Even as the crypto market suffers, NFTs or non-fungible tokens are still raking in eye-watering amounts of money. OpenSea, the top NFT marketplace, smashed its single-monthly record last week with $3.5 billion in sales in January so far—only halfway through the month.
And one early NFT collection in particular is resurgent over the past 30 days: NBA Top Shot, the licensed NBA “moments” on the Flow blockchain from Dapper Labs.
In the NFT world, PFP (profile picture) collections like Bored Apes, Meebits, and World of Women are reaping most of the hype and headlines. But NBA Top Shot was widely seen as the series that started the mainstream NFT craze in March of last year. Then the NFT market tanked last June, and when NFTs surged again in August after being declared dead, Top Shot had lost its shine. Many people deep in the NFT community saw Top Shot as “NFT lite” since it was specifically aimed at attracting normies and allowed purchases with dollars.
Now it looks like it’s making a comeback, and it might have NBA star Kevin Durant to thank.
The collection’s secondary market sales have shot up by 72% in the past 30 days, per CryptoSlam data, with $53.8 million in sales.
This week, NBA Top Shot launched a new TV and social media ad campaign featuring Durant, and is giving first-time Top Shot pack buyers a free Durant NFT “moment.” For Durant, it’s his latest in a string of crypto promotions: he also signed on as an ambassador for Coinbase, which he had already invested in—and Coinbase in October became the official crypto exchange of the NBA.
Meanwhile, Dapper Labs, the company behind the NFT collection, has branched beyond basketball.
This weekend, Dapper will launch Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strike NFT collectibles, minted on Dapper’s own Flow blockchain and revolving around video footage from UFC events, similar to NBA Top Shot.
Dapper Labs also announced in September its long-awaited NFL version of Top Shot, called NFL All Day, coming at the end of this NFL season. It remains to be seen whether highlight clip NFTs will be as popular with NFL fans as they were with NBA fans, but it’s clear that more sports leagues are likely knocking on Dapper’s door to get their own version going.