It has become one of the internet’s most exclusive and most sought-after communities. And this week, Bored Ape Yacht Club sales eclipsed the $1 billion historical sales marker. Everyone from Eminem to Steve Aoki, Steph Curry to Von Miller have copped a Bored Ape. And in just the first few days of 2022, the NFT’s transactions have contributed to OpenSea‘s record surges in transactions, notching over $45 million in sales in one day.
The Rock Launches XFL Countdown
Dwayne Johnson is no stranger to the gridiron. The multi-hyphenate entertainer won a national championship during his time at the University of Miami. But more recently, Johnson has emerged as a co-owner of the XFL, and on Tuesday, he took to Instagram to kick off the official countdown to its return. Training camp will commence on January 4, 2023, and in the meantime, The Rock said XFL insiders will be scouring the country for talent.
Salehe Bembury Returns with New Crocs Colorway
The Versace VP is back. After participating in some of 2021’s hottest footwear collabs, Salehe Bembury teased the most recent edition of his partnership with Crocs on his Instagram. Following on the success of one of last year’s most coveted shoes, the newest version returns to the roots with a lime green, crocodile-inspired colorway.
Group ONE Holding Kicks Off 2022 with $1B Valuation
The Singaporean sports media company, which serves as the parent company for martial arts platform ONE Championship, announced that it has closed a $150 million funding round. The fundraising efforts were led by Guggenheim Investments and the Qatar Investment Authority. While the company currently broadcasts internationally in more than 150 countries worldwide, it plans to expand its league beyond Asia, including potentially bringing it to the US, where it could be a direct competitor to the UFC.
Cavs’ Creative Director Teams Up with Gunna for Custom Sculpture
Dan Arsham — artist and Creative Director for the Cleveland Cavs — sculpted an exclusive bust for Gunna in advance of his new album. Fire Drip Season 4 is set to drop on Jan 7th, and is an early frontrunner for one of the year’s most anticipated albums.
Fanatics Formalizes Topps Deal
After reports emerged of the major acquisition that shook up the hobby, Fanatics confirmed that it has acquired Topps’ trading cards and collectibles division. Although the numbers of the deal have not been publicly released, sources familiar estimate that the purchase price was around $500 million, according to CNBC. As part of the deal, Fanatics effectively obtains the MLB‘s exclusive trading card rights immediately as opposed to waiting until 2025. And they’re positioned not only to keep Topps Baseball products around as if they never left, but bring back other Topps products, including its dormant catalog of basketball and football sets.
NFT Investment and Production Firm Metaversal Raises $50M
Metaversal is positioned to be a big player in Web3. The NFT investment and production firm announced on Tuesday that it had completed a Series A fundraise of $50 million. CoinFund, Foxhaven, Dapper Labs, Franklin Templeton, and Rarible were among the participants in the successful round. To date, Metaversal has invested in over 750 NFTs, while also building a production division. It also recently was an early investor in ConstitutionDAO.
Adidas and Prada Level Up Partnership
Adidas and Prada are forging new frontiers with their newest collection. The sportswear company and the Italian fashion house released a lookbook of their upcoming collaboration, which, for the first time, features clothing in addition to shoes. The collection leans on classic Prada silhouettes with Adidas’ familiar three stripes.
Karl-Anthony Towns Takes His Game Off the Court with Republic of Gamers
The Minnesota Timberwolves star, and noted gamer, announced that he is joining Republic of Gamers as a brand ambassador. While details of the deal are unknown at this time, Towns confirmed the partnership on his Twitter, and teased that “big things are coming.”
Will and Jada Smith Sell Minority Stake of Westbrook Inc. to Blackstone-backed Firm
Will and Jada are not only one of Hollywood’s most discussed couples, the two have quietly assembled an extensive business portfolio through the years. On Wednesday, reports surfaced that they have reached an agreement to sell off a minority stake in their media company, Westbrook Inc, to Blackstone-backed firm, Candle Media. Westbrook is behind some of the most successful projects of the last year, including King Richard, Cobra Kai, and, of course, Jada Pinkett Smith’s wildly popular Red Table Talk.
Logan Paul and KSI Reveal Unlikely Partnership
Former rivals Logan Paul and KSI have announced they’re setting aside their beef and embarking on an entrepreneurial adventure together. The two YouTube stars have partnered to introduce a new hydration drink, Prime Hydration. In the announcement, they jointly said, “We’re humbled by the process of creating a real brand and look forward to competing with some of the biggest beverage companies in the world.”
Two-time World Champ Ricky Wysocki Signs $4M Deal with Dynamic Discs
Disc golf is one of several outdoor activities that gained massive popularity since the start of the pandemic, However, some folks have been honing their craft for ages, including, two-time World Champion Ricky Wysocki. Wysocki has signed the largest annual value endorsement deal in disc golf history: a four-year, $4 million endorsement deal with Dynamic Discs. Wysocki will take his $250k signing bonus entirely in Bitcoin, joining a growing list of athletes who have taken key payments in crypto including Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr., Cade Cunningham, Trevor Lawrence, and Saquon Barkley.