So, Who is Creating NFTs Anyway?

Blockchain, Digital Finance, NFTs, NFTs 101

A new kind of digital asset called a non-fungible token, or NFT has taken the world by storm! Across all kinds of industries and around the world, it seems like everyone wants to be at the NFT party. 

First Things First — What is An NFT? 

NFTs are digital assets that represent ownership of physical objects like property, art, music, and videos. They’re typically described as authenticated, versatile, and unique. “Unique” is particularly important because it distinguishes NFTs from digital coins and utility tokens which can be easily interchanged. 

What are these unique NFTs used for, and who’s using them? Let’s take a look. 

Sports NFTs 

The most current application of sports NFTs is athletes creating NFTs tied to autographed prints, memorabilia, and digital photos. Others are creating NFTs tied to VIP all-access passes or other ticket-type items. That’s where you see the versatility of NFTs — when they’re used to buy and sell all kinds of authenticated products — both digital and tangible. 

So are athletes creating their own NFTs or having other people doing it for them? 


All over the Internet, sports NFTs are becoming a thing. For instance, just a couple of words in the search bar and you easily find news about NFL star Rob Gronkowski’s NFTs centered around Gronk’s four historic championships, and a separate Career Highlights NFT, representing a more general look at Gronkowski’s role over his glory years. 

If you’re not a Pats fan, other NFL players have NFTs available too. Check out this set from Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Stephen Nelson. And, rumor has it that NFTs for Donovan McNabb are coming soon. Other contemporary players like Terrell Owens also have their own collections. 

But what about beyond the NFL? 

To see if your favorite athlete has NFTs, just do a quick online search. You’ll see that there’s a vast array of options out there – there are NFTs combining the star power of Kelly Slater, Martina Navratilova, Ken Griffey Junior, and none other than former Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps. 

So baseball players, tennis players, swimmers, and all sorts of other athletes are developing their own footprints in the NFT space. 

Here’s another way to see part of the rise of sports NFTs: NFT collections that may or may not be endorsed by a particular athlete. There is the MLB Champions set, where each NFT is tied to a real-time actual baseball game, and the characters in the NFT world get stats according to the real player’s performance. There are even sports NFT collections that have nothing to do with athletic achievements, such as the parody collection Cryptodunks. 

From individual athlete-inspired NFTs to league collections, and everything in between, the non-fungible token is taking over a lot of the transaction value that happens in the sports world. 

NFTs and The Arts 

When people start learning about NFTs, one of the first things they hear is that these blockchain assets are often tied to pieces of digital artwork. 

So, how do you actually own a piece of digital artwork? Can’t people just copy art that’s online? Technically yes – but NFTs are designed to authenticate ownership of the digital art. Meaning you can determine which is the copy. Some art can also be stored directly on the blockchain, making it more challenging to copy.  

The most commonly cited example in recent months was the sale of the artist called Beeple’s “Everyday” creation for the staggering sum of US$69 million. But it’s not just big-name artists who are using NFTs to their advantage – as in this story on Monica Rizzoli and her enterprising use of the NFT marketplace. 

What about superstar writers and movie stars? 

Well, any type of artist with celebrity power can create NFTs in common or even strange and unusual ways. As we’ve seen, it doesn’t take a lot of name recognition, either. While Stephen King is a universally acclaimed writer, a character in a movie derived from Children of the Corn named Courtney Gaines has released his own set of NFTs based on his role in the King-inspired film. Fans of this cult-classic will be familiar with the fiercely whispered line ‘It wants you, too, Malachi!’ and may be able to make more sense of Gaines’ “Malachi Rising” collection, which shows off some of the movie poster artwork that combines digital appeal with traditional visual arts history. 

Music and NFTs 

Of course, musicians are getting in on the NFT action. 

Take a look at one of the most commonly cited examples, California rapper Snoop Dogg, and other acts in the same genre, like the Wu-Tang Clan. Katy Perry is another musician who has launched her own line of NFTs. 

Some of these NFT creations aren’t made by individual musicians. As in Fox’s use of the “Masked Singer” collection, NFTs can be collaboratively created and sourced. They can be anonymously minted and sold based on nearly any kind of fan club appeal or brand recognition. 

Consumer Brands and NFTs 

When it comes to corporate name recognition, brands from Charmin to Taco Bell are getting involved. 

Household brands are launching their own NFTs so that they don’t get left behind in one of the biggest digital revolutions since the MP3! 

Others are using NFTs to raise funds for charities, such as the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation fighting pediatric cancers. 

So, when you start to look into NFTs, you can begin to appreciate their appeal. What people are buying has different types of value – visual value, intellectual property value, and yes, even value related to outcomes in the real world. 

“The value is real, NFTs allow fans to own a piece that is unique to them, giving them a feeling of distinctiveness and exclusive ownership. Investing in NFTs also allows owners to feel a part of a community whether it’s around a sport, an artist, or a celebrity.”

Roy Bernhard, President & Chief Product Officer at FabriikX.


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