According to the Sports Business Journal, the National Football League (NFL), NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and Dapper Labs will announce a deal to launch a digital collectibles marketplace resembling the hit NBA Top Shot this week.
Last week Dapper Labs raised a USD $250 million funding round led by Coatue that included investors a16z, BOND, GIC, Google Ventures and Vancouver’s own Version One Ventures.
Dapper Labs spun out of startup studio Axoim Zen in 2017 and was named to Techcouver’s 10 Homegrown B.C. Startups to Watch in 2021.
While precise terms of the rumored NFL deal are unknown, a SBJ source said that the “very impactful deal” will have both the NFL and NFLPA taking an equity position in Dapper Labs.
Spokespersons for the NFL, the NFLPA and Dapper Labs have all declined to comment.
In a memo earlier this year NFL Chief Media & Business Officer Brian Rolapp told NFL team executives that the league was in “active discussions” with potential partners to develop a digital collectibles strategy and that teams should not make deals on their own without checking with the league.
Among Dapper’s investors are a long list of NFL players and retirees including Stefon Diggs, Malcom Jenkins, and DK Metcalf.