The venture backed by Fanatics, Galaxy Digital, and Gary Vaynerchuk debuts with a 1-of-1 NFT featuring Lou Gehrig.
Major League Baseball announced a new foray into the world of non-fungible tokens Tuesday via a long-term partnership with Candy Digital, a newly-launched company combining the powers of three industry icons.
Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin, Galaxy Digital founder and CEO Mike Novogratz, and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk are pooling their formidable expertise to build Candy into a major player in the digital collectibles space. Fanatics boasts a sports-obsessed consumer base of 80 million, Galaxy Digital is an expert in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, and Vaynerchuk is a potent voice in social media and digital marketing.
“In working with Candy Digital to offer NFTs to MLB fans, we’re delivering an exciting new addition to the robust baseball collectible market,” Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said. “The founders of Candy are a dynamic group of executives with an impressive track record. We’re excited to be the first partner in this new venture with a team uniquely positioned for success.”
Candy is building out a new MLB non-fungible token marketplace where fans will soon be able to buy, share, and trade officially licensed NFTs beginning with a 1-of-1 release commemorating legendary New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig’s iconic “Luckiest Man” speech.
That unforgettable July 4, 1939 speech delivered the tragic news that The Iron Horse was diagnosed with ALS, which came to be widely known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The NFT will additionally commemorate MLB’s first Lou Gehrig Day on Wednesday, June 2, with proceeds helping to fight ALS.
The token itself will be released over Fourth of July weekend.
“Both Candy and our pioneering partner, Major League Baseball, live at the intersection of passion, community, innovation, and digital transformation — the sweet spot,” Rubin said.
This latest move positions MLB to benefit further from the ever-expanding physical and digital baseball trading card market, as as well as the 2021 NFT boom best exemplified in the sports world by the NBA’s partnership wth Dapper Labs on NBA Top Shot.
“NFTs are fundamentally changing how we think about owning cultural artifacts,” Novogratz said. “We’re in the very early stages of this transformation and Candy’s focus on creativity, community and authenticity will all play a key role in its success in defining this new market.”