When the NBA Top Shot craze began earlier this year, many dismissed it as a passing fad in the realm of Beanie Babies and other, similarly fleeting flash-in-the-pan movements. And while many are still skeptical of its longevity, the cultural relevance and economic mobility of Top Shot can no longer be denied.
How high can the digital memorabilia giant soar? We’re about to find out. According to Chris Bumbaca of USA Today, Top Shot’s parent company, Dapper Labs, is bringing on a host of new high-profile investors including Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kyle Lowry, Andre Drummond, Nikola Vucevic, Domantas Sabonis, Khris Middleton and Andre Iguodala. Other athlete investors include baseball stars Nolan Arenado and Tim Beckham, All-Pro NFL receivers Stefon Diggs and DK Metcalf, 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams and teammate Dee Ford, Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins and the Patriots secondary duo of Devin and Jason McCourty. Dapper Labs’ latest, $305-million funding round has also attracted prominent entertainers like actors Ashton Kutcher and Will Smith, singer Shawn Mendes and rapper/diehard Atlanta Hawks fan 2 Chainz.
Since debuting its beta version six months ago, Top Shot’s user base has grown to over 800,000 while accounting for almost $500 million in sales. Dapper Labs was recently valued at $2.6 billion, a testament to Top Shot’s continued dominance of the NFT (non-fungible token)/crypto-collectable space.
"NBA Top Shot is one of the best demonstrations we’ve seen of how quickly new technology can change the landscape for media and sports fans," said Durant in support of Top Shot. “We're excited to follow the progress with everything happening on Flow blockchain and use our platform with the Boardroom to connect with fans in a new way."
Top Shot has become a cultural phenomenon with limited-edition pack releases bringing thousands of users to the site. Some “moments” have sold for as high as six figures including a coveted LeBron James dunk purchased for $208,000 last month.