The general public maintains a fair degree of skepticism regarding NFTs and the broader blockchain ecosystem. Despite these worries, various organizations from the entertainment and sports industries to cultural institutions like museums are investigating how NFTs may complement their economic models and overall goals.
The world’s largest and most known companies are no exception and have begun testing the waters to see if they might create ripples in the sector while keeping their names and products current – all while providing some social good along the way.
In recent months, we’ve witnessed several indisputably fascinating NFT launches and acquisitions from major corporations, even while these endeavors may be dismissed as merely efforts to boost brand perception. Here is an overview of a few of these NFT initiatives.
The Grammys team up with ThankYouX and OneOfNFT
The Recording Academy published an exclusive NFT drop on March 30 in honor of the approaching 64th annual Grammy Awards. The drop has some brilliantly animated 3D renditions of the Grammy trophy itself, including designs by painter and sculptor ThankYouX, director and animator Emonee LaRussa, and 3D animator Andre Oshea.
There are three distinct categories of NFTs available for auction. The first group consists of 51 “platinum” NFTs with five editions each and 11 “diamond” NFTs with three editions each. NFT holders will be welcomed to VIP-exclusive events during the next Grammy weekend.
In addition, the alliance has auctioned off a limited-edition “OneofOne” NFT that includes two VIP seats and flights to next year’s award event. Significantly, this partnership will continue until the 66th Grammy Awards in 2024. The Recording Academy chose to mint the NFTs on the OneOf platform because it is built on Tezos, a blockchain that is gaining popularity in part because it has a smaller carbon impact than larger chains like Ethereum.
The drop is a humorous illustration of a big brand employing NFTs to showcase the abilities of visual artists and revitalize the awards show environment that has, well, declined in previous years.
Lamborghini’s space-themed NFTs
You may have heard that artist Shl0ms blew up a Lamborghini and transformed it into NFT art earlier this year, but the renowned automobile manufacturer has also begun producing NFTs.
In January, Lamborghini released five obscenely beautiful photographs depicting a Lamborghini Ultimate rocketing into space over the Earth. The photographs, created by Swiss artist Fabian Oefner, reveal 1,500 genuine automotive pieces trailing after the vehicle, each of which was caught by the artist and meticulously assembled to create the fictional compositions. The images depict the Earth’s curvature and are a composite of photographs captured by a weather balloon equipped with a camera. The creation of the five photos took almost two months.
The space motif is deliberate. In 2019, as part of a cooperative research initiative with the International Space Station, Lamborghini transported an advanced sample of carbon fiber material to the ISS.
After returning from the space station, Lamborghini divided the material into five parts, encased each piece in an aluminum block, and classified them as “Space Key” components. An etched QR code is on the back of each of the five-carbon fiber pieces that enable the user access to one of the five special NFT pieces. In February, the five photographs were auctioned off over the course of a few days, bringing in a total of slightly under $660,000.
Visa Buys A CryptoPunk
In the realm of NFTs, CryptoPunks are among the most valuable digital assets. The prices for the 10,000 distinct 2424 pixel art pictures, each of which may exhibit a unique collection of 87 attributes, ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $7.5 million.
Visa chose to join the NFT game in August of 2021 by acquiring CryptoPunk #7610 for roughly $150,000. This acquisition was directed by the foremost NFT collector GMoney, and some argue the transaction marked a significant shift in how the public now sees these assets.
Obviously, $150,000 is hardly a significant risk for one of the world’s most valued financial services firms, but that is not the point. Visa’s resident crypto and NFT expert Guy Sheffield stated in a press release that the acquisition was primarily intended to help the company gain a “firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT,” adding that they are now “better positioned to assist our partners in navigating the process.”
Coca-Cola Sells NFTs For Charity
Perhaps one of the largest and most successful businesses of all time, Coca-Cola announced last summer that they will mint and sell a set of four NFT collectibles for International Friendship Day as part of a charity auction.
The NFT “loot box” contained reimagined digital versions of iconic Coca-Cola assets such as a vintage cooler and a bubble jacket (to be worn in the 3D virtual reality program Decentraland), a sound visualizer that illustrates the sound of the drink being poured over ice, and a friendship card that reimagines the 1948 artwork used for Coca-Cola trading cards in the 1990s.
In August of last year, the NFT bundle was auctioned off on OpenSea for almost $575,000, all of which was donated to Special Olympics International. Additionally, the winning bidder received a classic Coca-Cola SMEG FAB28 refrigerator. The four items are now accessible for secondary market transactions.
While it may be easy to critique these corporate-level NFT studies as PR stunts, it’s still good to see corporations commissioning artists, contributing to charity, and promoting a broader acceptance of NFTs in general.
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