EBay’s first NFTs will be digital collectibles featuring hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky, 61, played 20 seasons in the NHL spanning three decades, won four Stanley Cups, and is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time. The Gretzky NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership—are on the Ethereum sidechain Polygon and were issued through a partnership with Sports Illustrated and NFT platform OneOf.
There are 13 different types of NFTs of varying tiers, ranging from $10 to $1,500, all of which are 3D renderings of a younger Gretzky in various poses similar to an action figure. Some of the NFTs contain Gretzky’s digitized autograph.
“Forty years ago, I was grateful to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it was a monumental moment in my life,” Gretzky said in a statement. “I'm honored to bring this collectible experience to my hockey fans who have followed my career for decades.”
But OneOf already has received some criticism for launching the NFTs on Polygon instead of its usual Tezos blockchain.
“OneOf believes the future is multi-chain and we made the decision to go with Polygon on the initial Sports Illustrated drop (Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, and Dick Butkus) to build a bigger tent and bring new users into the OneOf ecosystem,” OneOf COO Joshua James told Decrypt via email. “For continuity across the SI collection, we will be using Polygon for all of their drops. We are still huge Tezos supporters as you can see with all of our other recent drops.”
Following the Gretzky launch, eBay said it will continue its push into NFTs later this year with digital reinterpretations of various Sports Illustrated covers.
Many in the sports industry have been early adopters of crypto and NFTs, from NBA Top Shot to Tom Brady’s Autograph. But despite recent backlash and the market downturn, the industry doesn’t appear to be losing interest in the crypto space.
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