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Dapper Labs teams up with Kevin Durant on NBA Top Shot NFTs

Dapper Labs has signed a multi-year partnership with Kevin Durant. Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss.

Video Transcript


ZACK GUZMAN: Welcome back to "Yahoo Finance Live." In today's "Crypto Corner," the company that pretty much sparked it all when it comes to NFTs, crossing the barrier outside the crypto sphere into the world of athletics, Dapper Labs, the parent company behind NBA's Top Shot, the company that had been rolling out collectible digital clips of NBA games that everyone was going crazy about, now extending beyond just the NBA. Of course, the NFL also getting in on the action as Dapper Labs moves into that, also partnering up with NBA star Kevin Durant's boardroom to get some more behind the scenes content. So much, a lot, shall we say, to talk about when it comes to NFTs and Dapper Labs.

I'm very happy to welcome back in the CEO of Dapper Labs, Roham Gharegozlou joins us once again. And, Roham, good to be chatting about all this. I mean, I don't know where to start. There's a lot to talk about. You're more of an NBA guy maybe than I am.

There's some throwbacks to talk about today that you're also releasing. But overall, you guys have been at the forefront of really building out, I think, some of the NFTs that a lot of people-- the most excitement that we've seen on our show. So what has you most jazzed now as we kind of wrap up 2021?

ROHAM GHAREGOZLOU: Well, you said it, Today's throwback Thursday. And by the way, good to be back, thanks for having me back. We're dropping for the first time since last off season Run It Back historical moments on NBA Top Shot so first appearances by Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson. And that's happening in about a half hour. So that's got me super excited but, of course, as you mentioned, NFL, Kevin Durant jumping on board, Carles Puyol being our ambassador for the new LaLiga product.

And then, of course, all of everything that we're doing is running on the flow blockchain. And right now there's a whole flow festival going on so dozens of other companies building on flow or dropping NFTs and some of them are for free. So if any of your listeners are paying attention and wanting to get into NFTs for the first time, October is the month to do it.

ZACK GUZMAN: It's been a wild year. I remember you and I chatting and kind of explaining what this was all about earlier this year. You've got a full NBA season now, I suppose, kind of under the wrap. I mean, when you look at the numbers, right, and what you did with NBA Top Shot this year and maybe extrapolate to the NFL side of the business, I mean, what are you expecting to see when you match those numbers up?

ROHAM GHAREGOZLOU: Well, I mean, the reality is NBA Top Shot is still very much in beta. We launched the beta this time last year. So it's been about a year. We're still about a million users. About half of those are paid users. So super early days.

And we're excited because the NFL just takes things to the new level. It's the most passionate fan base in the world and a short season but a really, really exciting one. And 400 million fans with, you know, NFL revenue $15 billion a year, these are fans that really spend and are devoted to their sport. So we think that by having NBA, NFL, European football, and then expanding from there, we can bring all over the world sports fans on-- the only real trusted NFT marketplace has processed about a billion dollars in transactions fully identity verified and sort of out in the open. So we're just excited about building those network effects and sort of taking us from the million users we have now to the $3, $4 billion sports fans around the world.

AKIKO FUJITA: Roham, I will say, as a big NBA fan, that throwbacks are very exciting for me personally. But talk to me about your partnership with boardroom and Kevin Durant. And what kind of content are you looking at?

ROHAM GHAREGOZLOU: Well, the exciting thing about Kevin and Rich at boardroom is that they're thinking about our partnership in a much bigger way than most people would. And they're coming out of, obviously, Kevin's on court persona. He's absolutely incredible, one of the greatest basketball players of all time. But with boardroom, we're actually going to be engaging and creating content that helps explain what we're doing here to the next generations of basketball fans and to people who don't know what NFTs are, who don't care about blockchain.

But what they care about is engaging with their favorite players, their favorite teams. And in fact, we're trying to learn this new asset class. I mean, the boardroom has done amazing work explaining trading cards, getting into collectibles. And we thought it's about time to kind of join forces do the same thing they've been doing for the physical world for the digital world because Kevin can get much more involved from an editorial standpoint selecting his favorite moments explaining what was going through his mind, when he was actually going through and creating these legendary moments on court and, of course, bringing in others to kind of give their perspective as well.

So it's a multifaceted partnership. And it's already off to a really good start. So I'm very excited about this new season.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, I gotta apologize because the numbers move so fast. It's so hard to keep track of all of the money coming in, in terms of total sales, right. And we just showed a little bit in terms of total NFTs for Q3. This is, of course, inclusive of what numbers you guys put up.

But all across everything, including everything sold on OpeanSea too, a record quarter in Q3, I assume probably we might see that surpassed in Q4 here. But when you look at your own numbers-- just want to make sure-- I think you guys crossed the $700 million in total sales in what, in less than a year? It was like eight months or something. When you look at maybe the expectations for the NFL-- I'll push for a number here because I don't really know if it's going to be two times, three times. What looks like success to you?

ROHAM GHAREGOZLOU: Well, I think even the NBA product's barely getting started. So success looks like adding zeros rather than multiplying. But look, we don't actually-- the transaction volume is one piece. And by the way that $700 million number, that's peer to peer trading volume. So that's sort of happening in terms of secondary sales.

We've got another $80, $90 million of primary sales to sort of add to that number on the NBA side. And we think that's going to continue as in, you know, for every $9 that the community makes, we make a dollar. And that's a really healthy balance between sort of primary and secondary sales. So we expect that to continue in the coming years.

And NFL as a sport is about twice as twice the size of NBA in terms of just dollar volume, about 400 million fans, et cetera. But NBA is also very global. We think that we're-- Top Shot and the NFL product, the LaLiga product, it's going to actually change the dynamics here because it's going to bring a global fan base into NFL. And it's going to maybe take the sort of passionate NFL fan base and expose them to a new product.

So, I mean, in terms of numbers. I think we are barely getting started here, less than a million users on Top Shot, less than a couple of 100,000 monthly actives on OpenSea. I would expect the next year to start adding zeros to these numbers. And again because these are digital collectibles and that means they are much lower friction when I open the pack, I can put it up and sell it.

And if I sell something for $1, I pay $0.05 in fees or at least on the NBA Top Shot marketplace because it's low fees and very, very accessible. So that kind of dynamic as more and more people hear about this asset class-- you know, the new NBA season is starting right now. Q4 is actually a really big year for crypto. It's going to accelerate really quickly.

ZACK GUZMAN: It's been fascinating to watch and now finally as NFL comes into the mix here, a little bit more reason for me to be paying attention, not just my brother who's been all around the NBA Top Shot stuff. Roham, appreciate you coming back on here to chat with us. Come back soon, man, and congrats again on everything. The CEO of Dapper Labs there, Roham Gharegazlou.