Sports Illustrated is about to drop some NFTs, with their first set focusing on football legends. Naturally, the first collection will be dropped after the “Big Game” — the Super Bowl — on Feb. 13.
In a press release announcement, it was revealed that the popular sports magazine had teamed up with OneOf, the largest NFT platform for music, who are now expanding their efforts into the field of sports.
“Thinking about the time I was on the cover of Sports Illustrated brings back many great memories for me,” said Jerry Rice in the press release announcement. “This NFT collection will allow me to connect with my fans in a unique way and it’s really exciting to watch how technology and innovation keep evolving. I’m glad to be a part of the Sports Illustrated and OneOf collaboration.”
Each of the initial athletes’ drops will feature their career-defining Sports Illustrated cover as interpreted by Jonathan Winbush, an award-winning 3D animation artist and virtual reality pioneer that has worked with major film studios and brands, including Nike and Hasbro. Winbush’s NFTs are also featured in the collections of some of the biggest names in the space. Each collection will be centered around digital 3D animated artwork that imagines the moments leading up to the famous photograph featured on each cover.
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Which celebrities are part of this new Sports Illustrated x OneOf NFT Release?
For some athletes, these Sports Illustrated NFTs are their first foray into the digital art world.
Take, for example, NFL legend Emmitt Smith, whose first foray into the world of NFTs is with this collection.
“I am thrilled to be releasing my first NFT collection with Sports Illustrated and OneOf, leaders in the emerging tech and NFT space,” he said in a statement provided in the press release announcement. “Over the years, I have enjoyed finding new ways to engage with my fans, and I am excited to share with the world what we created together.”
Other participating athletes include Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry Rice, Billie Jean King, Wayne Gretzky, Mia Hamm, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Dick Butkus.