DFS and sportsbook operator DraftKings has extended its DraftKings Marketplace to include customers in Canada ahead of the exclusive Wayne Gretzky NFT (non-fungible token) drops. Launched nationally last week, the NFT ecosystem built by DraftKings provides mainstream accessibility for buying, selling and trading digital collectibles.
The full Preseason Access Collection of Wayne Gretzky NFTs is provided by Autograph in partnership with Upper Deck, with Premier editions dropping this week and Signature editions to follow on August 20.
While the inaugural Autograph Tom Brady drops that headlined the launch of DraftKings Marketplace last week were only available to US-based customers, and all sold out instantly, the Wayne Gretzky collection represents the first international expansion of the platform.
Matt Kalish, Co-founder and President of DraftKings North America, explained: “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.
“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 US, with over 67 million total contest entries across all sports including 11 million for NHL contests.
The expansion to Canada, said the firm, brings DraftKings Marketplace to millions more potential customers as the Preseason Access Collection of iconic athlete NFTs continues to roll out, including the Wayne Gretzky NFT collection that is particularly relevant for collectors in the country.
Canadian-based Scarcity Labs – previously acquired by DraftKings – will help support all aspects of the 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 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.”