In brief

  • NFT platform Autograph has added musician The Weeknd and FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to its board of directors.
  • The startup plans to launch music NFTs, joining its existing sports and upcoming movie collectibles.

Autograph—an NFT platform co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Bradylaunched its first collectibles in August, focusing entirely on sports offerings to start. But the firm has wider ambitions in the entertainment space, and is adding some notable members to its board to help bring those plans to life.

Today, the startup announced that it has added popular musician The Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye) to its board of directors and will launch a music collectibles vertical.

While Autograph NFTs based on The Weekend aren’t explicitly confirmed as of yet, fellow board member Tom Brady has his own NFTs on the platform. The Weekend previously released his own NFT collectibles via Nifty Gateway in April, generating more than $2 million worth of sales.

Additionally, Autograph has added Sam Bankman-Fried (aka SBF) to its board. Bankman-Fried is the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and an ally of Tom Brady, who is an investor in and brand ambassador of FTX. Just today, FTX announced a $420.69 million fundraise that values the firm at $25 billion.

Other new Autograph board additions include SCS Financial founder and chairman Peter Mattoon, as well as Discovery Land Company founder and chairman Michael Meldman. The latter is also the co-founder of tequila company Casamigos alongside actor George Clooney.

“As an artist, I am always compelled to push the boundaries of how to deliver art within culture and have been intrigued with NFTs for some years,” said The Weeknd in a release. “I was eager to join [Autograph] in launching a new vertical in the music space that explores what the metaverse could be.”

Autograph already has a stacked advisory board—separate from the board of directors—that includes many of the athletes that have launched NFTs on the platform, including Wayne Gretzky, Simone Biles, Tiger Woods, Tony Hawk, and Naomi Osaka.

An NFT is essentially a deed of ownership to a rare digital item, such as an illustration, a video file, or an avatar image. The market exploded earlier in 2021 and has surged to new heights in recent months, including $10.67 billion in trading volume in Q3. Sports collectibles have been a big part of the boom, driven by the early-year success of Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot.

Autograph sells NFTs in a range of prices and edition sizes, starting at $12 for a common collectible and ranging into the hundreds of dollars for a version featuring the athlete’s digital signature. The collectibles are minted on Polygon, a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, and sold exclusively via the DraftKings Marketplace.

Music won’t be the firm’s first expansion outside of the sports space, however: Autograph will release NFTs based on Lionsgate’s “Saw” horror movie franchise starting next week.