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by Ralph Trayfalgar Updated:
UFC fans will soon be able to purchase and trade digital collectibles of their favourite fighters with the launch of a new UFC-themed NFT collection made in partnership with DraftKings.
As part of DraftKings' Reignmakers NFT project, players will be able to use their new UFC collectibles to join in a series of NFT games and win a variety of exclusive prizes.
The NFTs will be up for grabs through a variety of drops and auctions hosted by DraftKings' "Heatwave Series"; these drops coincide with the UFC's summer match lineup and will begin with the Adesanya vs. Cannonier fight at UFC 276 on July 2, 2022.
Draftkings consider this as an excellent opportunity to diversify from their online real money gambling operations. While the first collection of NFTs will give collectors rewards related to corresponding UFC events, their associated NFT games (which are currently under development) will feature missions, achievements, level-ups, leaderboards, and other gamification mechanics.
The first "season" of the Reignmakers UFC NFT games are expected to launch later in 2022.
DraftKings Marketplace will release the UFC collections in tiers based on their scarcity, including entry-level NFTs meant to target the mainstream audience. On the other hand, Reignmakers UFC NFTs will be exchanged inside the company's secondary market.
The utility of the NFT will determine the rewards, which will take the form of entry into special daily fantasy games. These contests will provide a variety of prizes, including cash, customized products, and more.
DraftKings Marketplace will have access to more than 500 athlete intellectual properties (IPs) from the active roster in order to make selections for the Reignmakers UFC collection. This access is being provided by the UFC.
Tracey Bleczinski, senior vice president of Global Consumer Products for the UFC, expressed her excitement regarding the expansion of the partnership with DraftKings "to incorporate UFC into their highly anticipated Reignmakers gamified NFT collection."
Bleczinski adds that "Reignmakers UFC will be a unique, innovative opportunity to create fan engagement that combines DraftKings’ expertise in digital sports entertainment with pioneering technology that features hundreds of UFC athletes, including some of the biggest names in the sport."
"Fight fans are already among the most engaged audiences," notes DraftKings SVP for Production Operations Beth Beiriger, "and we see these immersive technologies as bolstering the unique sports entertainment ecosystem we provide for consumers while also rewarding their undeniable passion."
The UFC and DraftKings have been working together since March 2021, when DraftKings became the UFC's first-ever Official Sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Partner in the United States and Canada. The new agreement expands their collaboration into the metaverse and blockchain gambling space at a time when the UFC is ramping up its sales of fan memorabilia.