Whether you're debating Jonathan Taylor's astronomical weekly price tag or rolling the dice on a cheap defense, DraftKings is associated with making tough calls. Partnering with Steve Aoki, however, was not one of them.
The company has partnered with Aoki as an official brand ambassador of DraftKings Marketplace, its branded NFT hub. DraftKings is betting on Aoki's Web3 expertise to strategically expand Reignmakers, an "NFT-based fantasy sports series" allowing users to collect digital player cards and use them to draft lineups in daily contests.
The real value of NFTs lies in their utility, and Aoki's DraftKings Marketplace collectibles have plenty of it. According to a press release, holders of his tokens can unlock access to VIP events hosted by DraftKings as well as tickets to the DJ's shows, among other rewards.
"I am excited to be working with DraftKings to build out the next generation of fantasy sports," Aoki said. "Through Reignmakers Football, DraftKings customers can have ownership of their rosters in an innovative way that Web3 can provide."
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Aoki has been one of the music industry's most fervent adopters of cryptocurrency, NFTs and Web3, a blanket phrase for the network of decentralized apps on the blockchain. In 2021 he called NFTs "a juggernaut that cannot be stopped" after selling his first-ever collection for a cool $4.25 million. In February 2022, he turned heads after saying he made more money selling digital collectibles in one year than a decade's worth of streaming royalties.
If it seems like Aoki is everywhere these days, your intuition is spot on. According to SponsorUnited's 2022 Music Artist Marketing Partnerships Report, an analysis of over 2,100 brands and 1,100 deals over a one-year period starting July 2021, the DJ was among the world's top five most-sponsored music artists. Bon Iver topped the list, followed by Aoki, Saweetie, Snoop Dogg and J. Balvin.