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MLB launches into NFT space with a new company led by Fanatics

MLB launches into NFT space with a new company led by Fanatics

June 2, 2021: -Major League Baseball will enter the NFT space with the help of Fanatics chairman Michael Rubin and the formation of the latest company known as Candy Digital.

The firm is now agreeing to a multiyear licensing agreement with MLB to produce non-fungible tokens, referred to as NFTs. The first digital collectible will be an exclusive Lou Gehrig NFT, accessible for bidding on July 4.

The Lou Gehrig NFT will also commemorate the first Lou Gehrig Day of MLB on June 2. The league wants to raise more awareness to help combat ALS, also known as the disease of Lou Gehrig.

Specific terms of the agreement of Candy Digital with MLB were not made available. But in licensing deals, MLB is earning a royalty from both primary and secondary sales of its assets. Candy Digital will earn revenue through direct sales of MLB’s assets and from NFT trading fees.

NFTs are tied to a blockchain, a digital ledger similar to the blockchains used for digital currencies such as bitcoin. This gives each NFT a unique and certificate of authenticity that is unable to hack.

Candy Digital will run to its baseball NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. MLB will make its entire digital catalog available. Candy Digital could make NFTs of legends such as Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson.

“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,” she added.

Candy Digital declined to reveal its enterprise value or how much it raised to start. But in comparison, Dapper Labs, a similar firm that launched NFT product, NBA Top Shots, raised $12.9 million via a Series A in 2018, according to Crunchbase. Dapper is currently valued at over $7 billion, according to The Information.

Founders of Candy Digital include Rubin, a part of the Philadelphia 76ers ownership group, and Mike Novogratz, the founder of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital.

The NFT sector exploded this year, with NBA Top Shots one of the main attractions. In March, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski was one of the first athletes to release his version of the digital collectible. And boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. also joined the NFT space in the previous month.

Candy Digital says it will start will sports NFTs, but wants to expand into entertainment and music.


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