With football season just around the corner, DraftKings (who is no stranger to the NFT space) is introducing an NFL Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) NFT product known as Reignmakers . This is a bold and brilliant move on the part of DraftKings as they are effectively looking to provide NFTs with something critics claim they sorely lack: utility. So what’s the deal? And why is this such a big deal for the world of fantasy sports and NFTs? Let’s dig in and find out!
Makin’ It Reign!
Now I don’t know how much you do or don’t know about the world of fantasy sports, but it’s a massive industry. In fact, in 2021, the value of the global fantasy sports market was estimated to be worth over $19.9 billion! What’s more, this valuation is expected to more than double by 2028, reaching over $47.9 billion!
So what exactly is fantasy sports? Simply put, it’s a kind of online prediction game where you put a virtual team of real players together. The better your chosen players perform in real life, the higher your fantasy points. You’ll also compete with other managers and pit your team against theirs, and in order to gain the upper hand and win fantasy sports leagues, you’ll need to add, drop, trade and/or sell your players in the hopes that your team will keep on winning.
As I mentioned earlier, DraftKings already entered the world of NFTs back in August 2021 when they partnered with Autograph to release five Premier Preseason Access Collection drops featuring legendary quarterback Tom Brady . Needless to say, the release was a huge success, and all five drops sold out immediately. It also marked the official launch of the DraftKings NFT Marketplace which is still going strong today.
This of course was just the start for DraftKings, and this is where Reignmakers comes in. In many ways, Reignmakers is the next logical step forward for DraftKings (and even NFTs in general) since people will now be able to purchase NFLPA-officially licensed NFTs of players and use them in daily fantasy sports competitions in which they stand to win cash prizes, more NFTs and an assortment of other prizes. Want NFTs to have actually utility? Well, here it is!
But Why NFTs?
Now not everyone is a fan of NFTs, and if you look at the way many projects have gone and the culture behind the industry as a whole, it’s hard to blame them for their enduring skepticism…
Check out our article NFT Culture Sucks - 5 Ways We Can Make It Better by clicking here.
But not all NFT projects are equal, and while skeptics may have some valid points, they certainly don’t apply to every project out there. The thing is, NFT technology is very practical in many ways and is fundamentally changing the way many industries function. Not wanting to be left behind as this technology develops and adoption increases, DraftKings have judiciously made the move to incorporate NFTs into their offering, thus merging the world of fantasy sports with NFTs. It’s a no-brainer: DraftKings helps develop both industries, expands their userbase and makes fantasy sports more accessible, useful and fun for everyone involved.
Matt Kalish , president and co-founder of DraftKings, even had this to say about DFS and the added value Reignmakers is bringing to the industry:
For instance, DFS looks nothing like Madden Ultimate Team , but this sure looks a lot like it, because you’re building, collecting, growing a team, divesting players you don’t believe are going to be part of things for you, [and] adding the players you have a lot of conviction about.
What’s also great with Reignmakers is that you don’t actually need any real understanding of NFTs or Web3 technology to purchase or use the cards. In other words, DraftKings are trying to improve access to NFT technology and get people to warm up to it by not bogging them down with overly complex processes or unfamiliar jargon. All you do is buy the cards and use them for a chance to win over a million dollars a week throughout the season. Yes, you read that right people: $1 million USD!
And How Exactly Does It Work?
So other than needing cards to play, the key difference with Reignmakers is that contests are tiered. In other words, there are various levels for cards depending on how much you’re willing to spend. The tiers are:
- Legendary, and
Core is the least expensive tier, and for less than $20, you can buy a pack of three cards. However, even if players don’t want to spend any money at all but still participate, DraftKings is giving all users a six card pack for free, allowing them to enter tournaments. And this is possibly where Reignmakers really differs from the vast majority of NFT projects—it actually seeks to include everyone, from curious newcomers to experienced veterans. You want mass adoption? This is how you do it.
And as for the highest tier, that being Reignmaker, cards are going for over five figures on the secondary market—however, the vast majority of these are limited to eight cards. This also means that tournaments will be a lot smaller, but the prize pools will naturally be nothing short of impressive.
VeeFriends X Reignmakers
Yup, everyone’s favorite entrepreneur, business guru and NFT enthusiast Gary Vee is also getting in on the action. If you’re surprised, you shouldn’t be, because Gary isn’t just a massive fan and proponent of NFTs; he’s also a die-hard New York Jets fan (check his Twitter profile if you don’t believe me). In short, there was just no way that Gary wasn’t going to get involved in this project.
So Gary’s signature NFT project, VeeFriends , has partnered with DraftKings to bring the VeeFriends League to fans of VeeFriends and fantasy football!
And what exactly is the VeeFriends League? Well, it’s where all of the Gary Vee contests will be hosted. Everything will take place from Week 1 through Week 3 of the NFL Regular Season, and in the VeeFriends League, participants will be able to compete in a public contest at the Core tier. The top 1,000 performers at the end of each week will then be eligible to play in a Week 4 Major contest to win a number of different prizes.
As for prizes, recipients stand to win a variety of experiences with Gary Vee, VeeFriends NFTs, Reignmakers Core, Rare, Elite and Legendary packs, and much, much more. If there’s one thing Gary knows how to do, it’s to leverage the potential and reach of strong projects and connect them with his own. Given his impressive track record, there are plenty of good reasons to get yourself a pack and compete against the man himself!
Is This the Future?
If NFTs are to enjoy any kind of mainstream adoption, they need to overcome a few hurdles first, and one of the biggest ones is undoubtedly utility. Judging by the general feedback I’ve seen on Twitter and YouTube, it seems like most fans of DraftKings and DFS are more than just a little pumped for Reignmakers. Increasingly it seems that NFTs are bound to be linked with physical goods and prizes, and this is where their true power may be revealed.
You can check out our article Is the Future of NFTs Digital or Physical? If You’re Gary Vee, It Might Just Be Both! by clicking here.
Honestly, DraftKings isn’t a small company, and they’re already well-established with a bunch of innovations and successes under their belt. This endeavor bodes well for the future of DFS and NFTs, and if successful, there’s little doubt that similar projects will follow in the future. The power of NFTs is being revealed as time goes by, and with companies like DraftKings using their experience and knowledge to go about it the right way, we may see the mass adoption of NFT tech sooner than later…
So what do you think of DraftKings Reignmakers? Is this the future of DFS? And what about Gary Vee’s involvement? Are you going to take him on? Let us know your thoughts!