I still have no godly idea what an NFT is, but apparently, they’re quite lucrative. So I would imagine that launching a holding company that builds out a consumer-facing community platform that allows athletes to connect with their rabid fanbase—by way of NFTs, consumer products, and other methods—is a damn good idea.
That being said, according to Variety, Michael Jordan and his son Jeffrey are doing exactly that with the launch of Heir Inc., which is an obvious nod to the six-time NBA champ’s Air Jordan brand over at Nike.
Now as to how this will work, SPOILER WARNING: I have no idea. But Variety does! So I’ll let them bust out the user guide and explain:
Here’s how the founders say the Heir platform will work: Athletes will sell a limited number of membership-based “seats” to fans, who will get access to digital assets and first-person NFT drops, using an exclusive Heir token built on Solana’s energy-efficient blockchain network. (NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are used to verify ownership of unique digital content.) Supporters will have the opportunity to purchase one-time digital assets or join an athlete’s “huddle” for exclusive drops, digital goods, immersive experiences, and other perks.
Basically, if you’re a sports fan, you’re about to get your entire life for the low, low price of either a spleen or a kidney.
“Fan loyalty is increasingly moving toward love for individual players rather than teams,” Gaurav Ahuja, a partner at Thrive Capital (more on them in a sec), told Variety. “There’s an opportunity now to develop an ecosystem that enables fans to feel like insiders with the athletes they love. Heir’s ‘huddle’ provides a first-of-its-kind experience to be closer to athletes, becoming active co-owners and co-creators in the platform.”
In order to make this rather expensive technological marvel a reality, Thrive Capital reeled in $10.6 million in seed funding from a motley crew of investors that include tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian (the Reddit co-founder who casually refers to Serena Williams as “my wife”) and Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball.
As for those previously mentioned “immersive experiences and other perks” that will be available on Heir, expect exclusive behind-the-scenes videos and live Q&As hosted by some of the biggest names in sports.
“The Heir platform reimagines the creator-fan experience, to empower athletes to engage with their fans,” Jeffrey Jordan told Variety.
Sounds like a win to me.
For those willing to offer their kidneys or spleen as tribute, Heir will debut sometime in 2022.