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Medium Rare pivots to NFTs with the Golden State Warriors

Tim Baysinger
Apr 18, 2022
Illustration of the Golden State Warriors logo forming part of a trendline.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Medium Rare partnered with the Golden State Warriors on a slate of "reactive" NFTs, in which the value increases the further the Warriors advance in the NBA Playoffs.

Why it matters: As NFTs become more mainstream, it's important to show novice collectors they can be more than just a new version of trading cards.

Driving the news: Medium Rare has been carefully pivoting to NFTs by partnering with some of the biggest U.S. sports brands.

  • The NFT's value lies in the physical world: NFT holders could gain access to future playoff tickets or get autographed memorabilia. The biggest prize? Some of the NFT holders could get to ride on a potential Warriors Championship parade or get their own Championship ring.
  • "It sort of has this mix of the stock market and gambling," Medium Rare co-founder Adam Richman tells Axios.

Catch up quick: Medium Rare began as a live events producer but shifted due to the pandemic into partnering with celebrities and athletes for streaming-first specials.

  • In March 2021, Medium Rare partnered with Rob Gronkowski on an NFT collection, which commemorated the NFL star's four Super Bowl championships and netted $1.75 million.
  • Medium Rare also made the Warriors' first NFT collection last season, as well as the Preakness Stakes, which was the first horse race NFT.
  • "We looked at it from an entertainment point of view. How would we launch a new event? How would we sell tickets? How would we get people interested in this event?" Richman says.

By the numbers: Since the NFTs minted last Friday, they've sold for more than $575,000, according to the team.

  • Last year's collection with the Warriors netted more than $2 million in total, with $871,000 alone for the 1-of-1 Warriors 6x World Championship Ring NFT — a record for a single-item sports NFT.

The big picture: Richman and his co-founder Joe Silberzweig are taking a very cautious approach to their growing NFT business.

  • "Too many teams, too many organizations and too many IP holders have dove headfirst into the NFT space — probably too quickly— without really embracing or building the community needed to be successful," Silberzweig says.
  • Rather than take a flat fee, Medium Rare only makes money on the NFTs if they actually make money. "We can even lose money on it," Richman says. "We only do as well as our partner does."
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