Simone Biles To Release Her First NFT Collection Tuesday, Cashing In On Booming Market
Simone Biles, arguably the greatest gymnast of all time, will release her first non-fungible token (NFT) collection on Tuesday via Autograph, the NFT platform cofounded by legendary quarterback Tom Brady.
There will be over 10,000 NFTs available for purchase, at a starting price point of $12, Biles told Forbes in an exclusive interview announcing her debut collection.
Biles said she worked closely with Autograph to create the NFTs, adding, “As I look ahead in my career, I’m really interested in diversifying my creative skills and connecting with my fans in a new way.”
The NFTs will be sold on Autograph.io and DraftKings Marketplace.
A “second wave” of limited-edition tokens, including digitally signed NFTs, will drop later in the week.
Biles will also join Autograph’s advisory board, which already includes fellow star athletes such as Naomi Osaka, Tony Hawk, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods.
“Like most people, I’ve been hearing more and more about NFTs over the past few months,” Biles told Forbes. “It’s been such an interesting space to learn about, and I’m thrilled to finally participate with my first-ever NFT collection.”
The prices of highly sought-after NFTs, whose value is derived from their verifiable digital scarcity and digital ownership, have soared to new heights in August. Over the past 30 days, the sales volume of CryptoPunks NFTs, a collection of pixelated avatars, has topped $727 million, according to data from the industry-tracking website CryptoSlam. Another popular NFT, Art Blocks, generated more than $280 million in sales last week alone. Earlier this year, Brady, fresh off another Super Bowl victory, announced that his platform had signed partnerships with entertainment company Lionsgate and sports betting firm DraftKings. On August 11, Brady dropped his first NFT collection, and all 10,000 instantly sold out. Wayne Gretzky released an NFT collection via Autograph the following week, which reportedly sold out within minutes. Biles told Forbes that she was “really excited” when Autograph approached her about a potential partnership. She also stated she felt “honored to join a group with Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky and Naomi Osaka.” Biles said another important factor in joining the platform was “knowing that it would be a true collaborative process.”
Biles surprisingly pulled out of the team gymnastics final at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics to prioritize her mental health. She explained that she didn’t trust herself to do dangerous stunts and that choosing to remain in the competition could have potentially led to catastrophic injury and cost Team USA a medal. In the immediate aftermath of her decision, several—particularly right-wing—media pundits lashed out at the four-time Olympic gold medal winner. Conservative activist (and right-wing radio talk show host) Charlie Kirk called Biles a “sociopath” and a “shame to the country.” However, Biles also received an immense amount of support from athletes and celebrities worldwide. Pop star Justin Bieber wrote that he was “so proud” of her decision to withdraw. Tennis legend Billie Jean King stated that Biles “showed true leadership in taking herself out of competition in order for her team to have a chance to medal.”
What To Watch For:
Beginning in September, Biles will star in the Gold Over America Tour, which features an all-star team of gymnasts including Jordan Chiles, MyKayla Skinner, Katelyn Ohashi, Peng Peng Lee and Morgan Hurd. The 35-city tour will run through November and feature performances as well as highlight each athlete's journey to becoming a world-class gymnast.
$5 million. That's how much Biles earns annually in endorsements, according to Forbes estimates. She has a dozen corporate partners, including Athleta, Visa, United Airlines, and Uber Eats.Source