NFL icon Tom Brady is reshaping the business strategy of his Web3 startup, Autograph. Tarnished by bear market conditions in 2022 and an ongoing lawsuit with FTX, the company faced a tremendous slump in revenue — slashing a third of its workforce as a consequence.
Brady launched Autograph, boldly dubbed “the future of fandom”, in 2021. The platform’s main goal was to sell custom-made digital assets that unlock rewards for passionate fans of many celebrities: Tony Hawk, Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods, and Derek Jeter, among others.
Despite receiving $170 million in Series B funding at the start of last year, thus, having the funds to catapult the platform to great heights, Autograph had to alter its game plan following lackluster success. Rather than solely focusing on NFT sales, it now underscores loyalty-building initiatives, including community competitions, and removes crypto buzzwords and jargon from its marketing mix to capture a larger demographic.
Flex your fandom. Our first Prove Your Fandom competition is underway and we’re looking for the biggest Tom Brady fan, voted on by the Autograph community.
— Autograph (@Autograph) June 16, 2023
One issue causing a humungous dent in Autograph is Brady’s association with the now ceased FTX. Being an ambassador of the crypto exchange giant amid bankruptcy, he received a total of $30 million shares from the firm, which has now trapped him in a legal battle alongside his supermodel ex-wife Gisele Bundchen — who received $18 million in FTX stock — and other celebrity endorsers, including fellow sports star, Stephen Curry.
Although their shares are now worthless, FTX investors initiated the lawsuit, claiming that these luminaries misled the team behind the crypto exchange. The Tom Brady FTX legal conundrum has tarnished the renowned American football player’s reputation in the Web3 sphere, underscoring the hazards linked to influencer promotions and the weight of responsibility famous bodies carry.
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