Major League Baseball Signs Long-Term Deal With Candy Digital to Produce NFT of Lou Gehrig’s Famous Speech
Candy Digital, a digital collectible company, is entering the NFT (non-fungible token) space with an exclusive long-term agreement with its first content partner Major League Baseball (MLB).
Candy Digital is being launched by three titans of their respective industries who bring unique expertise and skill sets for scaling businesses within the digitally native world: Michael Rubin, Executive Chairman, Fanatics; Mike Novogratz, founder and CEO, Galaxy Digital; and Gary Vaynerchuk, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor.
“At its core, Candy is about allowing everyone to own a piece of their passion – whether that be sports or gaming, fashion or art, music, or pop culture, the goal is to broaden the fanbase of digital collectibles,” says Rubin. “Both Candy and our pioneering partner Major League Baseball live at the intersection of passion, community, innovation, and digital transformation – the sweet spot.”
Leveraging deep experience in sports, e-commerce, fintech, blockchain, pop culture and digital media, the founders and their respective companies have positioned Candy to enter the digital asset marketplace with significant resources, skills, and capabilities. Fanatics, a global leader for licensed sports merchandise and memorabilia, will introduce its 80-plus million consumers to a new way of enjoying their favorite teams, players and sports moments. Galaxy Digital will provide its incredible knowledge of the digital asset, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space, and Gary Vaynerchuk will lend his preeminent digital, social media and collectibles experience to the company. Fanatics will be the majority owner of Candy Digital.
Candy is building Major League Baseball’s official NFT ecosystem where fans and collectors will be able to purchase, trade and share officially licensed NFTs to deepen their love of the sport. Candy’s team of world class digital artists, designers and technologists are developing a broad range of digital collectibles, beginning with sports content and expanding into art, entertainment, music and more. Candy’s NFTs will be available on its online platform where fans will be able to purchase, collect, view, and trade via a branded storefront and secondary marketplace. Fans can sign up to receive the latest information and updates at www.candy.com.
Candy and Major League Baseball’s first release will be a 1-of-1 NFT of Lou Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” speech that he delivered on July 4, 1939, after being diagnosed with ALS. This NFT will commemorate the league’s first official Lou Gehrig Day taking place tomorrow, June 2, to raise awareness and funds to fight ALS, which is also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Proceeds from the sale of the NFT, which is scheduled to be released July 4th weekend, will support ALS charities.
“NFTs are fundamentally changing how we think about owning cultural artifacts,” says Novogratz. “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.”
In launching alongside MLB, the company is also partnering with the ideal league whose fanbase craves memorabilia and the rich tradition for producing some of the most memorable highlights across all sports.
“As a lifetime collector myself, I couldn’t be more excited for what this partnership means for both creators and consumers, especially the uber-passionate MLB community who craves collectibles and celebrating the iconic moments that makes this game so special,” says Vaynerchuk. “We’re at the forefront of a massive technology shift and Candy will be at the center.”
The demand and value of collectibles, both physical and digital, are skyrocketing and attracting an entirely new audience of consumers who crave interactive content. Following the Lou Gehrig NFT release, additional digital assets will be rolled out to MLB’s loyal fan base as the company looks to broaden the current and future demand in this new medium.
“From trading cards to autographed balls, baseball fans have demonstrated their passion for the sport and its players through collectibles for decades,” says Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Commissioner of Baseball. “In working with Candy Digital to offer NFTs to MLB fans, we’re delivering an exciting new addition to the robust baseball collectible market. 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.”