Tom Brady’s NFT platform partners with DraftKings and Lionsgate to offer sports and entertainment-themed digital collectibles

tom brady

Autograph, the NFT platform co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady, announced Tuesday that it is partnering with fantasy sports website DraftKings and entertainment firm Lionsgate to offer sports and entertainment-themed digital collectibles.

The platform will officially launch its NFTs this summer.

Sports-related content will be sold exclusively on DraftKings Marketplace, which will be available to users with existing DraftKings account. Once launched, millions will be able to seamlessly buy, sell, and trade digital collectibles.

Entertainment-related content, meanwhile, will be available in Lionsgate, Autograph’s entertainment vertical. The first wave of content will focus on franchises including the Hunger Games, Rambo IV & V, Dirty Dancing, Blair Witch, Mad Men, John Wick, The Divergent Series, The Expendables, and The Twilight Saga.

Los Angeles-based Autograph is also launching exclusive deals with Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka, and Tony Hawk who will all be joining the company’s advisory board.

NFTs are digital representations of any form of artwork tied to a blockchain, typically on ethereum. Each NFT has a signature that can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated or edited.

When people buy NFTs, they gain the rights to the unique token on the blockchain, not the artworks themselves. But the fact that the information on a blockchain is next to impossible to alter makes NFTs appealing.

“We are honored to partner with these powerful icons and marquee businesses, DraftKings and Lionsgate,” said Richard Rosenblatt, co-founder and co-chairman of Autograph. “As the nascent NFT market continues to develop, we are fortunate to enlist these leading partners with additional luminaries to be announced in the near future.”

Apart from Brady, other celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Katy Perry have launched their own tokens, as well as prominent figures including Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.

NFTs have soared in popularity this year. Sales volume of tokens reached $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, according to analytics firm DappRadar.

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Cathie Wood’s Ark ETFs bought the dip in DraftKings after a short-seller report sent shares tanking

DraftKings New England Patriots
  • Two of Cathie Wood’s ARK ETFs bought a combined 870,299 shares of DraftKings on Tuesday.
  • The purchases came after a dip in share prices due to a short-seller report from Hindenburg Research.
  • DraftKings received analyst support from Morgan Stanley and Jefferies after the news broke.
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Two of Cathie Wood’s actively managed Ark ETFs bought the dip in DraftKings on Tuesday, acquiring a combined 870,299 shares after a short-seller report sent the stock sinking.

Specifically, Wood’s Ark Next Generation Internet ETF bought 181,597 shares, while the Ark Innovation ETF bought 688,702 shares, according to a daily email from Ark’s trading desk outlining recent trades.

The combined stock was worth some $42,218,204 as of Tuesday’s closing price.

DraftKings represents the 17th-largest holding of the Ark Innovation ETF and the 19th-largest component of the Ark Next Generation Internet ETF.

DraftKings’ stock came under pressure on Tuesday after the noted short-seller Hindenburg Research released a report detailing what they describe as “black market operations” at the fantasy sports and sports betting operator.

While the stock fell as much as 12% on Tuesday, it recovered to end the day down just 4%. Now, DraftKings has received some much-needed analyst support.

Thomas Allen, the managing director of equity research at Morgan Stanley, reiterated his “overweight” rating and $58 price target on shares of DraftKings after the short-seller report.

The analyst argued that “unregulated” market exposure is common for international online gaming/sports betting companies and that DraftKings’ partner, SBTech, has exposure that is more in the “grey market” area.

“We are Overweight DKNG on the thesis that its customer acquisition advantage through its legacy DFS business will drive outsized US B2C sports betting revenue and, in turn, profitability compared to consensus,” Allen said.

Jefferies analyst David Katz also maintained his “buy” rating and $75 price target on DraftKings, arguing that the SBTech acquisition was mainly meant to help the company own and developing the right betting technology, not gain international revenue.

Read more: A client portfolio manager at Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest shares which of its ETFs are projected to see the most growth over the next 5 years, and explains the recent downturn in the broader family

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US stocks slip from record highs as investors mull weak retail-sales data ahead of Fed decision

Stock Market Bubble
A trader blows bubble gum during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 1, 2019, in New York City.

  • US stocks slipped from record highs as investors mulled the disappointing retail sales ahead of the FOMC’s two-day meeting.
  • The 10-year Treasury yield has hovered near 1.5% for most of the day.
  • Crude oil traded at the highest level since 2018, while lumber, gold, and copper slipped.
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US stocks slipped from record highs Tuesday as investors mulled the disappointing retail sales ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting.

Spending at US retailers for the month of May slumped for the first time since February as more economic restrictions were reversed and Americans settled into a new sense of normal.

US retail sales fell 1.3% in May, the Census Bureau. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg held a median estimate for a 0.7% decline. The decline places monthly sales at $620 billion and just below the record-high seen in April.

Meanwhile, investors continue to weigh inflationary pressures ahead of the FOMC decision due Wednesday. Most economists are anticipating that the central bank will leave its policy mostly unchanged. Investors will be focusing on tapering discussions, the latest economic projections, and inflation.

“Despite the ‘transitory’ message regarding inflation, some on the Committee must be twitching a little uncomfortably,” said Marcus Dewsnap, head of fixed income strategy at IGM, which is part of Informa Financial Intelligence.

Hard data so far hasn’t quite suggested the sort of second-quarter that will force economic growth to hit the Fed’s 2021 projection, Dewsnap added.

The 10-year Treasury yield hovered near 1.5% for most of the day.

In March, Fed officials saw consumer prices rising 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from a year earlier. That pace, they said, would be consistent with their goal of 2% average annual inflation over the long run.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Tuesday.

Online gaming company DraftKings plunged as much as 12% on allegations by a short seller of illegal activity. A report from Hindenburg Research, a short seller, claimed DraftKings is hiding “black market operations.”

Meanwhile, short-sellers betting against meme stock AMC Entertainment lost $512 million on Monday when the movie theater chain rallied 15%, according to Reuters, citing data from analytics firm Ortex.

Solid Power, an electric-vehicle battery producer, announced it’s going public by merging with blank-check firm Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III in a deal valued at $1.2 billion.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin finally hit the $40,000-level on Monday after trending below that level to date in June.

Still, a new survey found that hedge fund bosses are planning to ramp up their holdings of cryptocurrencies, predicting that an average of 7.2% of their assets under management will be held in digital tokens by 2026.

Crude oil traded at the highest level since 2018. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1.96% to $72.27 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, gained 1.78% to $74.16 per barrel.

Gold slid 0.45% to $1,858.92 per ounce.

Copper also tumbled to a seven-week low amid concerns that China will gradually release its stockpiles in the coming months.

Lumber joined the downturn, sliding for the 10th straight day before mounting a recovery as the pandemic-driven boom in the commodity continues to show signs of weakness.

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DraftKings sinks 12% after short-seller report claims online sports betting company is hiding illegal activity

The fantasy sports website DraftKings is shown on October 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.
The fantasy sports website DraftKings is shown on October 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

  • DraftKings plunged as much as 12% before retracing some losses on Tuesday.
  • An report from Hindenburg Research claimed the online sports betting company had “systematically skirted the law.”
  • The short seller is a frequent critic of popular startups, having previously targeted Nikola, Lordstown Motors, and Clover Health.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

DraftKings plunged as much as 12% Tuesday on allegations by a short seller of illegal activity.

A report from Hindenburg Research published Tuesday morning, which unveiled the firm’s short position in the online sports betting company, claimed DraftKings had “systematically skirted the law” via two Bulgarian subsidiaries. Meanwhile, insiders made use of market froth to sell more than $1.4 billion in DraftKings shares, Hindenburg alleged.

In a statement, DraftKings downplayed the findings.

“This report is written by someone who is short on DraftKings stock with an incentive to drive down the share price,” the company told Yahoo Finance. “We conducted a thorough review of [one of the Bulgarian subsidiary’s] business practices and we were comfortable with the findings.”

Released ahead of market open, the report sent DraftKings shares sliding, bottoming out at $44.65 a share versus a previous close of $50.62. But by 11 a.m. New York time, the stock had recovered around two-thirds of the initial drop, and had remained stable as of this writing.

Since the Supreme Court legalized sports betting nationwide in 2018, DraftKings has leaned on partnerships with high-profile brands, like the NFL and NBA, to stand out in a crowded, sometimes opaque market.

The firm went public through a SPAC in 2020, combining with one of the Bulgarian subsidiaries, called SBTech, that Hindenburg accuses of criminal conduct.

The DraftKings drop continues a rough stretch for the stock, which has fallen 28% since mid-March.

Shares of the company were trading 4.65% lower at $48.26 as of 3:29 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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Hindenburg Research reveals DraftKings short position, says company is hiding black market operations

Jason Robins DraftKings CEO
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins.

  • Hindenburg Research revealed its latest short position in a report on Tuesday, setting sights on online betting company DraftKings.
  • The short seller claimed DraftKings is hiding “black market operations.”
  • Hindenburg says 50% of DraftKings’ SPAC partner SBTech’s revenue comes from markets where gambling is banned.
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Short seller Hindenburg Research revealed its latest short position against DraftKings in a report on Tuesday.

Hindenburg said that one of DraftKings’ SPAC merger partners, Bulgaria-based gaming technology company SBTech, “brings exposure to extensive dealings in black-market gaming, money laundering, and organized crime.”

The short seller claimed that, according to their estimates based on SEC filings, “supporting documents,” and conversations with former employees, roughly 50% of SBTech’s revenue comes from markets where gambling is banned.

DraftKings did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment about the report.

Hindenburg said the company’s illicit customer relationships were shuffled into a newly formed “distributor” entity called BTi/CoreTech when DraftKings went public via a SPAC merger with Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. in April 2020.

The short seller has been a frequent critic of popular startups, many of which have gone public via SPAC. Previous targets include electric vehicle makers Nikola and Lordstown Motors, as well as Chamath Palihapitiya-backed Clover Health.

Hindenburg also noted that DraftKings insiders have dumped over $1.4 billion in stock since the company went public, and SBTech’s founder personally sold around $568 million in shares.

Finally, the short seller argued DraftKings’ business model of aggressively spending cash to acquire customers that may or may not be loyal to the platform could be a risk moving forward.

DraftKings stock traded down 7.80% as of 9:47 a.m. ET after news of the short-seller report broke.

DKNG stock chart
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The CEO of DraftKings says he’s looked into adding crypto as a form of payment, but regulations are preventing it

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DraftKings CEO Jason Robins onstage during the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 on September 7, 2018 in San Francisco.

  • DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said current regulations prevent the company from accepting cryptocurrency as payment.
  • “As of now, crypto is not an approved payment type in any of the states where we’re live,” Robins said.
  • But he added he foresees cryptocurrencies to “likely transform some entire industries.”
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DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said he has looked into adding cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for his online sports betting company but admitted that the current regulations prevented him from pursuing the matter further.

“The payment methods we can accept are determined by the individual state regulators and, as of now, crypto is not an approved payment type in any of the states where we’re live,” Robins said during a live town hall hosted by stock trading app Public Wednesday.

The chief executive added that cryptocurrencies will “likely transform some entire industries and portions of others.”

Cryptocurrency regulation – or a lack of – has been in the spotlight recently. On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service asked lawmakers to give the agency more authority and funding to regulate the rapidly evolving industry.

Yet, some, such as SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce, have warned that stricter rules will hurt the cryptocurrency market.

Currently, DraftKing operations vary per state depending on the service. It will likely be the same case for when it accepts cryptocurrencies.

For instance, users can play DraftKings daily fantasy sports throughout the US except in Montana, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona, according to its website.

Meanwhile, only 10 states allow sports betting, while just four -Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, and New Jersey – permit online gambling.

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Where online gambling is legal in the US.

DraftKings in the past year has been benefitting from a wave of enthusiasm over the country’s emerging sports-betting industry. Research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming in February projected that sports betting would generate $5.8 billion in revenue by 2023, up from an estimated $920 million in 2019.

The Boston-based company in May reported a better-than-expected loss per share and higher revenue for the first quarter of 2021. The company, founded in 2012, also lifted its full-year revenue guidance from a range of $900 million – $1 billion to a range of $1.05 billion – $1.15 billion.

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Instagram’s most popular financial meme account is run by an anonymous Wall Street banker who says these 3 stocks could be the next GameStop

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  • Instagram’s most popular financial meme page is run by a New-York based investment banker in his late 20s.
  • After the Reddit-fueled buying frenzy, he published a newsletter to help people make sense of what was going on. 
  • The founder of “Litquidity” told Insider that DraftKings, Virgin Galactic, and Penn have meme potential.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

Litquidity has a following of about half a million people on Instagram, and it’s the most popular financial meme account on the site.

Run by an anonymous Wall Street banker in his late 20s, the account was launched in 2017 when he found some free time between switching jobs. His circle of friends was made up of people working in investment banks, hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital. So he created the account to share funny instances that they could all relate to. 

“It’s a way we could all share the common stuff we were going through – working very late, going through the same struggles of dealing with tough managing directors who were very demanding, stress of the job, enjoying things like going out in New York City to the bars, and the way we think about things,” Litquidity told Insider in an interview.

Screenshot 2021 02 25 at 21.43.12

The Litquidity account rapidly gathered an audience among the financial fraternity for its unveiling of the lifestyle of someone working on Wall Street. Some of Litquidity’s own colleagues often unwittingly send him his own memes.

“One or two coworkers maybe know, but it’s more of a suspicion,” he said. “It’s basically just my friends and family that know that I run it, but I try my best to maintain anonymity.” 

He found there’s an appetite for market knowledge and information, since events in the financial world transpire very quickly and are easy to miss. And so, around the time that the Reddit-fueled day-trading craze pushed GameStop’s shares higher last month, Litquidity launched a newsletter called the Exec Sum to help readers decipher the goings-on in the market.

The brand describes itself as “the littest daily newsletter covering all things Wall Street & Silicon Valley with a dose of memes.” Having already lined up sponsors, the newsletter is meant to serve as a stream of revenue that adds to Litquidity’s merchandise and advertising business.

Aside from GameStop, the anonymous banker said these three stocks have “meme potential”:

DraftKings. “I think it’s very tied to the same personality that is active on Wall Street Bets. The same way that there’s degenerate stock traders who make the most outrageous investments, sports betters also have similarities with betting on football games, soccer, basketball – you name it. It’s the same type of person throwing money, and they can hit big or lose big.”

Virgin Galactic. Because the “going to the moon” association for the spaceflight company is a “natural fit.” 

Penn National Gaming. “They are the majority owners of Barstool Sports now. Dave Portnoy being such an electric personality, he’s a meme in itself. It could be treated as a meme through sports-betting.”

Litquidity said his brand is still in the early stages and he wants to continue to make good content, entertain people, and eventually focus on educating so more can understand the financial world.

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