AM ET
Budweiser to drop randomly generated NFTs in support of emerging musicians
Budweiser’s latest NFT collection, Budweiser Royalty, aims to support emerging musicians by taking advantage of a popular trend in the digital collectible space. The drop will feature 11,000 NFTs based on 22 artists (500 per), and each token will be randomly generated upon purchase, varying in rarity and corresponding rewards. Four hundred core-level NFTs will only include the collectible itself; 99 rare-level tokens will include access to a virtual listening party with their artist on Discord; and one ultra-rare-level token will allow buyers to have a video call with their artist, as well as access to their Discord listening party. The tokens will be dropped on Jan. 21 and sold for $499 a piece.
The collection is in partnership with VaynerMedia’s VaynerNFT division, and takes advantage of a randomness tactic that has helped to popularize NFT collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club. Random generation introduces a gambling aspect to the buying experience, as well as boosts the collectibles’ potential to be flipped on secondary markets depending on their rarity. For Budweiser Royalty, owners of a Budweiser Heritage token from its previous drop will have early access to the auction.
Gap will debut its first collection of non-fungible tokens this week. Like some retail rivals, the brand’s NFTs will include a gaming component to encourage customers to continue to engage. The limited collection will feature work from Brandon Sines, the New York-based artist behind Frank Ape illustrations. The NFT collectibles will be available for purchase at different price levels—the lowest, called “Common,” will cost roughly $8.30, while the highest, “One of a Kind,” will be available for purchase in an auction format on Jan. 24. Customers who collect the digital art at lower levels and reach a certain level will be able to purchase a physical Gap hoodie designed in collaboration with Sines.
Jan. 11, 2022
2 PM, ET
The AP is turning photojournalists’ work into NFTs
The Associated Press will launch an NFT marketplace built by blockchain technology provider Xooa. Users will be able to purchase the news agency’s photos, including Pulitzer-Prize-winning images. The photos’ subject matter will range from space, climate, and war, as well as spotlighting specific AP photographers. Each NFT’s metadata will include the time, date, location, equipment and technical settings used to capture the shot. All proceeds will go back into funding AP journalism. The marketplace will open Jan. 31.
Jan. 10, 2022
4:10 PM ET
Ahead of its Super Bowl-themed “Puppy Bowl,” Animal Planet launched the first of a series of trading cards in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which fans can view and mint (purchase) on marketplace Chronicle. The opening drop features 5,000 free tokens of the “Puppy Bowl Pass,” which offer fans first access to the upcoming drops of NFTs that will vary in price and rarity. The full series includes 23 unique cards that will be doled out weekly before the game on Feb. 13.
Jan. 6, 2022
12 PM ET
Barbie releases first NFTs with fashion house Balmain
Mattel-owned Barbie is dipping its toes into the digital art world with three unique NFTs of its Barbie and Ken avatars. The tokens will feature the dolls styled in designs by Balmain, offering a digital version of the brand’s new line of ready-to-wear accessories with the French luxury fashion house. Accompanying the NFTs will be a corresponding set of real-life, Barbie-sized Balmain pieces.
The auction will be offered exclusively through Mattel Creations, the toy manufacturer’s e-commerce platform launched in 2020, and hosted on marketplace mintNFT. Other Mattel brands that have recently seen NFT drops include Hot Wheels and UNO—more signs that the manufacturer is angling to meet increasing consumer interest in the metaverse.
Jan. 5, 2022
12 PM ET
Drone Racing League enters the metaverse with new series and NFT prizes
Players competing in the Drone Racing League will soon be able to win NFTs and cryptocurrency as part of a new play-to-earn series being designed with game developer Playground Labs. The competition and token prizes will live on the Algorand blockchain, an up-and-comer in the crypto space that boasts an environmentally friendlier model.
The DRL’s partnership with Playground Labs—a new gaming affiliate of crypto-investment fund Hivemind Capital Partners—extends high-speed drone racing beyond real-life and esports and into the metaverse, where the league is hoping to build the next generation of fan experiences and create new brand integrations. Drone racing is a sport with a growing fan base that has interests in adjacent and buzzy marketing spaces, including gaming and fintech.
“[The] DRL is made for the metaverse and the future global economy, where play-to-earn games will create community, economic sustainability and authentic engagement for participants around the world,” said Playground Labs CEO Sam Peurifoy.
— Asa Hiken
Jan. 3, 2022
9:30 AM ET
Derek Jeter NFT collection launches with rotating Times Square display
To promote the launch of “Jeter: The Captain Collection,” NFT company Autograph unveiled an interactive billboard in Times Square that features personalized fan messages to the former baseball star. The messages will be fielded from Autograph’s Discord community and center around Jeter’s fans in his home city of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Jeter collection drops on Jan. 6.
The rotating display will also debut a leaderboard that ranks all Autograph members based on the rarity of their collectibles. Autograph was co-founded by Tom Brady, and on New Year’s Eve also spotflighted its NFTs from Brady, The Weeknd, Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and Tiger Woods, among others.
— Asa Hiken