Add “irreplaceable” to the list of words that will define 2021.
According to Investopedia, non-fungible tokens or NFTs are “cryptographic assets on the blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that differentiate them from each other,” which makes perfect and complete sense for the everyday Joe. Major League Baseball decided to dabble in this world after watching have done nba top shots found success, and decided to do so with the single release of Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” Speech on 4th of July
MLB already has a range of NFTs with your dad’s favorite sports card brand, Topps. This release of the Gehrig speech will be his first offering with new partner Candy Digital, a new venture being launched by Fanatics Apparel founder Michael Rubin, cryptocurrency investor Mike Novogratz and sports representation entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.
I’m glad they decided at the very least to include the fact that the proceeds from this marketing ploy will go to ALS research, but it’s still in poor form, and at its core nothing more than a publicity stunt. .
Who in his right mind decided that the best way to launch this new NFT venture is behind the farewell speech, as a terrible disease robbed one of the all-time greats of his career – and ultimately his life? Roll the tape!
“When you think of NFTs, it’s a concept to be a fad,” said Kenny Gersh, executive vice president of business development for Major League Baseball said in a telephone interview. “What are we trying to do with the candy [Digital] people, is to build a long term sustainable business. Who could be the epitome of permanence and long-term success more than Lou Gehrig?”
I mean, I get it… but… yes. It’s not just about Gehrig and his longevity as a baseball player. Painting it like this is a slap in his name and his family’s face. It’s about a new business venture that the league is attempting to turn into a charitable exercise for the first release, while using the Gehrig name for PR and exposure. Yes, let’s auction off the first one to charity, the second release ready to hit the market at a ballgame with a higher markup than Coors Lite.
Baseball is made for this NFT space – with a game that is based entirely on moments featuring a player in the spotlight. There’s no shortage of (or limited) moments to choose from. For example, Kirk Gibson’s dramatic pinch hit a walk-off in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. That would be a good one. So is any one in a million (twenty million?) other. MLB apparently wanted to go in a different direction.
Using MLB’s “Iron Man” as fitting of Tony Stark selling missiles while toasting “for peace” is as gross as it is fitting.
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