Mixed fortunes of celebrities who leapt on NFT craze

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SOLO MISSIONS

Celebrity NFT enthusiasts have gone a lot deeper into the industry than just buying ape images – plenty have created their own NFT collections, with mixed results.

US musician Grimes got in early, managing to bag almost US$6 million for some fantasy-inspired art last year.

However, many of these NFTs are now all but worthless, selling for fractions of their original prices – when they sell at all.

Other collections have failed even to get off the ground. Wrestler John Cena sold just a handful of NFTs from a collection he put together last year with the WWE.

He admitted it was a “catastrophic failure”.

Skateboarder Tony Hawk has been more successful with sales, but at the cost of the admiration of some of his fans.

He announced on Twitter last year he would sell versions of his famous tricks as NFTs, prompting responses ranging from “Stop this Tony” to “Tony, no, not you too”.

Hawk has not mentioned the project on Twitter since, though he has continued to deal in NFTs.

JUST BUSINESS

One of the mainstays of the celebrity-NFT relationship is the old-fashioned brand endorsement.

This week, French megastar footballer Kylian Mbappe became the latest star to sign on as an “ambassador” and invest in French start-up Sorare.

The firm runs a fantasy football game where players can buy sports-card style NFTs.

Serena Williams, along with footballers Gerard Pique and Rio Ferdinand, have already invested in the game.

And not to be outdone, the world’s most famous footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, last week announced a partnership with Binance, the world’s biggest crypto firm.

The offerings will apparently include designs created in collaboration with Ronaldo, who said in a statement he looked forward to “bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform”.

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