Under Armour is the latest athletic brand to join the metaverse.
The Baltimore, Maryland-based brand has released its first-ever digital good in the form of 2,974 NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, that are digital replicas of the Genesis Curry Flow shoe Steph Curry wore when he broke Ray Allen’s NBA three-pointer record on Dec. 14.
According to Under Armour, each digital shoe can be worn in three pre-programmed gaming ecosystems (Gala Games, Decentraland, and Sandbox), making it the first functional metaverse shoe. The Genesis Curry Flow NFTs dropped on Tuesday at 2974.currybrand.com for $333.00.
All of the net revenue from primary sales of these NFTs will be donated to organizations that support access to sport, including providing access to programs, coaching development, safe places to play, and equipment and gear – all of which can act as barriers to performance, said the brand.
This news comes as Under Armour rivals Adidas and Nike have made moves into the metaverse this month. Adidas launched its first NFT collection last week with the help of Bored Ape Yacht Club, gmoney and the team behind the PUNKS Comic. Earlier that same week, Nike acquired RTFKT, a digital creator of virtual sneakers, collectibles and accessories. The move builds upon Nike’s goal to expand its influence in the metaverse via virtual sneakers.
Earlier this week, the Golden State Warriors point guard said he would also be selling off 2,974 unique NFT pieces, which celebrates each of his three-pointers in the NBA. The exclusive collectibles also released on Tuesday. The cost to mint is $499, and you need to sign up for an FTX account and follow the instructions to purchase.
Non-fungible tokens are used to take digital works of art and transform them into unique one-of-a-kind collectibles on blockchain. There has been a surge in NFT popularity in recent times, with soccer players, sports teams and even some championships, such as Formula One, offering them to fans. The seven-time NBA All-star is the latest prominent athlete to have his own collection. Other NBA players like New Orleans Pelicans’ Josh Hart, Sacramento Kings’ Tyrese Hauliburton and Charlotte Hornets star Lamelo Ball are also avid collectors.
The collection was conceived with Curry’s wife, best-selling author and entrepreneur, Ayesha Curry, artist Andrea McDonald and Floyd Norman, the first African American artist and animator to work at Disney in 1956.
The NFTs were described as “multiple emotion-filled sketches of Curry using the ‘2974’ numbers to fill in his physical features. Artwork will also highlight moments, such as his birthday and holiday games, triple-double nights and games in which he made nine or more three-pointers.”
Curry plans to gift 200 NFTs to individuals who helped shaped him into who he is today, including high school teachers, Golden State Warrior fans, Davidson University, previous coaches, neighborhood friends, his SC30 team and family.
CEO and president of Eat. Learn. Play., Chris Helfrich stated that the organization is proud of Curry for this amazing achievement.
“We’re honored that these commemorative moments of Stephen’s brilliant career will benefit Eat. Learn. Play., where the funds raised will go directly to support our foundation’s work in improving the lives of children in underserved communities in the Bay Area and beyond.”