Durant and Paul are joined by other athletes including former NBA player Baron Davis and retired New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia. PNC Bank, Mastercard and Elevate Capital are also investors. “It’s larger than just a check. They are investing in the next generation of kids to make sure they learn financial education,” said Tanya Van Court, founder and chief executive officer of Goalsetter.
In yet another sign of the upward ascendancy of both the sports card and digital collectibles markets, three limited-edition NBA highlight video cards have sold for more than $30,000 over the past 10 days on NBA Top Shot, a blockchain-based platform that allows fans to buy, sell and trade numbered versions of specific video highlights.
Since its launch, the company has reportedly registered nearly $20 million in sales ($6 million from packs and $14 million on its secondary marketplace) with upwards of $1.5 million in trading volume in January alone.
On January 15, a Ja Morant highlight (No. 1 out of 49) was purchased off the platform’s secondary marketplace for a then-record $35,000. According to The Action Network, the Morant highlight’s original owner got it out of a pack and sold it in November for just under $2,000. That new owner then sold it last week for $35k, making an exceptional return on investment in less than 50 days. Four days after the Morant sale, a group of investors bought a LeBron James dunk highlight (No. 23 out of 59) for $47,500, capping off a 24-hour stretch in which the site saw more than $1 million in sales. Then, on Friday, a collector purchased a No. 1 LeBron James moment from Top Shots’ From The Top Series 1 set for a whopping $71,455, shattering the record.
For just $43,313, you can buy one of the 25 video trading cards of the moment on NBA Top Shot, a platform marrying the trading of the league’s top highlights with cryptocurrency. In another sign of the booming sports collectibles market — a Mickey Mantle rookie card just sold for a record $5.2 million — the best NBA Top Shot limited new releases are selling out in minutes and going for eye-watering prices on its secondary market. Four videos are currently listed at prices exceeding $20,000, including two versions of a vicious LeBron James dunk against the Sacramento Kings in 2019.
NBA Top Shot is a collaboration between the NBA and Dapper Labs, the Andreessen Horowitz-backed creator of the CryptoKitties game that brought the ethereum blockchain to a grinding halt in 2017. Since launching a closed beta version last May, the Top Shot marketplace has facilitated more than $10 million in transactions, according to the company. And the pace is picking up: there’s been more than $1.3 million in trading volume in just the last week. “The Christmas day game pack drop sold out in under a minute,” said Caty Tedman, vice president of marketing at Dapper Labs.