Digital Collectibles are Inspired By the Work of Vernon Wells and Include Unique IRL Elements
NFL Hall of Fame Running Back and 2020 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Eric Dickerson has partnered with his alma mater, SMU, and Zelus, a company at the intersection of creativity, culture, and technology, on his first NFT offering. The Dickerson “Legendary” collection is a set of 50 NFTs that combine artistic rarity and VIP experiential benefits to maximize appeal and value.
“I’ve been excited about the NFT business as a way to create better connections with my fans,” Dickerson said, adding, “But I didn’t want to rush it with just anybody, I wanted trusted partners like my alma mater and Zelus.”
A signature piece of the project is a life-size painting of Dickerson that was commissioned by well-known sports artist, Vernon Wells, which will be placed inside SMU’s Ford Stadium, not to be sold. This painting serves as the inspiration for the NFTs that will be minted, all with slight dynamic visual alterations to the original artwork, creating 50 unique versions, i.e. different backgrounds, animated movements and jersey combinations including SMU’s current popular “Dallas” uniform.
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“SMU is excited to be a leader in NFT partnerships in the collegiate space”
“SMU is excited to be a leader in NFT partnerships in the collegiate space,” SMU Athletic Director Rick Hart said, adding, “We see the Dickerson NFT as both a great way to celebrate Eric and the embodiment of one of our core values – Innovation.”
The collection will feature a unique IRL element wherein Dickerson will make appearances each year for five years to create VIP engagement with the NFT owners. Options will include watching an SMU game on the field, VIP dinners, rounds of golf, “chalk talks” and a “Stories Untold” series in podcast format.
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A “Hall of Fame” one-of-one NFT will also be minted that entitles the owner to receive a trip for two via private plane to Las Vegas for Dickerson’s College Football HOF induction on December 7, 2021 as SMU’s honored guest. The “Hall of Fame” NFT is the only one in the collection to feature Eric Dickerson’s signature and its first instance encoded on the blockchain.
“Zelus is positioned to be the trusted partner for IP holders – universities, artists, celebrities, and entertainment properties,” said Dale Alexander, Chief Creative Officer at Zelus. “We’re focused on designing dynamic and bespoke launches for our partners while ensuring they receive the highest-level IP protection. Creativity, innovation and peace of mind are what we offer, that’s how we deliver the most value for everyone involved.”