In an exclusive interview with Boardroom, Dwyane Wade details his next steps in the metaverse with Budweiser Zero.
As of May 10, Budweiser fans of legal drinking age in select markets across the US can purchase custom Wade Budweiser Zero cans equipped with is likeness with the purchase of Budweiser Zero on ShopBeerGear.com. The popular brewing company is also releasing a line-up of Wade-themed merchandise and apparel available for purchase online.
“I love this project because one of the quotes that I came up with and what I live by is what’s on the can: my belief is stronger than your doubt. That’s something that when you’re talking about alcohol, drinking, dieting, or whatever, you need some encouragement,” Wade told Boardroom in an exclusive interview. “To have a can that gives you that encouragement to me is something that’s dope.”
The NFT collection includes custom-designed Wade visuals and quotes, membership utilities, and a charitable integration. The project will drop later this month with three different types of NFTs and various experiences and merchandise linked to them.
“As an important part of the Budweiser portfolio, we are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Dwyane Wade and provide Budweiser fans another way to engage with our 0.0% alcohol brew,” said Daniel Blake, Budweiser’s VP of Marketing, in a statement. “The Budverse Legends NFT collection and physical Budweiser Zero collectible cans give brand fans, and Wade fans the opportunity to own a unique piece of Budweiser history while supporting a meaningful cause.”
A Deeper Connection
Budweiser Zero was cofounded and developed with Dwyane Wade himself in 2020 as Bud’s first non-alcoholic and zero-sugar brew. Budweiser Zero was crafted for consumers who want to enjoy an alcohol-less beer without sacrificing taste. Wade said his partnership with Budweiser came about during his last season on the court, and he was eager to form a relationship with the brewing company because of its rich history and tradition.
“I like to say my partnership with Budweiser happened organically… it was kind of the perfect storm,” Wade told Boardroom. “It was personal to me, and I always say it was personal to me because of my mom’s journey and my father’s journey through addiction to alcohol. They stopped drinking years ago, so for me to be a part of creating a non-alcoholic brew not only for the masses but just for my parents is something I was excited about doing.”
Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union-Wade, are avid art collectors, so moving into non-fungible tokens was a natural fit for the family. Wade said what he really loves about the NFT space is the opportunity to create digital art pieces linked to unique experiences and worthwhile utilities. Launching a new NFT collection linked to Budweiser Zero is especially exciting for Wade since his non-alcoholic brewing brand was born during the pandemic. Wade said while alcohol sales skyrocketed during that time, fans invested in Budweiser Zero because of how unique it is. The NBA legend is eager to continue evolving Budweiser Zero’s brand, so this next step with Budverse is a crucial milestone.
“For us as a two-year brand to jump into this space, I think it’s so great that we can provide something as a young brand to a new audience,” said Wade. “Yes, we’re gonna give them something in the physical, right, but to give them something in the digital at the same time to me is kind of awesome.”
Budverse Legends: Dwyane Wade x Budweiser Zero Edition
Wade’s Budverse Legends NFT collection will drop on Tuesday, May 24 at 2 p.m. ET. The sale will run in an open edition format until 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, with each NFT priced at $180. After that 48-hour period, Budweiser will reveal which NFTs each consumer received across three tiers. Consumers can purchase as many NFTs as they desire before the reveal, and purchasers must be 21 years or older to participate.
The sale will run on Budweiser’s official NFT site, and NFTs can be purchased with Ethereum, Bitcoin, or for convenience, with a credit card. To limit wide fluctuations on the blockchain, a flat fee of $59 will be automatically added to each NFT purchase. Budweiser NFTs cannot be used for commercial use, but holders can collect, sell and trade them on the blockchain.
Here’s a breakdown of the collection’s aforementioned three NFT tiers.
- Core NFTs: There is an unlimited quantity of these NFTs available, and holders will be able to claim a Core Dwyane Wade Decentraland Jersey.
- Hero NFTs: The 99 Hero NFT holders will earn a limited-edition Budweiser Zero x Dwyane Wade can signed by Wade and limited-edition apparel and merchandise, including a Hero Dwyane Wade Decentraland Jersey.
- Legendary NFT: The 1-of-1 Legendary NFT grants the holder a once in a lifetime in-real-life experience with Dwyane Wade, in addition to a Legendary Dwyane Wade Decentraland Jersey, which includes: Autographed Wade sneakers, a photographic Wade memoir, limited-edition apparel and merchandise from the Hero tier, a signed Dwyane Wade Budweiser Zero can, and two Utah Jazz tickets and a hangout with Wade during halftime in the exclusive Chairman suite of a game next season.
One of Wade’s favorite parts of helping to build the collection was designing this trio of tiers, he said, especially that 1-of-1 NFT.
Further, as Budweiser further commits to creating a fair and equitable society and supports organizations fighting for social justice, the brand will donate net profits from the NFT sales to a meaningful charitable cause.
“This being our first NFT collaboration together, I think we’ll learn a lot,” Wade said about his partnership with Budweiser. “We think we covered it all, but we will learn. I think that’s the best part about this. We will have another opportunity to fine-tune it and make these experiences, designs, and collectibles even better.”
Flash in the Metaverse
Wade’s project with Budweiser isn’t his first rodeo in the NFT space. Last November, the NBA legend dropped an NFT collection on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain alongside his photographic memoir to dip his toes in the NFT space.
“It was really just me just trying to get into the NFT space and just really try to learn it, and how I like to learn is [to] get hands-on with it,” Wade said. “I had all these images from my photos that did not make it into the book, so I decided to provide a little bit more to my book launch and release and give fans this experience that everyone doesn’t have the opportunity to get. We did that through NFTs.”
Wade released a new NFT every day during the week his memoir dropped to promote its release. Collectibles were only available for purchase for 24 hours before a new one dropped. The collection included five NFTs in total.
This time, Wade’s NFT collection alongside Budweiser builds on his passion for doing social good, helping develop exclusive experiences for fans, and providing zero-alcohol beverages to consumers who still want to indulge.
Accessibility is top of mind for Wade with this NFT project with Budweiser. He said it was essential to make sure there were various access points and different experiences offered within the collection. The NFT industry offers a unique opportunity for fan interaction, which is something Wade said he wanted to do more of in any event.
Wade’s son, Zaire Wade, runs and manages the family’s NFT collection. Wade said he nabbed Zaire to lead the charge on the family’s NFT presence, including future Wade family-focused NFT drops.
“My son really loves this space. That’s why I can smile about it and talk to you about it, and it all comes from my son and his experience,” Wade said.
Following the launch of the Wade Budverse Legends NFT collection, Wade is already focused on what’s next. He said he’d be interested in launching more NFT projects under Budweiser Zero’s umbrella and expanding the experiences they can offer.
“We’re trying to get them in. I want people to be part of Bud Zero like everyone’s been a part of Budweiser,” Wade said. “When you talk about Budweiser, a company that stayed around this long, they didn’t stay around because they don’t get it. I know that we will just get better from this, and I want everyone to sign up for the long-haul because I think there are some cool experiences that we can provide.”