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The PGA Tour announced a multi-year NFT deal with Autograph, becoming the first professional sports league to partner with the digital collectibles company co-founded by Tom Brady. Autograph will launch the PGA Tour NFT Marketplace in early 2023, which will feature collectible video clips of memorable shots of PGA Tour players.

Autograph’s video NFTs will incorporate data from the PGA Tour’s ShotLink system, such as a specific shot’s ball speed, clubhead speed, bend, height and other shot-tracing graphs and renderings of 3D holes that normally appear on broadcasts. For moments such as a tournament winning putt, this NFT could also include footage from the golfer’s broadcast interview after his shot. Highlights collectible NFTs will cover both archived footage and current moments from the FedEx Cup season.

Players who sign up for the new PGA Tour contract with Autograph will receive guaranteed compensation for their participation, as well as additional payouts for each of their individual NFTs sold. The PGA Tour got “almost everyone” to join its prorated program with Autograph, according to Chris Wandell, the Tour’s vice president of media business development.

“It’s sort of a new set of media rights, it’s rights related to individual athletes and consumer ownership of those moments,” Wandell said. “If a gamer really wants to lean in and promote their own NFTs on their own Instagram and social media, that person will likely generate more revenue than the guy who doesn’t really want to lean in. We want to make sure that the players who generate the most revenue are rewarded accordingly. »

PGA Tour events will also include the onsite brand of Autograph, which has existing NFT deals with athletes including Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The company raised $170 million in January.

“We’ve learned in our first year of business that people in the NFT world bond so strongly both with NFT and with each other digitally, that they crave IRL and access to events and tournaments,” Autograph CEO and co-founder Dillon Rosenblatt told SportTechie. “So a big part of our strategy is going to be how do we actually get active in the 40+ tournaments that are going on every year?”

Rosenblatt cited 25-35 year olds as the top consumers of Autograph’s NFT products. The PGA Tour will be the last sports league to offer its own NFT platform. Dapper Labs has built league markets such as NBA Top Shot, NFL All Day and UFC Strike, NHL has partnered with Sweet, while MLB works with Candy Digital and Sorare. The PGA Tour also plans to partner with fantasy sports platform NFT Sorare, as Golf.com originally reported in April.

“I’d be surprised if we didn’t find a clever way to incorporate our signatures,” Rosenblatt says of Autograph’s PGA Tour plans. “The process is we send an iPad to the partner’s home, and we jump in person or live on Zoom with their team. We built an app where they sign each NFT with the stylus, click next, and sign again. In fact, it can take an hour or two. I think it’s important for people to know that this is not a signature that we put on over and over.

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