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NFL Draft 2022: Panini to offer Aidan Hutchinson NFT rookie card

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Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer discusses how the NFL and NFTs are colliding this year, plus the outlook for sports betting during the 2022 NFL Draft.

Video Transcript

- Today is NFL draft day, the NFL in Sin City for the first time ever for the draft. And the fountains of the Bellagio will be the backdrop. That's just one of the elements that make this year's draft unlike anything we have ever seen-- Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer here with yet another aspect that we've never seen before. And like a lot of things in sports, Josh, it is NFT-related.

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, Dave. So what we're seeing here is basically the rookie card is now gonna be digital. And so what's happening is Panini America is launching these NFTs with 16 NFL players tonight. It's gonna be Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson, Chris Olave, and Garrett Wilson from Ohio State, Matt Corral from Ole Miss, and a couple of other players as well.

And the way it works is it's a one of one NFT-- so original rookie card. No one else is gonna have it-- and it's going to the player themselves. So right there, you can see on the screen right now the NFT. Where the P is on that screen is gonna be the logo that picks Aidan Hutchinson.

So maybe that's the Jaguars. Maybe it's the Lions. Then that NFT goes to Hutchinson, and he owns his own rookie card.

We've seen in the past, rookie cards, obviously, if players get good, go for a lot. For instance, Tom Brady had an-- or not an NFT, a real rookie card

- No way.

JOSH SCHAFER: --a real rookie card sell--

- Black and white.

JOSH SCHAFER: --for over $2 million, though, in February. Now, that's Tom Brady, obviously, the Michael Jordan of football.

- Yeah.

JOSH SCHAFER: But if one of these players becomes real good, maybe it's a six-figure payday, a little bonus. With the amount of money these guys make, it's not the biggest deal for them but could still be big.

- But some of them have already started to generate these partnerships, even during college as well, given the name, image, and likeness rules that were really paving the way for them to have some of these partnerships. Now that they're making that transition into the league, what does that look like to already have these partnerships, and depending upon where you go in the draft, what your earnings might look like?

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, so Panini is a great example of that. They partnered with some of these teams-- some of these players, sorry, I should say-- while they were in college. And so some of these players have already been working with them. I guess there is interest from these players in NFTs, too, which I found personally interesting.

We're getting that younger generation now. These players are crypto kids. They're interested in NFTs.

So as they come into the league, they're used to it. And like you said, they've been working with those teams. So they're gonna be able to make more money off the field than we've probably ever seen before.

- And it's interesting because usually, when you watch the NFL draft, it's just sort of the kid and their family going into this. But now, as you mentioned, you have these social media revenue streams, NFTs, name, image, likeness. What kind of teams do these now draft-- these rookies need to have around them now as they enter with everything else on top of their rookie contracts having this other backdrop as well?

JOSH SCHAFER: A big team, Rachelle. They need several people, four or five people. They got someone that's just doing their social, right? They got someone that's gonna video them so then they have another video to post on Instagram later. And, of course, you mentioned this keeps on becoming a bigger and bigger event.

Well, it's in Vegas. And it's gonna be in front of the Bellagio tonight. So there's gonna be quite the scene.

- And it'll be the most bet-upon NFL draft in history, because the Super Bowl is the most bet upon. The NCAA tournament was most bet upon. And the number one draft pick, I don't think you mentioned, I think it's gonna be Travon Walker. But how big is the money gonna be on this?

JOSH SCHAFER: Well, Dave, depends on what state you're in.

- Yeah.

JOSH SCHAFER: I was just looking. You can't bet in New York on the NFL draft because it's not technically a sporting event. They treat it like an awards event, and that's not legal in New York State.

In other states, you have to bet on earlier. So if you were in Nevada, you should have bet on the draft last night. If you're listening to us right now, and you were gonna go place a bet--

- Wow.

JOSH SCHAFER: --it's too late. So it's not quite as big of a day for the sportsbooks as you'd think, which is a little bit ironic because it is in Las Vegas.

- I'm just gonna need them to cut down how long the drafts are, because quite frankly, those things last longer than political party conventions. And we just need to trim this a little bit.

- Number one's quick and entertaining, though.

- That is fun. That is fun. Josh, appreciate the breakdown here. We're all gonna be tuning in to see who goes number one.