EXCLUSIVE: In its latest push into the fast growing, red-hot crypto/NFT space, UTA has signed new client Rally and is working “to educate and inspire” creators, artists, celebrities and athletes to connect with fans on the platform.
Rally, a fan engagement and monetization toolkit, is looking to expand more broadly in entertainment. UTA Marketing, the agency’s consulting division, will spearhead the relationship and work alongside the UTA Digital Assets division (one of the first among major agencies to delve into the crypto/NFT space) to facilitate talent onboarding onto the platform. The social tokens that Rally helps create are a kind of branded cryptocurrency for creators and others to build “sustainable, independent economies” with and their fans, who can buy and use the tokens for access to exclusive content, private communities, backstage access, tickets and merchandise.
“Rally has created a powerful set of tools to help talent connect with their fans in new ways, and we are excited to work with them in this dynamic space,” said Lesley Silverman, UTA’s Head of Digital Assets. The fine arts agent was the first there to focus full-time on this new asset class when the division launched early this year.
Cryptocurrency has been around for years. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, took off in the art world first, shooting to public prominence last March when the artist called Beeple sold an NFT of his work at Christie’s for $69 million. These personalized digital assets that can’t be duplicated spread quickly to sports, music and film and television. The branded tokens are kind of a crypto offshoot, in Rally’s case powered by the Ethereum blockchain.
UTA Marketing Co-Head Julian Jacobs said the firm will leverage its global platform “to navigate untapped avenues for creators” in the space.
More than 150 personalized cryptocurrencies have launched via Rally, which started up last October, including from Grammy-award winners Portugal the Man, international soccer star Keisuke Honda, Clubhouse innovators Bomani X and Christina Holder, and esports group Gen G.
“Rally empowers creators, artists, celebrities, athletes and more to launch their own crypto economy and to re-imagine fandom as a symbiotic relationship where the entire community participates in launching and growing a digital economy,” said Bremner Morris, the platform’s CMO/CRO. “UTA’s strong reputation will be essential in partnering with crypto-interested talent to innovate in this exciting new space.”
The Rally project was founded by entrepreneur Kevin Chou and others, who previously co-founded mobile gaming company Kabam. Original funding included a mix of VC’s including Andreesen Horowitz, Canaan, Battery Ventures, Green Bay Ventures and others.
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