We did it! Jeff, Josh and Eathan, along with the huge of Rockstar team members they assembled, just pulled off a stellar inaugural NFT LA event featuring the crème de la crème of Web 3, and leveraging the vibrant entertainment scene of Los Angeles. This episode is one of a series featuring content from the NFT LA event, March 28-31, 2022. Today’s session is one of a handful featuring impromptu convention hall interviews that our good friend Shira Lazar put together. We’ve organized them into tracks, similar to the content tracks we organized for NFT LA talks and panels. Today’s track: Sports, Entertainment, Music, Art and Fashion. Enjoy!
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
NFT LA Collection – Arts & Entertainment: Shira Lazar Hosts Avery Akkineni (Vayner NFT), Tammy Yang (Numbers), Mark Radcliffe (DLA Piper), Boy01 (House Of Ye), Rebecca Jonah & Ilona Stepanyants (Aria), Nathan Ginnever (Seker Factory), Wahid Chammas (Faith Tribe)
We did it. Along with my incredible co-host Jeff and Josh, as well as the huge crew of rockstar team members we assembled, we pulled off a stellar inaugural NFT LA event featuring the crème de la crème of Web 3.0 and leveraging the vibrant entertainment scene of Los Angeles. This episode is one of a series featuring content from the NFT LA event, which happened from March 28th to 31st, 2022. This session is one of a handful featuring impromptu convention hall interviews that a good friend, Shira Lazar put together. We’ve organized them into tracks, similar to the content tracks we organized for NFT LA talks and panels. This track is sports, entertainment, music, art and fashion. Enjoy.
I’m with Avery Akkineni from VaynerNFT. It’s so great to see you here in the flesh because we do follow each other on Twitter.
I’m so excited to meet you.
Tell us what VaynerNFT is up to. We all know VaynerMedia, but tell us more.
We created VaynerNFT almost a year ago with the intention of helping institutions navigate the world of Web 3.0. VaynerMedia has existed for almost twelve years and we’ve been helping institutions, primarily brands, navigate all things social media and all things marketing for the now. A few years ago, Gary became obsessed with NFTs and Web 3.0. He told us this is all of the future. We then decided to create a consultancy within the walls of Vayner, specifically to help IP owners navigate this new space and launch some amazing projects.
What were you doing before this?
Before VaynerNFT, I was running our VaynerMedia business in the Asia Pacific. I started our offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo and Sydney. I then decided to move back starting VaynerNFT in Miami. It’s been a journey. Before Vayner, I was at Google for seven years. It’s a little bit of a different pace and it’s been an experience. You know Gary so it’s been fun.
You’re a rockstar. It’s so great to interview a powerful woman who’s killing it in space because as we know, there are not a lot of us here. What has it been like representing women? We’re in so many of these Twitter spaces and I wouldn’t say it’s a big trend because it is how we identify. What are your thoughts?
It’s an interesting time because sometimes perception is reality. I understand the stats of men being the predominant demographic of crypto buyers and NFT buyers. Many of the amazing people and builders I know in this space are women. It takes a little bit of consciousness for me to realize that it isn’t the full reality. There’s a lot of energy in empowering women in the world of Web 3.0. There are projects that are being created specifically to help onboard these communities into the world of Web 3.0 and get them set up with their wallets and with crypto.
Whether they’re thinking about that as an investment, as a community effort, as a new way or a new medium to spend their time as a hobby. You and I are part of a couple of those same groups and it’s been nice to see those pop. Here at NFT LA, they’ve done an incredible job curating the list of speakers to be intentionally gender-balanced but let’s say the bathroom line is much shorter for the women’s bathrooms.
Let’s go back to VaynerNFT and what you all are up to. I know the mission, but I’m sure you’re working on some cool projects.
We’re working on a bunch of cool projects. There’s a mix of owned projects in the Vayner ecosystem and enterprise programs. We did a cool program with Stella Artois in Art Blocks. It was sold out in two hours and all proceeds in perpetuity benefit Water.org on World Water Day. That was one that we were proud of. It’s a cool use of generative art technology and a force for good. We were thrilled with that. We have a couple of other very exciting programs coming. A combination of free NFTs, community-oriented NFTs, and brand-building NFTs. One thing that I’m looking forward to is launching some programs as an NFT first, which then move into the more mainstream world.
It’s consumer-facing after.
We’ve been doing a lot of traditional moving into the world of Web 3.0. It will be fun to start Web 3.0, moving into the world of traditional, as we’re seeing an increase in this intersection happening.
That makes sense because if you’re a brand that is popular and has a community, you should be able to navigate all these other spaces from fashion to consumer goods.
We’re also starting to see some of the major NFT programs moving into the mainstream through things like developing shows, more popular merchandise, and even billboards all over Miami, popularizing some of these programs, events and experiences like with South By. I’m excited for the future of Web 3.0, moving into the mainstream through some of these blue-chip brands.
It’s going to be huge and it already is happening. What advice do you give companies who are intrigued by this space? They might not fully get it yet how they should play in it.
The advice I give everyone is, “Do your homework.” For institutions, a lot of times we’ll give these talks and educational sessions to hundreds of executives from Fortune 500 land. They say they understand NFTs. They get what’s going on. We ask, “How many of you have a wallet or have crypto?” Two hands go up. Immersing yourself in that experience directly helps unlock the understanding of what this community and what this world is all about.
First is always do your own homework and get in that mindset yourself by getting your first ever NFT. I’ve probably personally onboarded an absurd number of CEOs and CMOs because until they get it themselves, they don’t get it. Second, start by thinking about what you can do to add value to the ecosystem, whether this is a new way for your fans in the community to engage with you. Whether it’s an airdrop, a piece of art, collaboration can be smart, but thinking of how you can add value to the ecosystem. Those two things are prerequisites before you get anywhere near launching your own project.
Where do you see the space going in the future? So much has happened already in a short period of time. We were in a bit of a bull market, bear market, and then everything was selling out. People were feeling there was a plateau. What is your take?
My take is that it’s the absurdly early days of this entire ecosystem. We hear all the time, “Is it a bear market? Things are down.” If you look at it, it’s all on a relative basis. If you look back years ago, we’ve come so far already. We’re still in the incredibly early days of what this world is going to be like. We’re in the very early days of consumer adoption. We’re a little bit in our own bubble here because we’re surrounded by everyone who’s all Web 3.0 all the time. If you look at the total number of active wallets, it’s small.
My predictions for the future are NFTs will become ubiquitous and used as a way to convey self-expression, convey ownership, invest in things that you like, collect things that you like, and build the digital persona that can go with you across all of the different experiences you have digitally. I don’t know if the term NFTs will stick around. It might go in the direction of the worldwide web, surf the net or some of the things that we used to say that are long forgotten. This concept of digital ownership is going to be massive and it’s going to fundamentally change how people interact digitally.
Avery, I so appreciate you. It is great to meet you in person. Thank you so much for sharing all these insights.
Thank you so much, Shira.
I’m with Tammy Yang from Numbers Protocol. Thanks for being here with us.
It’s nice to see you here.
I hope you’re enjoying your time. Have you been to an NFT conference before?
No, this is my first NFT conference.
Tell us more about Numbers Protocol.
Numbers Protocol created a decentralized photo network. We make photos including images and videos, traceable and verifiable. By doing so, we were able to challenge some of the important problems such as the misinformation on the internet or the fake NFT problems.
NFT is supposed to be a transparent, open, and fundamental connection between the buyer and the seller. Click To Tweet
When I saw this site and I hear about this idea, I think about maybe getting what WireImage or Associated Press on their photo service side has done wrong or how they could decentralize it. Do you feel you’re trying to solve some of those problems while also taking the photos from the crowdsource?
The market we are adjusting is bigger than the stock photos. We believe that because the photo is something that everyone is very familiar with, we take a lot of photos from your mobile home every day. We think that in the Western board, the difference is you own your own photos. You get to decide how to use those photos.
Do you want to submit it to the news media? Do you want to print it out? Do you want to make it as an NFT? Do you want to list it and license it to someone else? In Web 3.0, we got the opportunity to use the technology to help everybody become their carrier and then you got to decide how do want to use your photos in the decentralized area.
What are the options if I’m a photographer and I use Numbers Protocol?
There are several ways they can work with us. The first one is we have an app available on Android and iOS that they can download. All the photos taken from that app are native photos so it has consent. The creator, creation location and all this information are online so that is traceable and verifiable. They can use the app and then very easily create the photos and then bring the NFT for the app. That’s one way.
Some of the photographers also work with us on the project base because they have more creations. Some photo agencies also work with us to help them to turn their batch photos. Imagine that in the Web 2.0 world. There are so many photos online, but it’s very challenging to tell where these photos were taken and how these photos are taken.
That causes misinformation or fake NFTs problems. Now, they all want to move to the Web 3.0 world. They want to create their timestamp, and they want to have the proper creator names binding to that creation. That’s how they can work with us and we will help them to upload the photos in the batch way. It’s more efficient than taking photos from the app.
Do you think 2022 is the year of the NFT photograph? Do you think it’s going to become more popular?
I do think so. 2021 is the year of NFT for sure. I’m totally into NFT. I understand why there is a lot about NFTs that people don’t understand. I can understand what that means. A lot of people in 2021 see those NFTs and they were like, “Why am I going to spend $1 million to buy this?” Although NFT is very popular in 2021, there’s still a gap between the mainstream people and the NFT.
I believe that 2022 is going to be the year where the gap is going to be much smaller. For example, we’re going to have a collaboration with a wonderful photographer called Kate Peters. She is an amazing photographer and her work is exhibited in the London National Portrait Museum. Photographers like this traditionally showcase their work in the museum and in the gallery. They’re all looking for a new way to engage with Web 3.0 with their own work. I believe that 2022 is going to be a very different year for NFT.
What advice would you give those photographers who want to get into this space?
The first thing will be, “What do you want to give to people who bought your NFT?” For example, the very common question we are asked is, “What rights do photographers still retain after they sold their NFT?” I will interpret that question in a different direction. What right do people get after buying your NFT? NFT is supposed to be transparent, open and is a permanent connection between the buyer and the creator. That’s very interesting because traditionally if I bought some creations after I pay, the connection is over. Now because of NFT, you are allowed to create a permanent connection. What kind of connection do you want to build with a buyer? What do you want to give to them? That message will be very important.
Also, not to be maybe overwhelmed by all the PFP generative art out there. There’s still room for one of the ones and the photographers and those types of artists.
Yes, I believe that.
You can sell, buy and license all that photography on Numbers Protocol. Go check it out. It’s great stuff.
I’m with Mark Radcliffe from DLA Piper. We’re going to be talking about law and legal issues around this space. Let’s get into your background in this space because you’ve been working in crypto for a while.
Crypto is fascinating. I’ve been working in Silicon Valley for over 30 years. I love new technologies. I was very involved in open source back in the early 2000s and continue to be involved. Crypto is one of the most exciting developments that I’ve seen in those years. NFTs are even more interesting to me than tokens. I’ve done a lot of token-oriented matters from 2017, but NFTs’ combination of building community, building art and getting money directly to artists is fascinating to me and very exciting.
I’m sure you have a lot of work to do. A lot of people need lawyers and people that understand smart contracts. What are you looking at in this space?
The most interesting thing for me and hopefully for the people in the space is understanding how IP rights can leverage to add value. The biggest example of that is Bored Ape Yacht Club which granted a license with very broad commercial rights early on versus CryptoPunks, where they had a license and were never quite sure what the scope of it was. When Bored Ape Yacht Club bought CryptoPunks and granted them a commercial license, you’re going to see an explosion in the CryptoPunks community. That’s very good for the community. Certainly, the venture capitalists are giving a vote of confidence. They funded Bored Ape Yacht Club at a $4 billion valuation.
What advice do you give founders when you’re working with them on the legal side?
The critical thing is to think through what you’re trying to achieve. There are a lot of paths and we’re still experimenting. For those of you who are in the industry, you’ve probably heard of something called CC0, Creative Commons Zero. It is a license where you devote the copyright to the public domain. I think that’s an approach that will fail over time, except for very few projects. You need to think about, “What are your goals? How are you going to build the community?” The key to NFT success is building the community around your project.
What mistakes do you feel people make? What should people be looking out for?
The first mistake they make is thinking that if something is on the internet, somehow it’s available for their use. You had a group that try to use Magic: The Gathering and put it into an NFT. They got the politest demand letter from the Magic: The Gathering lawyer you can imagine. They exploded on Twitter. They were somehow disrespected. The people taking somebody else’s intellectual property are being disrespectful.
The other part of it is for the long-term. You can obviously make a lot of money if you drop 10,000 PFPs. What Yuga Labs through Bored Ape Yacht Club has shown is if you think it through and you can have a strategy that’s going to make you a truly next-generation entertainment company. There are going to be companies coming out of the NFT space that is going to be similar to Disney. One thing I’ve observed in my 30 years in Silicon Valley is the existing players, large companies that can be very successful in their niche are frequently not nimble enough to make it to the next business model.
Probably the best example that everybody knows about is Blockbuster and Netflix. It’s important to recognize that this new technology offers an opportunity to build impressive new companies. It also opens up the internet in many ways, back to the original Web 1.0 opportunity of decentralization, participation and owning your own data.
What will we be talking about in 2023?
In 2023, we’ll be talking about how Yuga Labs had yet another success. I’m hoping that there are going to be 3 or 4 other projects that will have followed their model, not necessarily exactly, but in different ways and be equally successful. We’re going to see the NFT mega players like Yuga Labs move into traditional entertainment. They’ve already announced an animated film. They’ve got a metaverse project.
We’re going to see a blending of traditional entertainment with the NFT space. You’re going to see the traditional entertainment players getting into NFTs, but an example of how not to do it is the proposed Dune launch of NFTs that is going to be on Ethereum which is still proof of work. It’s not a great environmental story yet Dune itself is all about the environment. That was a misstep on the part of Legendary Entertainment.
Arts & Entertainment: Most people think that if something is on the internet, somehow it’s available for their use. Taking someone else’s intellectual property is a form of disrespect.
Were you also a part of the TikTok NFT drop?
That’s correct. We worked with TikTok on the NFT drop. That was interesting, and complex because we’re working with third-party artists and we are introducing them to NFTs, how NFTs work and at the same time, trying to find the right platform. It was very interesting.
That’s going to be a huge challenge because traditional companies are used to owning it. They’re like, “We gave you the money upfront.” They think that you could still give money upfront and still get a percentage.
Frankly, this is a lot like open source which started out in the early 2000s. I see the NFT community is very similar to open source, in the sense that it’s very collaborative. People are sharing information. I hope that ethic continues because that’s what made open source so powerful. Now, you have an open-source project, the Linux operating system, which is dominant in its space. All the proprietary products have gone away.
There’s the possibility of similar successes for NFT companies in the entertainment field and other fields. I represent somebody who’s using NFTs to track patents and put together patent pools. There are a lot of use cases beyond PFPs and some of the collectibles we’re seeing. You’re already seeing sports teams using NFTs to build their fan base and interact with the fan base in ways that weren’t possible before.
The main advice is to make sure you have the right team and lawyers from the beginning. Make sure your contract is secure and makes sense to protect yourself as it grows and the community grows.
As we lawyers say, “Pay us now or pay us later.” We’re already seeing litigation between Miramax and Quentin Tarantino over his desire to drop NFTS based on the Pulp Fiction script that he wrote. This is not unusual. We’ve seen multiple situations where new technologies come in if you went from movies to television to video cassettes. In each case, there are a lot of disputes over rights. We’re going to see more of those, but it does offer an opportunity for people to create entirely new projects. If they take their appropriate approach and have the right strategy, they can build a Disney and it will be very exciting.
Will the traditional companies be okay with this new way of doing things or will they not have a choice?
They’re not going to have a choice. You’re going to see many new projects that are going to come out of the crypto native space. I’m working with one called Block of Horror which is going to use NFTs to develop a community source and future films in the horror genre. There’s Jenkins the Valet. There are a bunch of other projects that are using NFTs to build communities. That’s going to be a very exciting new approach to developing entertainment.
I’m at NFT LA with BOY01 from Books of Ye. Welcome. You’re donning a great shirt there. Is this part of your brand?
Yes. This is one of the original art pieces that we created. This is the Garden of Eden.
I feel it. There’s a lot going on.
You could call it peacocking. I was thinking about when we show up at the conference what’s the best way to show off our art? Let’s put it right in front of us.
How did Books of Ye get started?
The concept extends from a 2015 art piece that we created as some of the founders. I was a sophomore at Stanford at the time. We had this idea. I attended a Kanye concert the year before his Yeezus tour. I remember Kanye was on stage. He’s bathing in this pillar of light and he’s wearing this outrageous Margiela mask. The screens are blaring black and red. It was a larger-than-life, over-the-top experience.
It occurred to me at the time Kanye was saying, “I am a God.” He was comparing himself to Jesus. One of us quipped. We were hashing it out after the fact. In a way, he’s right. We have this modern, sanitized secular sensibility. A way to be at the Kanye concert was to satisfy this ancient evolutionary impulse we have to feel as though we’re part of something that is so awesome and maybe it’s holy.
That’s a thesis right there.
It was a concept.
It could be someone’s thesis paper.
Instead of writing it into a paper, what we did is we created a coffee table book. This is the Book of Yeezus. It was essentially the Book of Genesis bound in black leather, etched with gold leaf in which every instance of God was replaced with Kanye.
You’ve dedicated your life to this.
I was a sophomore at the time. We were just having fun.
Did he say anything at that time?
We never heard from him. There’s no comment there. What we did hear from was media all over the world in all these different languages. It became a viral trend. It exploded a lot. You might recognize the Book of Yeezus. We sold thousands of these things. It was wacky for us. Fast forward a few years, as NFT started to pick up, what was so powerful about this experience for us is it opened our eyes to the power of memes.
As NFTs started to ascend, it occurred to us that NFTs crystallized this emergence of memes as the preeminent currency of the internet age. NFTs are so fascinating because NFTs are memes in themselves. They’re memes that people can buy into, advocate for, receive and are almost incentivized to advocate for it.
The NFT collapses the distance between a meme and equity. We thought it would make sense in the same way before. As we made this conceptual art piece for the Book of Yeezus, we would again produce this conceptual art NFT, the first-ever conceptual art NFT as far as we know. It would comment on what essentially NFT symbolizes in this broader cultural shift.
Is it still Ye?
We’re a team of over a dozen award-winning 2D and 3D artists. We’re creating this series of experiences that exist both in the virtual and in the physical world, as well as an original fashion line. One of our team members is a renowned fashion designer who’s been in the New York Times and Vogue and featured regularly in New York Fashion Week. We’re building towards a brand tree, which is a brand that escapes beyond the NFT world, appeals to a mass cultural audience, and builds on this persona that we’re playing with.
Kanye didn’t say anything about the book. What about this? Now that the brand’s starting to get bigger and bigger, at what point does he come in? Did he tell you to stop using his name?
There is an interesting paradigm in NFT that doesn't translate in any other industry. Here, you have the ability to both be the creator and the curator. Click To Tweet
Is it because it’s a parody?
Exactly. For example, Kanye was featured in a few episodes of South Park, not in a very flattering light. South Park can continue to sell or stream nowadays. It’s not an issue because it’s a parody. It’s the same thing here.
You’re trying to build a Supreme-like brand out of this.
Take the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Board Ape have been talking about this SDK thing that they’re playing with, but they are also creating this almost like a lifestyle brand, a headless brand in the way that Supreme could produce a brick, could produce anything. Bored Ape could produce anything. The thing is Bored Ape seems limited to the NFT world in its appeal. It hasn’t reached out to the hip-hop world and the sneakerhead world.
They want people to reach out to them probably.
I suppose so. From conversations with them, it’s an NFT thing. The idea here is there’s an opportunity to produce something broader, something that becomes a cultural phenomenon at large. The way we see it is this brand’s three ideas are the future of brands. NFTs eventually won’t be under the purview of crypto. They will just be one of many tools in the toolkits of a modern brand. It’s assimilated into mass culture. This is a vision of that future that we’re presenting.
What’s happening with you? Do you have any partnerships announcements? Where do you see it going?
We’re dropping our merch. That’s going to be happening in mid-April 2022. We’ll be announcing it shortly.
Thank you very much. We had our Genesis sale for this illustration. It’s translated into a card. We have 1,000 cards and we’re selling them over a period of five sale events. The first sale event occurred. We have 200 members of the MetaChurch. That was sold out which was exciting. The merch job is going to be mid-April and then we’ll have our Exodus sale coming up and expanding the following of the MetaChurch.
At the 2023 NFT LA conference, what do you think we’ll be talking about?
I just got out of a session on fashion. We’re not the only ones thinking about this. There’s something in the air and so lots of different brands pop up satisfying that next paradigm. The NFT space is going to collide with mass culture. That is a core belief of ours. We want to ride that way if you want to be at the front of that wave. I would think we still talk to folks who are not in the NFT space and it’s like, “Will you explain it to me? I still don’t quite get it.” We’ll be increasing, less alienating and more familiar. It’s not quite household yet. By then, it’ll be household and there will be more familiar entryways like fashion into this world.
You’ve figured out how to memefy all this and “go viral.” What advice do you have for the creators, projects or artists?
Stand out. That’s pretty obvious, but it’s amazing how seldom you see a project that is genuinely doing its own thing, working from first principles. There are a lot of derivatives. Competition isn’t fun. It’s so much noise and you need to find some special shtick or some angle that people can bite into. It comes down to standing out. It sounds like a truism but it is indeed true. You got to find that secret sauce.
What works for you and those coming into this space?
Our art has unusually high aesthetic quality. If you look at a lot of other projects out there, the profile pictures are often very simple which is great in some ways because they can be very accessible and they’re very easy to produce as well. You can make 10,000 of them, no problem. The idea here is art is extremely chiseled. You can only see so much detail.
You mentioned what artists and projects should be doing. As there are so many people entering the space, what advice do you have for those who are wanting to maybe be consumers or just participate?
Do a lot of research. Don’t just jump in. Building something is a great way to learn, but I wouldn’t bet the house on the first thing that you do before doing a lot of research.
Also, joining a team.
Yes. It is nuanced. We started this back in mid-September 2021. There was this moment in October where we were getting serious about it and we realized, “If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this.” This is a very idiosyncratic space. The technical side requires a lot of depth of knowledge and on the marketing side, the actual consumers in the market look for things that consumers in other markets don’t look for. It requires either a lot of time or excellent advisors, but I wouldn’t assume that this space works like other spaces. I wouldn’t jump in headfirst without being ready.
Boy01, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Thank you for having us. This has been a lot of fun.
I’m with Rebecca and Ilona from ARIA Exchange.
I’m so happy to be here.
It’s great to have you. How is NFT LA for you?
We would be remiss if we didn’t start by saying that in the wake of a pandemic, it is pretty spectacular to see thousands of people in a space together unmasked, for the most part, collaborating and hearing and talking about innovation. It’s been exciting for us.
There’s this amazing insatiable appetite for information, learning and curiosity. Being able to be a part of that and absorbing all that energy, we’re so excited. It’s been amazing.
It’s great to see two powerful women here in this industry.
Arts & Entertainment: Large successful companies in the Silicon Valley are frequently not nimble enough to make it in the next business model.
We’re excited to represent.
Tell us about ARIA Exchange.
ARIA Exchange is a digital media company. We are launching our NFT exchange in partnership with some pretty spectacular sports players’ associations and athletes. We’re looking at thousands on our platform. Lo can dive a little bit deeper into what’s coming on ARIA, but that is who we are. We are excited to be part of Web 3.0. Being women who are leaders in this space, you can see from the environment here that we are unicorns in this space. We hope that that doesn’t stay that way. At the moment, we are leading the charge here.
We’re all about diving into the metaverse. There’s so much excitement, discussion,d dialogue and collaborations happening here and outside of here. We’re looking at connecting with the new community of consumers and being trailblazers in the space when we think about being those cultural caretakers that blend the combination of nostalgia and the memories that haven’t been made yet. We know people truly want to find ways to not only collect the things that they’re passionate about but also freeze those moments in their lives. We’re creating the ability to do that in a digitized space.
What were you all doing before you entered into Web 3.0? How has it informed what you’re doing?
I come from an interesting background. I was an attorney by trade. I partnered with someone who had a vast digital media background. We saw this as an opportunity to change the way that consumers shop and do business, the way that athletes and creators are able to own content and be a part of the story. We were all creators at heart. Web 3.0 is an opportunity to change the landscape and the way that people have been consuming things and viewing their world in a way that’s never been seen before.
What you’ve heard a lot here is that we are just scratching the surface. This is the tip of the iceberg. We are looking at NFTs as digital collectibles but they’re not. They are so much more than that. There is utility behind them. We can open up the metaverse to people, a place that they’ve never seen before, offer them an opportunity to use an NFT as a passport, as a ticket into a world that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to build community.
We look at sports for ARIA Exchange, athletes who were immersed in collectibles and memorabilia only at the onset of that market. You had a digital card or a trading card and you were paid for that trading card as it traded hands and continued to earn value and become more valuable. They weren’t part of that story anymore.
We talk about athletes but insert creator. They didn’t own a piece of that anymore. There was no skin in the game. Now, you’re looking at an opportunity for creators and athletes to become a part of the story, to own a piece of that story in perpetuity. There’s an incentive to tell stories now, to give you that untold story, to give you a look into a life that you hadn’t seen before. This is an interesting time and it’s a natural extension of where we came from, but a new world in a lot of ways.
I’ve spent many years in sports. I spent the part of my career in brands at Nike, the latter part of my career at Adidas. The two biggest takeaways from both of those brands are the obsession to serve the consumer and bringing that experience into a digitized space, knowing that in the end, we are at the service of the consumer. Our goal is to find ways to not only craft stories but bring our consumers closer to the subject and the people that they feel the most passionate about.
We sat through several different panels, listening to Baron Davis and Chris Conley talk about this notion of not only giving access to people who are on the consumer side but also giving access to people that are wanting to be creators. Steve Aoki talked about how in the digitized space, there’s this interesting paradigm that doesn’t translate in any other industry where you have the ability to both be the creator and the curator.
For me, coming from a space where we were always the creators, it’s exciting to be able to pass that baton back and forth between being the brand that helps facilitate and stand up a piece of art that lives on our exchange, but also being the collectors on the backend. Being equally excited to think about and collect Babe Ruth, Jayson Tatum or Max Scherzer because we’re sports fans at the end of the day.
There’s so much that’s possible in the future of NFTs and sports. Where do you see the trends going? What excites you?
For me, it’s seeing and validating at this conference that there are no boundaries. When you take this notion of collectability and you think about celebrating and championing the things that have happened in the past, but you also don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, as a sports fan, you’re always at the tip of that adrenaline of what’s going to happen with your team. What’s going to happen with the athlete that you follow. There are all these different avenues that you can take, whether it’s through the lens of collectability, utility or interoperability.
As a sports fan who has teams that I follow, when I think about the fact that I can now take something from 2D to 3D, and be able to then add utility to that, to compete even more with whether it’s my group of friends or people that I don’t even know, it expands the community aspect of things. It not only brings me closer to people that I might never meet otherwise but it also brings me closer to the subject matter. I feel I’m part of this story as opposed to I’m only observing it from the sidelines.
We heard industry leaders speak here, whether it was Yat Siu from Animoca Brands, Mark Cuban or Dillon Rosenblatt, talk about how this is the beginning. We’ve heard a lot about people saying, “Is this the emperor’s new clothes?” It’s not. This is the beginning. The digital world is not going anywhere. What you are going to see is some of the noise die down.
We have a lot of players in this space who are looking to monetize an opportunity. While there is certainly money in this space, that is not the key to the space. The key to the space is community, creation, curation and true art. If you focus on that, you will see the leaders emerge in this market and the ones who don’t will die down and fall by the wayside.
I do think we’re going to see some of that play out in the next six months. The easy part is the drop of the NFT and the creation of a digital asset. What you’re going to start seeing is people who underestimate the consumers who are just dropping a digitized version of a static asset. It’s not going to be enough. What’s the utility? What’s special about it? How do you mix the digital and physical world?
How do they come together? How does that all come together? That’s what you’re going to start to see in the next six months. You’re going to see a lot more of the utility. What is utility? What does that mean? What does it mean to have something beyond just a collectible? That’s all coming and that’s incredibly exciting for us.
You’re working with people who are name brands and athletes. You are also working with the fans and the collectors. If they own a physical thing, can then they work with you to make it digital and immense?
Absolutely. We’re looking at things through a fazed approach so that we can read, react, learn and evolve. That is super important for us because a lot of people mirror this sentiment of what might work on Monday might not work come Wednesday. It’s an evolutionary space on a daily basis. Our goal is to start with telling the athlete’s story first or the artist’s story first. As we build on that narrative and understand what the consumer is looking for as participation in this space, then we start to evolve that and give the consumer access to build on that, whether it’s through interoperability, gaming or creating their own version of that extension. That’s in the pipeline.
I was wondering because I could see it’s all possible because so many people have a valuable collection. They should be doing something with that in this space as well.
They’re just learning now that there is value in the collection that I have. I can continue to increase and appreciate this tangible item by digitizing it, partnering and collaborating with the right individuals to almost share in that collection, but not feel like you are giving that collection away because it’s close to my heart or you’ve held onto it for X amount of years.
When you think of baseball trading cards, most people don’t give those away because it’s something that they’ve collected over the last few decades. It’s giving them the opportunity to say, “We can do a fractionalized ownership model where you can allow this to live in a 49% capacity in the digitized world. Someone who’s an equal fan would benefit from saying that they’re a part owner in this.” This is exciting. We’re just scratching the surface in that space.
What advice do you have for those coming into this space?
Be open to learning. There’s so much out there. There’s so much to be offered and it’s not a traditional or conventional space. Do your research. Being the first isn’t always the best. There’s sometimes this urgency and impulsive reaction to, “This is launching. I want to be a part of it.” Do your homework and understand what you’re launching into, whether you’re a consumer or a company.
There’s a lot to take in. Once you feel you have a foundational education, you become more confident in the decisions that you’re making to either acquire a piece, sell it on the secondary market or collaborate with a brand. There are a lot of options. The more people can educate themselves, the more confident and successful they can feel in the space.
It’s overwhelming for a lot of people. I don’t think it will be. We’ve heard people say, “My kid’s going to want an NFT for Christmas.” It will not be overwhelming forever. You start with what you love. If you love sports, start with sports. If you love art, start with art. If you love music, start with music. Go somewhere where it’s made easy for you. At ARIA Exchange with our partners at InfiniteWorld, we enable Stripe.
You can use a credit card. You don’t have to enable a crypto wallet and be fluent in cryptocurrency and understand that world. Start somewhere comfortable and then learn about these crypto wallets. How do they work? How do I set one up? How do I start trading? How does the secondary marketplace work? Start with what you love. Do your research. Start with an easier access entree into this space. Evolve and don’t be afraid of it.
Where can people find out more and get involved with ARIA Exchange? Is there anything else coming up that you want to share?
We’ve got so many exciting things coming up. My adrenaline immediately spikes when I talk about it. ARIAExchange.com is where we live. We are launching with an access key. That comes with a plethora of benefits that range from access to NFTs that we have coming up to experiences that we’re going to host, and brand events that we’re partnering with some big-name on.
Being the first isn't always being the best. That’s why you must never give in to the impulsive reaction of launching if you don’t understand what you are launching. Click To Tweet
In summer 2022, we will be dropping NFTs from some amazing athletes. We have a partnership with Jayson Tatum. We’re very excited about the run that the Celtics are making even as a Laker fan. It’s difficult for me to say this, but as a supporter of Jason, we’re excited about this space that that team is in. We’ve got some great things coming up with Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Honus Wagner and Hank Aaron. That’s just our baseball portfolio.
We have a portfolio in basketball and football. We’re partnered with several leagues with the NBA, and RPA, which is the Retired Players Association. Our pipeline is insane. As sports fans, that’s our starting point. We’re also going to be penetrating art and entertainment. There are a lot of things behind the curtain coming up in Q3 and Q4.
Do you feel good? Did you share everything you wanted to share?
I hope so.
I’m at NFT LA with Nathan from Seker Factory DAO. We’re about to get into a convo all about DAOs. Nathan, thank you so much for joining us at NFT LA. How is it going for you?
It’s been all right.
Tell us more about your DAO.
We are experimenting with what it means to be digital arts. Our DAO is a collective of people that have come together to give an environment to digital artists and allow them to have the place to figure out what it means to have authentic digital arts. We are a collective of artists from around the world. We have a physical space here in Los Angeles for them to present their work that we build out with cool things like projectors and portals to the metaverse where you can interact with people in the VR space.
You can enjoy the space, not only in downtown Los Angeles but from all over the world. We don’t use single curators. We don’t have the typical gallery approach to arts. We are a democratic approach. We use the collective wisdom of the crowds to decide what’s a cool vibe and what should be considered digital art.
When did this all begin and how long did it take to get to where you’re at?
This idea started months ago. I come from a long history of building DAOs, DAO tooling and DAO theory.
How long have DAOs been around?
Dao’s been around since Bitcoin.
It seems it’s been popularized.
DAOs are going through a transformation. We’ve had the original DAO that was back in the Ethereum days that blew up and had some issues that have caused some wake in the community of Ethereum. Since then, DAOs are moving towards more of a human interactive place where humans are more involved. It’s a little bit less automated. You see that in this space as well. It’s a collection of artists, technologists, curators, collectors and people who appreciate art.
How did you get your DAO together? How did you make it so it could work?
You start somewhere. You find a couple of people who are willing to help you build out the idea. They think it’s a cool thing to do. You start finding the community that would be towards the goal of the DAO. Our goal is to preserve art, to give a healthy place for digital arts to find their footing now that we are given the tools of applied cryptography to give us the provenance of what art is.
You can see digital artists moving from a corporate world where they might have to stick to a desk to get a paycheck to survive to where they can have the life of an actual artist in the digital world. We started collecting artists from around the world and reaching out to them, asking them if they think this is a cool idea. If they want to have a gallery that they co-own and operate and have a say 100% in what happens in that space. A lot of people think it’s a cool idea so they started hopping on.
What was the initial investment to be part of that?
We have an open policy. You can come in and contribute. There are ways to join the DAO by contributing arts and knowledge of arts. We have people that do lighting and film. Being in LA, there are a lot of awesome talents in that space. You can use merits to earn your way in. It operates like a co-op. There’s a membership card as well.
You can get special privileges and advantages by using parts of the co-op to buy into and support the commons that you get access to the art in ways that wouldn’t normally be open to the public, but it’s still an open and public experience. That’s something that we want people to enjoy and to have the ability to come and experience digital art in a new way that maybe has not been done before.
Were the gallery space and everything you’re doing funded by the DAO or was it self-funded?
It’s self-funded and there’s a good reason for that. We want the ownership model to reflect that of co-ops. It is something where the artists and everybody that is involved in the space gets to own 100%. We’re very conscious of workers’ ownership. It’s in the name. Seker is an Egyptian God of the underworld that became a patron of the workers that were building the tombs for the fancy pharaohs and stuff like that. It’s a big important part of what we’re doing. We intentionally keep venture capitalists away from the factories. They’re not allowed to have any ownership rights that the workers would be losing otherwise.
There are challenges with DAOs. People think they could start a DAO, but there are certain things that you need to have as part of it like the legalities around it.
It depends on how you do your DAO.
What do you need to look out for when you’re building that?
I’m not a lawyer. I’m not going to give out legal advice.
You’re a DAO expert. This is your experienced advice.
DAOs have a unique advantage in that generally you can go public a little bit faster if you are a decentralized DAO. Part of how we test for going public with SEC is, “Are the people that are investing in this thing actively participating in this thing?” If you have a DAO that people are helping to build all of it and there’s less of a controlling system that is in charge of how the profit is made, then you’re in a pretty good place to go public. DAOs have this nice area to crowdsource. The co-ops do a similar thing as well. They get their initial seed money and startup capital from the members that want to use the thing that they’re building.
Arts & Entertainment: NFTs eventually won’t be under the purview of crypto. They will just be one of the many tools in the toolkits of a modern brand and assimilated into mass culture.
If you are starting DAOs, a lot of people throw that word around. You need to look at certain things in order to do it.
Unfortunately, DAOs are starting to look a little bit more C corps. The name itself is not reflective of how the organization is operating. You’ll see a lot of a16z investing in different DAOs. The ownership model is clearly in their hands and they’re getting large chunks of the equity, the ownership and the voting power especially. DAOs are moving from DeFi into everything. You’ll see impact DAOs like climate DAO, which is cool.
There are little things like cabin DAO where people get together in the woods and discuss what it’s like to start and create DAOs. There’s a whole wide spectrum of what DAOs are. We’re in a very exploratory phase. Part of what we’re doing at the Seker Factory is trying to lay down an example of how DAOs can be decentralized and be healthy for the people that are involved in the DAOs. Giving them the ownership and the power to have the cynicism is the word where the ownership model is in the worker’s hands. They get to benefit from the surplus of everything that they produce, as opposed to letting somebody else have that.
What will we be talking about in 2023?
With DAO specifically or with Seker Factory?
With Seker Factory. I’m fascinated by DAOs.
There are a lot of conversations about the difficulties of decentralization specifically with democracy. Democracy is a very hard thing to get. We should be exploring how to do democracy quite well. Maybe we’ll figure out some new things. It’s an old question. It’s going to be difficult to revolutionize democracy. Seeing democracy finding its way into the workplace is interesting. This is something that is new.
Having that happen on a more frequent basis and becoming more widely adopted and more corporations are using a democratic approach to their systems is going to be something that will blow up in 2023 hopefully. This will lead to a whole new way of living your life. You go to work from 9:00 to 5:00, most of the people do and you are living in a dictatorship, but we’re supposed to be living in a democracy. We’ll hopefully see a lot of that change. Seker Factory is a place to explore that with a creative element to it.
How can people get involved?
You can go to SekerFactory.com and you can join our Discord. DAOs are using that to communicate. If you have something to contribute, if you’re an artist, if you’d to build VR worlds, if you like to appreciate art, collect art, we use an entirely democratic approach to collecting the art that we exhibit. We could help people. People could help say, “This is the vibe. This is something that’s cool that we respect and we think it should be live in your actual space in downtown Los Angeles.” Go to SekerFactory.com and check us out.
I’m at NFT LA with Wahid Chammas from Faith Tribe. Thanks for joining us.
Thank you for having me.
How is it here for you?
It’s amazing. We’re based out of Paris. It’s a little bit of a distance to come here but it has been very exciting. It’s an action-packed week.
Thank you for coming all the way from Europe. It shows that you got to be here at NFT LA.
I like the guys at Edge. We had a great podcast in February 2022. We clicked. They convinced me that this is a place to be. What I’m very excited about is I don’t always go to conferences where I see a lot of artists, so we’re very knee-deep in the fashion industry. We are a fashion brand that incorporates street fashion and street art and a lot of different individuals are pioneering many things. Getting that audience was very important to us.
Tell us more about Faith Tribe.
We’re a bit different because we are an example of an existing business. We’ve been around for many years. That said, we’re going to disrupt their own company and pivot to the blockchain. What made us unique was many years ago, we pioneered open-source fashion. More than half of our items are created by independent artists and different independent designers.
When the boom of NFTs happened in May of 2021, coupled with the fact that we came out of a very gruesome experience with COVID, a lot of blockchain luminaries said, “You guys are getting this wrong. You have a great brand, but this open-source ecosystem you have is special. You ought to tokenize it. Instead of working with 12, 20 or 30 different independent artists in Miami, London, etc., work with thousands globally.” Faith Connexion is a very well-known brand. We’ve had the who’s who wear it. It’s a funky streetwear brand for the likes of Rihanna and Beyoncé and others.
We tokenize this whole thing. It means that any independent designer can come to our platform and use the design studio. We mint their NFTs. Most importantly, this differentiates us, we manufacture their clothing. We source the leather and the tweed. We’ve got our factories in production in Italy, Portugal, and Turkey. We put them in the business of fashion. We sell them on Farfetch and the metaverse. We are the only guys doing this because all our physical competitors don’t do open-source fashion and all our digital competitors only do digital, not the physical-digital. It’s exciting.
That is awesome and needed because when we talk about utility and including it with fashion, you could have something cool as an NFT or what your digital identity in the metaverse is. What makes it even cooler is to be able to acquire that as a good physical thing.
Everything we do is physical and digital. Our target audience is probably not the most blockchain crypto savvy. They’re independent artists and the numbers are crazy. I would say 200-star designers control 90% of a $3 trillion industry. That’s $300 billion to $400 billion, some say it’s up to $450 billion for independent designers, and no one is catering to them. There are 50,000 of them globally. They have no scale. They can’t buy merchandise. They can’t buy materials.
They can’t get taken to factories and eCommerce sites. If you were a driver and you have a car, you can get on Uber and be commercial in 24 hours. If you have a house, you could be on Airbnb and share your home. For us, in this shared economy, we’re empowering designers to come on. It’s not just about metaverse. We have lots of competitors doing this for the metaverse, but no one is doing this DAO that targets both the physical and digital. That’s quite unique.
How did you pivot so quickly into this space? That could be difficult when you have more of a traditional company. Is it because you’ve always innovated?
We are avant-garde streetwear. Our star designers came from Paco Rabanne. We’ve been around for a long time. You go through a gut punch like COVID, and then there are three very systemic big things happening. People do not want to wait for a collection. They want their merchandise on-demand, manufactured and delivered now. They also are sick and tired of Vogue telling them exactly what to wear.
COVID accelerated all these demographic trends. Collections are out. They’re in but they’re no longer popular. On-demand manufacturing is very key. Finally, people want immersive experiences. They want to show off on the metaverse, go to a nightclub and wear something here and there. That is disrupting the industry.
For us coming out of COVID, we had a carte blanche to say, “Let’s use this as an opportunity to fundamentally change our business. Faith Connexion is a great brand. We will always be there to inspire artists. We are in the business of boosting other people’s brands because, for many years, these independent designers were designing for us. Now, we’re building their own brands.
You’re building the infrastructure for them to support them.
We’re building the whole supply chain.
Arts & Entertainment: Go somewhere where it’s made easy for you. You don’t have to enable a crypto wallet and be fluent in cryptocurrency and understand that world. Start somewhere comfortable.
Where do you see the trends going? In five years, what will we be talking about?
The metaverse is very democratic. If you think finance and banks are rigged, fashion is rigged tenfold more. Very few people control the entire industry. They control it in a way because that’s how they can sell a jacket for 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 euros or dollars. There’s this huge pyramid or glass ceiling thing. The metaverse broke that down but the big brands are coming. In 5, 10 years, I fear that big brands are going to dominate. It’s left up to brands like ours or even independent designers to break through in order to give a voice to the independent people.
What advice do you have for artists or new people coming into the space?
Give people a chance. There are a lot of artists. We’re stunned when I talk to them on the circuit and they say, “I’m not going to be under your brand.” I’m like, “We’re going to build your brand. You could be under my brand, but that’s not the whole point.” “How many FTRB tokens do I need in order to start the utility, the design studio, on-demand manufacturing, etc.?” I say, “You got to buy the token in order for you to use it, but you don’t have to buy the token. You can come on and not borrow, but use existing tokens that stakeholders have placed for you. You can then share the economics with the stakeholders.”
If I’m a talented designer from Quebec, Colombo, Sri Lanka or Sydney, can I come on with no collateral, take the tokens and start using the business of fashion? The answer is yes. That is quite intimidating. Let alone people who do not understand blockchain necessarily. My audience is not blockchain people. It’s designers globally.
That’s our big breakthrough, to go around the world to send the message out. Why the blockchain? The blockchain is cooler and it makes the transactions faster. It unifies a community. It synchronizes well with the metaverse and the physical. That’s what we’re focusing on. If we can break through, then many people are going to be empowered.
Where can people go to find out more to get involved?
Go to our websites, FaithTribe.io or FaithConnexion.com and join our communities. I want to send one message out. You don’t have to buy a token. Just spread the word and onboard artists. We have a beta version because people want utility. It’s going to take us a year to build the portal, but we have the factories. We have the production. You can go on our system and our website and submit designs. We call you physically and put you in the business of fashion. We can start everything that I’m talking about because we’ve been living the white paper for many years. The permission-less and seamless portal will probably be ready in 2023.
We hope you enjoy that episode. Make sure to visit EdgeOfNFT.com/discord to continue the conversation. Also, visit EdgeOfNFT.com/ar to plant a 3D augmented reality tree right from your mobile device inspired by our forthcoming Living Tree NFT Collection, which will offer you the hottest alpha and participatory benefits within our ecosystem. The Living Tree NFT Collection will also plant over 100,000 real trees.
- Art Blocks
- Numbers Protocol
- DLA Piper
- Books of Ye
- Book of Yeezus
- ARIA Exchange
- Seker Factory DAO
- Faith Tribe
- Faith Connexion
About Avery Akkineni
An Ex-Googler with a passion for digital marketing; currently leading VaynerNFT, a venture created to help the world’s leading intellectual property owners navigate the wild and wonderful world of NFTs.
Previously launched VaynerMedia’s expansion into APAC via Singapore; where I grew a team from 0-150+, opened offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, and Sydney, and was awarded 2021 Independent Agency of the Year (Gold), within 2 years.
Prior to joining Vayner, I spent six years working on DoubleClick, YouTube, and Google Search, in both Silicon Valley and New York City.
About Tammy Yang
[Background]Particle Physics PhD, strong logical thinking and good at math, machine learning and deep learning.
[Programming Skills]Advanced user of Python, LATEX, Linux shell scripting.
[Other Tools]Docker, Git, familiarity with open-source development tools and methodology, especially those in common use for Ubuntu and Debian package maintenance, including Debian packaging tools: APT, dpkg, debhelper.
[Languages]Fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.
About Mark Radcliffe
I work with technology companies and companies that use technology throughout the world. I have been working in Silicon Valley for over 30 years. I particularly enjoy applying the law to the issues raised by new technologies, such as blockchain, non-fungible tokens, open source software, IoT and domain names. My clients range from Fortune 500 such as Oracle Corporation and Sony Corporation to unknown startups. Currently, my team and I are working with over 45 startups.
I have worked across a wide variety of industries, including software (in particular open source software), blockchain, NFTs, semiconductor, consumer electronics, content licensing (from music to characters), and medical devices. During my career, I have advised companies and investors on over 1,000 venture capital transaction. The following are some of my projects:
Assisted TikTok on its first NFT drop in 2021
Assisted several companies on developing and implementing their NFT strategies
Assisted a cryptocurrency exchange by reviewing over 15 tokens to determine the risk that the SEC would hold them to be securities
Assisted several startups in developing token issuance strategies to ensure compliance with US and certain foreign laws
Assisted major energy companies in structuring a joint venture to trade certain types of energy using a blockchain infrastructure
Assisted several companies in developing and implementing open source management strategies
Started the corporate venture capital practice at DLA Piper
General counsel to OSI and serve on Apache Software Foundation Legal Committee on a pro bono basis
General counsel to the OpenStack Foundation (open source cloud computing project)
Assisted the Navajo Nation in adopting a modified version of Article II of the UCC
Assisted Network Solutions in developing the first domain dispute resolution policy in 1994 (still used in current ICANN Dispute Resolution Policy)
Assisted Dr. Suess Estate in determining what words, characters and symbols to register as trademarks
Assisted major corporation in obtaining a license from a financially troubled company with a $40M prepaid royalty and ensured that the license would survive bankruptcy
Assisted large Asian company in developing IP asset management strategy for its 50,000 patents
Specialties: Developing and implementing strategies to protect and exploit intellectual property for clients; venture capital financing; blockchain; and licensing.
About Rebecca Jonah
Rebecca Jonah worked at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California before joining the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP to practice financial restructuring.
There, she worked on several high profile bankruptcy cases (largely representing creditors’ committees and bondholders’ committees). She has significant experience representing official creditors’ committees, secured and unsecured creditors, asset purchasers and other parties in interest in chapter 11 cases.
Rebecca also served on her firm’s hiring committee, and spearheaded the firm’s pro bono adoption program with the Alliance for Children’s Rights. In 2006, Rebecca left her law firm to work for a publicly traded company, operated initially as a venture-funded subsidiary of Delliote & Touche.
Rebecca is currently a partner in 1457 Investment Group. She is an active investor and consultant in various businesses, which include the entertainment, technology, solar and fashion industries, where she is tasked with day to day business operations, strategic planning, fundraising and investor relations.
Rebecca is also very active in a wide variety of charitable and political endeavors, and has helped to raise millions of dollars for various organizations. Rebecca served as a member of AIPAC’s Los Angeles Cabinet, as a member of the Board of Brawerman Elementary School and was on the Fundraising Committee for Determined to Succeed. She is on the Board of Governors of Aish Los Angeles and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
Rebecca graduated from The University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Animal Physiology and a minor in Law and Society. She went on to attend Loyola Law School, graduating Order of the Coif.
About Ilona Stepanyants
I’m a dynamic, creative and high impact global brand marketing leader with over 17 years of strategic, innovative, and measurable brand marketing experience with a strong focus on lifestyle, entertainment, sports and consumer marketing. Currently, I lead the brand marketing initiatives, communication, strategy and creative for the top collaborators (Beyoncé & Pharrell) at Adidas as the Global Brand Director in the Lifestyle category.
Those with whom I’ve worked and partnered with consider me an authentic, high energy, driven collaborative leader and cultural expert. As a dedicated team and people leader, I value recognizing talent while building, developing and coaching diverse teams and inspiring them to do their best work.
I believe everything starts and ends with the consumer. I thrive to delivering game-changing, integrated, digital and physical marketing initiatives that strengthen consumer connection, drive brand growth and accelerate revenue.
Key strengths include: brand marketing, strategic brand management, retail brand marketing, digital strategy, e-commerce, go to market excellence, negotiation skills, athlete and entertainment management, cross-functional partnership, consumer journey mapping, experiential marketing and storytelling.
I love meeting new people and welcome you to connect with me here.
About Wahid Chammas
With Faith Tribe and Faith Connexion, we are developing the first fully decentralized and community-owned ecosystem for the collaborative creation of fashion items, a multi-platform solution built with the latest blockchain, Web3 and NFT technologies.
Faith Tribe allows creators to design, customize, mint and distribute their own digital and physical fashion assets, with platform participants also determining through a transparent and democratic process which garments should go into physical production.
Faith Tribe brings together the global decentralized community of designers, visual artists, curators, fashion enthusiasts, influencers, brands, and buyers in an incentive-aligned way. We want to become the world’s biggest creator-first open-source platform for fashion, optimally designed for collaboration, community participation, and discovery, where creators can transact directly with their buyers and participants are rewarded native tokens for their contributions to the ecosystem.
About Nathan Ginnever
Experienced Founder with a demonstrated history of working in the “blockchain” industry. Skilled in Node.js, C++, Data Structures, Pure Mathematics, and Distributes Systems.
Strong entrepreneurship professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Mathematics from Harris-Stowe State University.