What do Tom Brady, Tiger Woods and the PGA Tour have in common?
The Tour and Autograph, the web3 brand founded by Tom Brady that counts Woods as a board advisor, announced a deal through 2027 to create an NFT platform and allow fans to sign a token of his own history.
The tour will work with Autograph to create a digital collectibles platform that draws from tour competition video, data, images and other competition-related components. Golf fans will have the opportunity to own and collect NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) featuring the best tour golfers as well as some of their favorite moments from the archives and the current season.
NFTs are an emerging market that some say is on the verge of revolutionizing the way digital goods are bought and sold. Chris Wandell, the Tour’s vice president of media business development, compared it to the early days of the Internet.
“We’re on our 1-yard line and have the length of the field to grow,” he said. “It will be very good for fans and players. We think it will be a game changer.”
Before his departure to LIV Golf, Phil Mickelson complained that players should have greater control over their media rights. As part of the deal, all net revenue flows directly to players.
“This is a program designed to put money directly into players’ pockets,” Wandell said. “It’s set up in a way to reward the most popular players and those who are actively marketing their own NFTs. We really want players to lean in and talk about this stuff.”
Wandell said surveys of tour fans indicate that a small percentage of his audience even knows what an NFT is right now, but that will likely change as it becomes more common. The potential exists to provide a new way for fans to express their allegiance to a certain player, and just like sports betting and fantasy golf, it’s a way to attract a different audience to the game.
“Improving the world of golf with NFTs will create a connection between us as players and the fans,” Woods said in a press release announcing the deal.
Plus, collectors will have a chance to earn rewards, including access to exclusive digital, in-person and on-site experiences. The tour’s exclusive NFT Digital Collectibles platform with Autograph will launch in early 2023.
“This is an effort by the PGA Tour to try something we’ve never done before,” Wandell said. “We try our best to innovate for our fans and partner with companies willing to take a leap with us.”