One of the hot stories of 2021 has been the rise of interest in non-fungible tokens. Many athletes and sports leagues have tried to capitalize on the rise in NFTs by launching digital assets.
One sports-related launch didn’t fair as well and was criticized by the star.
What Happened: John Cena was featured in a non-fungible token series launched by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (NYSE:WWE).
WWE tried to sell a limited edition 500 series of NFTs and a platinum edition NFT that included a personalized WWE Championship Title Belt and a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” for two at WrestleMania 38 in 2022.
“I talk a lot about failure. This idea failed,” Cena said at the Florida SuperCon.
Cena said only 37 NFTs were sold and called the project “a catastrophic failure.”
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Why It’s Important: Many NFTs from athletes have been successful due to having a built-in fan base. DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ:DKNG) had success launching NFTs of top athletes like Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Tony Hawk, Naomi Osaka and Derek Jeter.
The DraftKings NFTs had different rarity levels and were easy to purchase directly on the company’s app, making it easy to understand and purchase.
The Cena NFT launch could have been an issue of pricing. WWE came up with a price point of $500 to $600 for the NFTs but landed on offering the NFTs for $1,000.
“Why was it $1,000? Because me and the folks at WWE thought it was a fair price point. We were wrong. We were absolutely wrong,” Cena said.
An NFT series from WWE featuring The Undertaker sold out in less than a minute and raised over $132,000 with prices starting at $100.
WWE has openly discussed NFTs being a potential revenue driver. The failure of the Cena NFT launch could be used as a lesson that it’s better to price low and sell out fast than to price too high and leave supply on the table.
Photo: John Cena and Roman Reigns at WWE’s Money In The Bank on July 18. Photo courtesy WWE.