BOSTON, Aug. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following last week’s national launch of DraftKings Marketplace, an NFT ecosystem built by DraftKings (Nasdaq: DKNG) to provide mainstream accessibility for buying, selling and trading digital collectibles, the platform will now be available to customers in Canada for the first time ahead of the exclusive Wayne Gretzky NFT drops. The full Preseason Access Collection of Wayne Gretzky NFTs are provided by Autograph in partnership with Upper Deck, with Premier editions dropping on August 17th and Signature editions to follow on August 20th.
The waiting rooms for every drop will open 30 minutes prior, and joining these queues is essential for customers to gain access to the drops, with the first waiting rooms starting at 2:30pm ET in advance of the opening 3pm ET drops each day. While the inaugural Autograph Tom Brady drops that headlined the launch of DraftKings Marketplace last week were only available to U.S.-based customers, and all sold out instantly, the Wayne Gretzky collection represents the first international expansion of the platform.
“The DraftKings customer base in Canada has shown tremendous engagement in our daily fantasy contests over the years, and we expect there will be similar levels of enthusiasm to access exclusive DraftKings Marketplace content as NFT adoption in the collectibles space accelerates,” said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America. “For Canadian sports fans across generations, arguably no athlete is more revered than Wayne Gretzky, which makes this upcoming series of drops all the more impactful knowing that customers in Canada can now participate and acquire unique collectible items of one of their favorite sports heroes.”
Since the 2012 launch of DraftKings’ daily fantasy product in Canada, customer engagement has been second only to the U.S., with over 67 million total contest entries across all sports including 11 million for NHL contests. The expansion to Canada brings DraftKings Marketplace to millions more potential customers as the Preseason Access Collection of iconic athlete NFTs continues to rollout, including the Wayne Gretzky NFT collection that is particularly relevant for collectors in the country. Canadian-based Scarcity Labs that was previously acquired by DraftKings will help support all aspects of DraftKings Marketplace, which includes the new availability of digital collectibles in Canada and the upcoming Autograph Wayne Gretzky drops.
“I’m thrilled to get into the NFT space with Autograph and expand into Canada, having fans engage with great moments from my hockey career in new, revolutionary ways,” said Wayne Gretzky. “I’ve been committed to sharing and developing the game further for all hockey fans, and I’m proud to work and advise with Autograph, making the space more accessible and streamlined for new and longtime collectors.”
“We are more than excited to enter the Canadian market with the release of Wayne Gretzky’s Preseason Access Pass,” said Dillon Rosenblatt, CEO & Co-Founder at Autograph, “It’s an honor to work with Wayne and release his first ever official NFT, and we’re excited to showcase and share more about the full Gretzky Collection coming this fall.”
Registered DraftKings customers in both the U.S. and Canada can visit https://marketplace.draftkings.com/ to explore DraftKings Marketplace and https://www.autograph.io for the latest exclusive NFT drops.
DraftKings Inc. is a digital sports entertainment and gaming company created to fuel the competitive spirit of sports fans with products that range across daily fantasy, regulated gaming and digital media. Headquartered in Boston, and launched in 2012 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish and Paul Liberman, DraftKings is the only U.S.-based vertically integrated sports betting operator. DraftKings is a multi-channel provider of sports betting and gaming technologies, powering sports and gaming entertainment for operators in 17 countries. DraftKings’ Sportsbook is live with mobile and/or retail betting operations in the United States pursuant to regulations in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
DraftKings’ daily fantasy sports product is available in 7 countries internationally with 15 distinct sports categories. DraftKings is the official daily fantasy partner of the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA TOUR and UFC as well as an authorized gaming operator of the NBA and MLB, an official sports betting partner of the NFL, an official betting operator of PGA TOUR and the official betting operator of UFC. Launched in August 2021, DraftKings Marketplace is a digital collectibles ecosystem designed for mainstream accessibility that offers curated NFT drops and supports secondary-market transactions. DraftKings also owns Vegas Sports Information Network, Inc. (VSiN), a multi-platform broadcast and content company.
Autograph is an NFT platform that brings together the most iconic brands and legendary names in sports, entertainment and culture to create unique digital collections and experiences for users around the world. Co-founded by Tom Brady and headquartered in Los Angeles, Autograph is ushering in a new era of collecting through a streamlined and inclusive process, authentic and creative products and exclusive partnerships.
About Upper Deck
The Upper Deck Company, headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., is a worldwide sports and entertainment company built on the pillars of quality craftsmanship, authenticity, and innovation with a dedication to creating products that turn memorable moments into collectibles. Upper Deck is home to the world’s greatest athletes, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, Patrick Roy, Ben Simmons, Alexis Lafrenière and more.
Learn more at https://UpperDeckStore.com/ and follow us on Facebook (UDAuthenticated), Instagram (UpperDeckSports), Twitter (@UpperDeckSports), and YouTube (UDvids).