Ted Leonsis-owned Monumental Sports & Entertainment commissioned a pair of local artists to design non-fungible token (NFT) collections for the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards.
An NFT is a unique identifier used to represent ownership of a digital asset or piece of art, such as an illustration, video, GIF or audio file. NFTs are bought and sold online, on platforms such as OpenSea, generally with cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology provides a digital ledger of every transaction involving the asset from the time it is created, or minted, eliminating questions about its provenance.
“We are thrilled to share these incredible digital collections with Caps and Wizards fans and provide them an accessible entry into the exciting world of NFTs, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies,” said Ted Leonsis, Founder & CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Monumental Sports & Entertainment is a digital first company, and we consistently innovate to provide fans the richest, most immersive, and state-of-the-art experiences. To have the chance to do that and partner with Naturel and Rob Zilla III, two renowned D.C. digital artists – and Caps and Wizards fans, respectively – has been phenomenal.”
Monumental Sports & Entertainment has partnered with two acclaimed, Washington D.C.-based artists with deep community roots on a respective NFT collection that celebrates the teams, their collective hometown of D.C., and the teams’ extraordinary fan bases. Famed graphic designer Lawrence Atoigue, professionally known as Naturel, has been commissioned to create the Wizards NFT collection and renowned illustrator Robert Generette III, professionally known as Rob Zilla III, has been commissioned to create the Capitals NFT collection. These leading artists have channeled their unique abilities in design to create powerful art which is visually captivating, taps into the passion Wizards and Capitals fans feel for their teams, and celebrates the unique bond each team has with the community for which they play.
The Washington Wizards NFT Collection
“The Washington Wizards Starting Five” is a five-part NFT series that celebrates the diverse and powerful hometown of the team, Washington D.C. The starting five of a basketball team represent the strongest players to go up against an opponent, and this Wizards NFT series does just that – it is designed for the great basketball fans in the DMV, highlighting the energy and culture that makes The District so unique.
As part of the collection, the Wizards will also feature a specialty option, “The Sixth Man.” The sixth man is an invaluable member of any basketball team and, in many ways, are key to its success. Through this offering, the Wizards are celebrating their most invaluable asset: the Wizards fan. As a thank you to these dedicated supporters, The Sixth Man NFT will be a free NFT collectable – a first-ever such concept and disbursement program amid professional sports teams. The Wizards organization chose to create these free-of-charge NFTs to ensure that more fans have an opportunity to participate as a founding member of “The Wizards Starting Five” NFT program.
The NFTs will be sold on OpenSea in five distinct package levels – and some package levels are available to a single buyer and others purchased by multiple buyers. (Details on how fans can pursue The Sixth Man package will be announced shortly.) But regardless of which NFT a fan purchases, the metadata authenticating the purchase will always remain unique to the individual NFT. Some packages also offer additional experiences tied to the individual NFTs being sold.
First Starter: Artist Focused Auction
This is a 1 of 1 minting to be sold in an auction format that includes unlockable content accessible only by the winner (including Naturel behind the scenes content), courtside tickets for a Wizards home game with the famed-artist, Naturel, a personally commissioned portrait from Naturel, a game worn jersey, and a meet and greet with team owner, Ted Leonsis.
Second Starter: Team Focused Auction
This is a 1 of 1 minting to be sold in an auction format that includes courtside tickets for a Wizards home game and exclusive game access (early entry, watching pre-game warm-ups, attending a post-game media availability with players and coaches, etc.), dinner/meet and greet with a member of basketball operations and team alumni, a game worn jersey, and a chance to meet team owner Ted Leonsis.
Third Starter: Team Focused Option
There will be 50 minted, available at $299.99 each that includes two tickets to a Wizards home game and a jersey from the Wizards City Edition collection.
Fourth Starter: Team Gear Focused Option
There will be 125 minted, available at $149.99 each that includes a jersey from the Wizards City Edition collection.
Fifth Starter: Simple Option
There will be 200 minted, available at $49.99 each.
Sixth Man: The Sixth Man NFT
This is a minting of 500, available to fans free of charge.
About the Artist
The Wizards have commissioned Lawrence Atoigue, professionally known as Naturel, an illustrative based artist who has quickly emerged in today’s postmodern scene. His futuristic illustrations have successfully blended methods of Pop and Cubism with a surrealist vison. A social influencer counting numerous NBA stars among his 90,000+ Instagram fans – his talents have attracted the eyes and ears of other celebrity clients such as Macklemore, Swizz Beatz, and countless others.
On Sale Date
“The Washington Wizards Starting Five” NFT Collection will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. EDT on July 12 through 9:00 p.m. EDT on July 14, exclusively on OpenSea. The timing of the Sixth Man offering will be announced on Wizards social media channels and on the team website in the coming days. Ahead of the sales date, the Wizards Marketing and Communications teams will sustain a campaign to educate fans new to NFTs, create excitement around the collection, drive interest in this new frontier of digital collectables, and introduce the artist to the Wizards fan base.
ALL CAPS All-Digital Fan Collectibles
The Washington Capitals are offering two themed collections. The first is a celebration of the 2018 Stanley Cup Championship. For the first time ever, fans will be able to own a digital piece of Capitals history marking the 2018 Stanley Cup Championship. The Capitals are honoring the championship through two unique collectibles within this theme to commemorate the memorable season.
Capitals Stanley Cup Ring
This is a 1 of 1 minting to be sold in an auction format, featuring artwork of the 2018 Stanley Cup Championship ring. Ted Leonsis will also present the winner with a physical replica of the Championship ring, which was designed by Jostens and presented to the Capitals players who won the 2018 Stanley Cup trophy. The package also includes VIP access to a Capitals Open Practice at MedStar Iceplex, an autographed puck, a street pole banner from the 2018 Stanley Cup parade and a personalized, white Away Jersey, the same style worn by Capitals players during Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.
Capitals Stanley Cup Banner
There will be sixteen minted, available at $499.99 each. Sixteen corresponds to the sixteen wins it ultimately takes to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals raised the 2018 Stanley Cup Championship Banner at Capital One Arena on Oct. 3, 2018.
The second theme is the Capitals Screaming Eagle Collection. The Screaming Eagle logo was first introduced and featured on Capitals jerseys in 1995 in the blue, black, and bronze color scheme. The symbol of the screaming eagle preying in the downward design direction evokes energy, power, and speed of an attacking eagle. The Capitals will offer an exclusive Capitals Past to Present VIP experience as outlined below. To honor the year 1995, when the screaming eagle jersey was introduced, fans may purchase a limited number of 95 digital Screaming Eagle exclusive jerseys.
Capitals Past to Present Experience
This is a 1 of 1 minting to be sold in an auction format. In addition to the NFT, the buyer will receive two glass seat tickets to a 2021-22 regular season Capitals game, be able to watch warm-ups from the penalty box, participate in an ice resurfacer ride during intermission, receive a personalized Screaming Eagle jersey and participate in a meet-and-greet with a Capitals legend.
Screaming Eagle Digital Collectible Jersey
There will be ninety-five minted, available at $100.21 each
About the Artist
Robert Generette III is an award-winning illustrator, educator and self-proclaimed “vector art monster” based in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. Under the pseudonym Rob Zilla III, he uses an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil to create compelling sports illustrations and portraitures for clients ranging from Nike, NBA (Wizards & Warriors), Major League Soccer (L.A. Galaxy & DC United), ESPN, Cycle, XBOX and Adobe.
On Sale Date
ALL CAPS All-Digital Fan Collectibles will go on sale at 9:00am EDT on July 15 through 9:00 p.m. on July 17, exclusively on OpenSea.