Set to launch in May, the digital trading cards feature female athletes represented by the Wasserman sports agency.
Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe are adding another accomplishment to their storied careers. The WNBA legend and US Women’s National Soccer Team hero announced this week that they’re joining up with a squad of other high-level female athletes to release a series of non-fungible token trading cards known as The Collective Series.
Set to launch in May, the drop will include the No. 1 and No. 3 picks in the 2021 WNBA Draft, Charli Collier and Aari McDonald, X Games gold medalist skateboarder Moriah Duran, and Paralympics track and field star Scout Bassett. All of the participating stars are represented by The Collective, the division of the Wasserman sports agency focused on women athletes.
To bring the NFTs to life, the group is teaming up with Los Angeles-based artist Lauren Nipper, who will work with each athlete to design a unique digital rendering.
The Collective cites the NFTs as an opportunity for athletes to capitalize on the crypto craze while achieving increased visibility in a sports market that often overlooks even the most accomplished female athletes.
“Typically, athletes are bound by union and league restrictions, so the nature of NFTs in allowing women athletes, in this instance, to have full autonomy and agency over their own name and likeness in the crypto realm is a really unique opportunity,” Wasserman’s Executive Vice President of Action and Olympic Sports Circe Wallace said via Sportico.
The digital cards will be available on Zora, a crypto collectibles marketplace that is open to build on and free to use. Zora aims to challenge its users to “unlearn what it means to create value for one another and opens a conversation that playfully jostles our understanding of how ownership, media, and identity interact today.”
Rapinoe and Bird and are no strangers to blazing new trails. In addition racking up nearly every individual and team trophy an athlete could possibly imagine, from league titles and MVP awards to Olympic medals and World Cup trophies, the power couple has ventured into a number of business endeavors in recent years.
Bird linked up with Rapinoe’s USWNT teammate Alex Morgan, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Simone Manuel, and snowboarder Chloe Kim to launch Togxthr, a sports, culture, and lifestyle media brand focused on women. In 2019, Rapinoe launched her own lifestyle brand, Re-inc, with fellow US National Team stars Tobin Heath, Christen Press, and Meghan Klingenberg.
And this newest collaboration will provide yet another opportunity to amplify and celebrate the accomplishments of female athletes.
“Women and people in women’s sports have continued to show leadership and the power of the collective voice to drive change,” Rapinoe told Sportico. “The NFT landscape is an opportunity to provide space for true ownership, crypto participation, and authentic creativity in a way that hasn’t been done before.”
While several athletes have minted NFTs over the last few months, this is the first collaborative, all-female collection. Along with tennis players Jessica Pegula and Oleksandra Oliynykova and the Stephen F. Austin LadyJacks basketball team, these superstars are not just shaping the landscape of digital collectibles, but redefining what’s possible for female athletes as entrepreneurs.