NFL players become Deadfellaz characters that will be released as NFT collectibles through a DraftKings, Deadfellaz NFT, and NFL Players Association collaboration.
Halloween is just around the corner, and fantasy sports platform DraftKings ensured it would get first dibs on this much-awaited annual event. DraftKings announced that several star NFL players would be zombified and turned into Deadfellaz characters to use within its fantasy football game.
The creation of zombified NFT versions of these star players is made possible through a collaboration between DraftKings, Ethereum NFT project Deadfellaz, and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). Thirteen current NFL players were illustrated as Deadfellaz characters, and these will be released as NFT collectibles on the DraftKings Marketplace.
NFL Players as Deadfellaz Characters
Some NFL players turned Deadfellaz characters include Matthew Stafford, Jalen Hurts, Deebo Samuel, Nick Chubb, Kyler Murray, Alvin Kamara, and others yet to be announced. DraftKings will release the NFT player cards on October 25.
Those who purchase the NFL Deadfellaz NFTs can use the players in their weekly fantasy football lineups in DraftKings Reignmakers Football beginning October 30. Incidentally, this NFT-powered fantasy football game awards users over $1 million in weekly prizes. The NFTs with NFL Deadfellaz characters can be used through the end of the current NFL season.
Reignmakers Football works typically like any traditional fantasy football platform. However, it is built around NFT player cards that holders can buy, trade, and collect. Users can create their lineup weekly and earn points based on the chosen players’ respective real-world performances. They can also earn cash and other prizes for being a top scorer. NFTs used in Reignmakers Football are minted on Polygon.
Three-Way Collab for NFL Deadfellaz Characters
Since December 2021, DraftKings and the NFLPA have been working together, preparing for the launch of the Reignmakers Football platform concurrent with the NFL season. The deal for the three-way collaboration to create the NFL-turned-Deadfellaz characters was completed in partnership with OneTeam, NFLPA’s group licensing partner.
Deadfellaz is a profile picture (PFP) NFT collection on the Ethereum blockchain. It comprises 10,000 avatars, each with a unique mix of visual traits. The NFT project launched in 2021. Since then, it has generated nearly $100 million worth of secondary trading volume.
The NFT project continues to gain traction, and in April, it snagged an exclusive deal with the renowned United Talent Agency (UTA). The deal encompassed brand partnerships and more.
“DraftKings is focused on collaborating with established Web3 brands, and we believe that Deadfellaz has proven to be a significant player with a strong reputation in the space,” DraftKings co-founder and president Matt Kalish said. “We also liked the creative concept of zombifying NFTs of some of our favorite athletes, and we think our players will too.”
Deadfellaz’s pseudonymous co-creator Betty said in an interview that Kalish is a longtime holder of several Deadfellaz NFTs. According to Betty, he previously resold one of the NFTs for 69.6969 ETH “for the culture.”
Meanwhile, DraftKings sponsored the NFT project’s NFT NYC activation last June. Betty said the zombified style is what draws brands in for collaborations.
“The power Deadfellaz as a brand holds—that can’t really be said for all NFT projects—is the ease in which we can apply our aesthetic and IP to different settings and still have it make sense,” Betty explained. “This is because of the strength of the brand identity, but also the way we can connect emotionally to the characters and their stories.”
Deadfellaz has sealed various deals in recent months, including a newly-revealed apparel drop with renowned DJ Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak brand and Gilson, a ski and snowboard brand. The NFT project also collaborated with the apparel brand Wrangler last month, which saw the creation of Deadfellaz-themed jeans.
The jeans were embedded with an NFC tag; thus, they can be scanned using a smartphone to reveal an exclusive digital comic through the LTD.INC NFT platform.
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