Champion Series NFTs will include an autographed fire suit.
Starting August 23rd, fans of NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart will be able to purchase some unique digital collectibles. They can purchase NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) celebrating Stewart’s legacy, which will also come with physical items and one-of-a-kind prizes.
The collection, which is a partnership with Orange Comet, will feature two separate series on the OpenSea marketplace. The Champion Series includes five cars with six different variations. Each will also include an autographed fire suit.
Additionally, one owner of a limited-edition Champion Series NFT will be able to win a Cup Series car from Stewart-Haas Racing — a championship show car from 2011 that does not include an engine.
Legacy NFT Series
There will also be the Legacy Series, which includes 500 NFTs highlighting cars spanning Stewart’s racing career in different series. The Legacy Series includes cars from the Cup Series, IndyCar Series, World of Outlaws, SRX Series and the USAC Silver Crown Series. Each NFT has its own animation showing in-depth details, such as visible tire wear on the IndyCar Series entry.
“It was hard to kind of narrow it down,” Stewart told Heavy ahead of the release. “But it was picking cars — and there were more cars, obviously, than what we did in this collection, to your point. The [important] part was picking cars that really meant something to me in my career. Obviously, my IndyCar career was short, but the opportunity for me to realize my dream of running Indy was very crucial to me. So having the IndyCar in there was crucial.
“Having the car from our 2011 championship was crucial because of winning as a driver and an owner at the same time. The SRX car because I’m a partner in that series and being able to do something and bring back what was the new version of the old IROC Series was important.
“And the Midget and the Sprint car for the Triple Crown year. There were so many iconic moments from that season to try to race for three national championships that there was no way I could go without putting at least two of those cars in there.”
For a refresher, NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain — “a distributed database or ledger that is shared among the nodes of a computer network.” These NFTs often represent real-world items, such as artwork. In this case, the NFTs will include animations showing Stewart and his iconic cars.
Stewart’s wife, Leah Pruett helped him gain interest in NFTs
As Stewart pointed out ahead of the collections’ release, he isn’t someone that focuses on NFTs and that tech world. It was foreign territory to him. Instead, it was his wife, championship-winning racer Leah Pruett, who helped him gain interest.
“Leah is a race car driver as well, but Leah is very tech savvy,” Stewart explained. “I am the polar opposite in this family. I’m the one that if I can actually successfully connect on a zoom call, I feel like I’ve had a good day.
“But Leah was the one that really introduced me to it,” Stewart continued. “And I’ll be honest — at first, I didn’t understand it. It didn’t make sense to me, didn’t have the knowledge and couldn’t wrap my arms around it. But we were at the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremonies early in the year. Afterward, she was talking to some of the marketing people from NASCAR, and they were talking about NFTs.
“And I felt like the third wheel. I didn’t even stand in the circle of listening to them talk but stood just outside of it to be away from the conversation. But I was close enough to listen to everything that was going on, and really listening to her perspective and NASCAR’s perspective really got me more engaged.”
One benefit that Stewart mentioned is that these NFTs exist digitally, unlike some rare diecast cars from his career. There are no concerns about them falling off of the shelf or getting broken by someone playing with them. Similarly, they don’t fade like trading cards.
Orange Comet NFT Collections span the NFL and Comic Books
Gaining interest is one part of the process, but Stewart needed a partner to bring this collection to life. Enter Orange Comet, a content creation company founded by Hollywood veteran Dave Broome, NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, and Grammy-winning musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
Orange Comet has NFT collections spanning multiple industries. One focuses on comic books while another takes on the NFL. There is also a collection celebrating the career of Anthony Hopkins. Stewart’s collection is the first for a NASCAR Hall of Famer, and it builds on something that continues to drive physical merchandise sales.
“Passion. It’s really simple,” Broome added. “It’s — I mean, look, first of all, we have a legendary icon. Tony, from an athlete standpoint, he’s the best of the best. From a brand standpoint, he’s built out an amazing brand for himself.
“But more importantly — or I shouldn’t say more — but certainly equally important is that he is passionate about everything he does. … His fans and racing car fans are passionate. And I see the world of NFTs and digital collectibles appealing to real fans. But it must be with work that is mind-blowing.”
“I feel like there’s a huge way and a huge opportunity for us to bring something new to our fan base and [have] our fans engage with them,” Stewart said. “But also celebrate our career and historic moments in our racing career. And to be able to do that with this group has been so much fun. It’s been amazing to see the excitement level from the group to think of all the assets that we’re including in these packages.”
Image: Orange Comet
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