Celebrities and NFTs
How Celebrities Are Utilizing NFTs to Give Back to Fans and Create New Opportunities

How Celebrities Are Utilizing NFTs to Give Back to Fans and Create New Opportunities

By bringing verifiable authenticity and scarcity to unique digital items for the first time, NFTs are introducing new properties to non-physical assets that many have begun to take advantage of. This isn’t just limited to tech-savvy developers, creators, or investors, as many famous names have already started riding the NFT train, introducing innovative assets to their fans and the general market. With many NFTs offering their owners vast utility beyond pure collectibility, the number of potential use cases is growing by the day.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are one-of-a-kind digital assets that are provably distinguishable from one another. Anyone can produce their own NFT, preprogramming it with unique characteristics in order to benefit the token holder down the line. The fact that celebrities of all types, ranging from musicians, actors, athletes, artists, social media personalities, and more, have begun experimenting with NFTs speaks to their potential. With the NFT marketplace beginning to solidify itself in the mainstream eye, here are the main ways celebrities are using NFTs to unite with fans.


Rewarding Fans

A connection between fans and their favorite musician, artist, or celebrity is extremely powerful, and through NFTs, collectibility, digital art, and utility is blended together to create a brand new fan experience. Many times, the production of these assets represents something very significant to their celebrity creator. For example, Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, one of the most successful players ever to play in the NFL, created NFT digital trading cards to commemorate each of his four Super Bowl championships.

Out of this commemorative collection is a one-of-one exclusive Career Highlight Refractor card, which also included a meet-and-greet with Gronkowski and two VIP All-Access tickets to one of his games next season. This NFT ties together the digital and physical worlds, providing a unique collectible for the owner that delivers tangible value in the form of a personal meetup and tickets. The NFT also holds other ‘unlockable features’, which are private features that only the token holder can see and access.

The popular rock band, The Kings of Leon, has also gotten into the NFT game, minting their newest album, “When You See Yourself”, in the form of an NFT. When purchasing this NFT, fans get access to a digital album download, a digital NFT Golden Eye vinyl record, and digital collectible alternative album artwork that is only available through this drop. All the money raised through the sales of the Kings of Leon NFTs was donated to help Live Nation’s Crew Nation Fund, providing financial relief for live music crews around the world suffering during COVID-19. Not only do Kings of Leon supporters get to own a collectible version of their album, but they can also assist a good cause in the process.



The “When You See Yourself” NFT token sale page


Getting Digital Inside Access to Your Favorite Celebrities Lives

NFTs also give fans more insight into their favorite celebrities. Rappers Lil Pump and Snoop Dogg have both made NFTs, with one of Lil Pump’s NFT granting five users ownership over a digital copy of one of his most-worn chains. With a multi-million dollar jewelry collection, his fans can get a digital taste of what Lil Pump is like. Commenting on the availability of his digital collectibles, Lil Pump stated, “This is the future. Now you can live like me and own a rare NFT collectible of one of my favorite chains.”

Socialite and apparent long-term Bitcoin holder Paris Hilton has also used NFTs to connect with her fans. Paris Hilton is not necessarily known for her art, but NFTs have given her a way to emotionally reveal herself in a manner that her fans may not be used to. Hilton has dropped NFT artwork meant to invoke her thoughts on society, saying, “It’s something I created with another artist and it has to deal with female empowerment.” These are just a few examples of how celebrities are shedding additional light into their lives for fans, with further NFT capabilities providing even more features.



Paris Hilton showing off an NFT art piece of her cat, which sold for $17,000 (decrypto.co)


Taking Influencer Advertising to New Heights

There’s a reason you see Coca-Cola branding over all the Olympics or Gatorade in the hands of almost every athlete during televised professional sporting events; brands pay considerable sums to publicize advertising of their products. Through the sale of NFTs, intermediaries like marketing agencies, managers, PR firms, and more can be cut out of this costly process, allowing fans and advertisers to get direct access to sponsoring celebrities.

One of the first examples of this phenomenon is from Croatian tennis star Oleksandra Oliynykova, who sold the advertising and body art rights to her dominant arm tennis-playing arm. With ownership of this NFT, the token holder has lifetime artistic rights over her right arm, specifically between her elbow and shoulder, allowing them to decorate it with whatever they want when she is in tournament play. Initially selling for 3 Ether, there have been higher offers on Oliynykova’s NFT, but the owner has not yet decided to sell.

This concept introduces brand new ways for athletes and celebrities to monetize themselves regardless of professional level or status. Soon, we may see many more up-and-comers opt to sell tattoo, body art, and advertising rights over specific areas of their body, allowing their fans to capitalize on their future success.


NFTs Allow Fans to ‘Invest’ in the Success of Their Favorite Celebrities

As innovations within the NFT space continue to unfold, celebrities and fans will have even more options to interact and grow with each other. The concept of ‘investing’ in someone’s career has never before been so accessible, especially for an everyday user. Record labels and management agencies can pay celebrities to hopefully see returns through sales and other profit-generating means, but NFTs have the ability to make this entire process obsolete.

Celebrities may soon be able to tokenize their future earnings or other aspects of their career to directly reward fans in exchange for upfront investment. Even without giving away direct rights to future income, fans can invest and sponsor their favorite celebrities through an NFT like Oleksandra Oliynykova’s. You could apply her tokenized body billboard concept to any celebrity or athlete, and as their career progresses and they become more successful, the NFT guaranteeing the token owner the rights over a section of their body should proportionally grow in value. Imagine being able to invest in Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1990s or own the rights to decide the drumsticks or guitar for a band like Coldplay to perform with; NFTs enable all of these possibilities and more.


This is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Beyond celebrity involvement, many market signals are pointing to the longevity of NFTs as valuable digital assets. Some examples include the massive acceptance of digital collectibles like CryptoPunks, the first NFTs produced, and NBA Top Shot, NFT versions of digital basketball cards. The price of CryptoPunks shot up with the rise in NFT popularity, with many now carrying million dollar price tags, while NBA Top Shot has generated over $230 million in revenue as of the end of February 2021.

With the utility that creators can implement within each token, it’s no surprise celebrities and fans alike are flocking to them in droves. As the NFT marketplace continues to mature, we should see more mainstream involvement from big-name stars within this blossoming asset class.

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