DraftKings Marketplace Debuts With Tom Brady NFTs, And It’s A Huge Success

While naysayers were at the ready to slam the idea, the truth is DraftKings' NFT experience is smooth, easy, and bound for glory

This cynical, curmudgeonly Generation X guy who kind of understands NFTs and has a very rough idea of just what the heck the “blockchain” is and who has never once uttered or typed the word “hodl” was ready to write a scathing takedown of the DraftKings Marketplace, which debuted Wednesday afternoon. I was ready to note the delays, the bugs, and the nonsense of it all.

Except uh … nope. DraftKings hit this one out of the park. No other way to say it. It was fast, super easy, and American cash money changed hands quicker than you can read this sentence. And to top it all off, the excitement in the marketplace only grew as the afternoon wore on. 

There was one major issue, which I will get to later and which I imagine — and hope — DraftKings will fix immediately, but outside of that, it was a seamless experience.

Here’s the paragraph explainer of what I’m talking about: NFTs — non-fungible tokens — are now the latest DraftKings take-over-the-world experiment. The company teamed with Autograph, which is part-owned by Tom Brady, to distribute Autograph’s collection of NFTs. The first releases were a quintet of Tom Brady NFTs. You could buy and sell these things right through your existing DraftKings account. I could go on for another 7,262 words, but just Google it if you have no idea what I’m talking about. All good? Great. Let’s get into what went down yesterday.

2:30 p.m: The waiting room opens up for the first drop, the Tom Brady Carbon Premier, numbered to 5,000. Easy enough to join the waiting room, which opened right on time. It was so easy, I tried to join it again on my laptop. And guess what? It allowed me to do so. So now I figure I’d have two chances to get my hands on one of these $12 NFTs.

3:00: The waiting room ceases to exist, and you’re told to hold on, you’re about to get a randomized place in line. In one line, I’m 4,728. The second line, 5,542. It appears as if at least 12,000 people were trying to get their hands on one of these. I now expect to wait a dog’s year to see if I got one.

3:05: The line is cooking. Already down to 3,150. People are getting their NFTs, and they are happy.

3:09: Success! I was able to purchase one! And I got serial number 4,676. Cue sad trombone. But wait! Add up the numbers, and it’s 23, which if you divide by two is 11.5, which is dangerously close to Brady’s uniform number! This thing is going to the moon!

3:10: My other spot in line comes up, and I try to buy a second one, but a box popped up and said my limit was reached. So that’s good. Can’t buy two on the same account, but you can wait in as many lines as you have apps and internet browsers — and that’s the big problem. They should fix that. You know what? This thing isn’t going to the moon. I should probably sell immediately.

3:11: All right, let’s sell this sucker. I go to sell it, and I’m told there’s a 10% Autograph royalty fee and a 5% marketplace fee. Fair enough. The lowest asks right now are $29, so I’ll put mine up at $30 and see what happens.

Literally two seconds later…

3:11:02: It sold in two seconds. After the fees, I doubled my money plus a buck. The money I spent came right out of my DraftKings account, the money I received went right back into my DraftKings account. For anyone who dealt with trying to get money out of NBA Top Shot … well, this is a welcome change.

3:17: Oh for (expletive)’s sake: The lowest ask is now $88. I should have hodl. Hodl’d?  Hodled? I don’t know. But crud. 

3:21: Serial number 2671 is on sale for $500 million. A potential bargain? Too soon to tell. HODL!!!!!

3:25: Prices are now settling in the $100 range. I sold at $30. Just want to be clear about that. Also, does anyone care I’m currently in 5th place in the $5 Chin Music single entry MLB GPP? No? No one? OK, fine.

3:30: Back in the waiting room for the 4 p.m. Platinum Premier edition, numbered to 2500.

3:45: Prices seem to be settling in $110 range for the Carbon, and only 405 are for sale, so it looks like there are plenty of hodlers out there. This is shaping up to be an easy 10x’er for anyone who had the sense to not sell immediately. I would also like to point out, again, how easy this process has been. I don’t think it could actually be any easier, with a heavy emphasis on the “be,” a la Chandler Bing.

4:00: Word got out. The second drop has at least 15,000 people queued up for the 2,500 chances. I had two browsers and an app running, but my lowest place in line was 12,000 and change. No Platinum for me.  

4:08: I’m now in 142nd place in the GPP now. HODL! (Definitely not using that right, right? I’m no longer lit, fam.)

5:00 p.m.: Now there’s at least 19,000 people in the drop for the Emerald Tom Brady, no word if you need to wear ruby slippers to get your hands on this one, numbered to 1,500. This time, the app, plus two browsers on my phone and two browsers on my laptop. Five shots. If you think this is the “big problem” I referred to at the top of this story, congratulations, you win. As long as you’re on different browsers and/or apps on different computers/phones, you can be in as many lines as you like. That’s an issue that needs to be addressed, otherwise the bots are going to win the day. Or something like that. Leave me alone. But it needs to be fixed, ASAP.

5:01: Closest I got was 2,800, not good enough, and wowza, whatever the backend of the technology is doing, it’s cooking, as it sold out in less than a minute and 40 seconds. Wowza again.

5:02: Speaking of wowza, the bottom price for the Carbon Premier, the first drop ever from DraftKings in what is seemingly poised to be the dominant NFT marketplace due to its user-friendliness? Yeah, it’s $155. My 2X is looking like a big mistake. Also, now in 199th place in the GPP.

5:54: Market update: The Carbon edition numbered to 5,000 is selling for $162 at the bottom. The Platinum numbered to 2,500 is bottomed at $258, and the Emerald is sitting at $342. Ye gods.

Still going

6:00 p.m.: Now it’s the Sapphire Premier, numbered to 750, selling for $75 at retail price. And I have maxed out my, and my family’s, screens. I have, I believe, 13 different spots in line right now and … I got one. I was 671st in line, it took me directly to the shop, and #717 Sapphire Premier is all mine. Now. To hodl or not to hodl, that is the question … 

6:05: Sheesh oh man, the lowest ask is $549.99. There is zero chance I’m hodling, if that’s even the proper use of the word.

6:15: Interesting: Right now, there are 127 sellers for the Sapphire numbered to 750 … and there are 127 sellers for the Carbon numbered to 5,000. Apparently, the people are holding — er, sorry, hodling — the Carbon, as it was the first one ever. And no, I still haven’t put my Sapphire up for sale, though the lowest ask is down to $514.

6:25: Lowest ask at $430. Putting mine up for $425. Panic sale? Sure, why not? Twice in one day, I’m sure I won’t regret it. (Related: I once bought Priceline at $20 a share, split-adjusted, and sold it at $100. Go ahead and click the link to see the chart while I scream into a pillow.) But right now, 143 of the 750 are up for sale. Sustainable this may not be.

6:30: Hasn’t sold yet. I would like it to. After fees, it would be a near 5X take. I can stomach that, y’know? Might as well get in line for the $100, numbered to 375, Ruby Premier.

6:34: My Sapphire sold. I’m happy, but already feeling seller’s remorse. I just wasn’t made for these NFT times.

6:37: Good news! Looks like I sold at the bottom again. Lowest ask at $443. Also out of the money in that damn GPP.

6:58: All right. Let’s wrap this up. Down to five screens. Wife and children (and me) having a hard time comprehending all of this. 

7:00: Nope on the Ruby, numbered to 375. Closest I got was 1,979. And hey ho, lookie here! Sapphire price down to $399 at the lowest. Maybe I got out at the right time. Maybe it will be worth $50,000 in 10 years. Who knows?

7:15: Sapphire back up to $500. Where was that pillow …

Final grade here is a rock solid “A.” If DraftKings can make it so people can’t have an infinite amount of chances to get in the line, then we’re talking an A+. I’m impressed, and I didn’t want to be. 

Postscript: The Sapphire is now selling — at its bottom — for $725. Good night.

Image: Shutterstock


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