The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers Add NFTs To Public Art Engagement Program

The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers Add NFTs To Public Art Engagement Program

NFT engagement is becoming increasingly popular with basketball teams in the NBA. In the mainstream spotlight, it all started with the boom of NBA Top Shot. However, it quickly spread to team-specific initiatives, including the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the latest NBA team to get involved.

Cavaliers Contemporary Art Program

Rather than bringing commemorative art straight to auction, the Cavs NFT celebrates renowned artists. The team and arena will integrate the works of regional, national, and international artists.

The team’s naming rights sponsor, Rocket Mortgage, engages with Cavs locally through a variety of programs, including the ‘Public Art Program’. After a two-year renovation of the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in 2019, the team announced the program as a way to bring a multimedia collection of contemporary art to the arena. According to the 2019 announcement, the program was privately funded in full by Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert and his wife Jennifer. The program celebrates regional artists while still bringing in unique works of art from nationally and internationally renowned creatives.

Artist Engagement Via NFTs

The Cavaliers are leveling up the Public Art Program with a new dedicated NFT Collection, according to a recent press release. NFTs will be displayed on the arena both physically and on LED video boards. The team will also showcase NFTs on social channels for the team and venue.

The Cavs have purchased three NFTs from Foundation and have featured them on display in a glass atrium at the arena. The display spans four-stories tall, and can be viewed by passersby in downtown Cleveland. The initial three NFTs were created by artists Dillon Hutchins and Isaac Garcia.

The Cavs recently hosted a private “Art of Business” event, where over 50 attendees were gifted the team’s first-ever minted NFT – the “Cleveland Cavaliers Locker Room”. Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse SVP & Chief Information Officer Mike Conley described the initial NFT concept as “a prelude to some very interesting things we have in store for all our fans coming soon.”

Rocket Mortgage continues to build it’s network throughout the midwest via programs such as the Public Art Program. Rocket Mortgage is based in Detroit, MI – just a two to three hour drive away from Cleveland around Lake Erie.

Interested fans can sign up for alerts on the Cavs NFT Collection webpage.

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