WNBA enters NFT partnership with Top Shot

1:28 PM ET

Kelly CohenESPN

The WNBA, celebrating its 25th anniversary this season, has entered a partnership with Top Shot, a virtual trading card website for nonfungible tokens.

The first WNBA digital asset “pack” — or the best moments from the 2021 season — will become available to buy, sell and trade on the Top Shot platform on Friday. The first 10,000 fans to register will be able to reserve a free “First Access Moment” and will also be guaranteed a spot to purchase a pack from Friday’s drop.

NFTs, created in 2014, serve as digital assets of unique items that live online and cannot be duplicated or copied. Think of them as digital trading cards, although they can be anything from autographs, pieces of art, sound clips or video highlights, and because they live in the digital world, they don’t run the risk of damage and are easily authenticated.

Other WNBA “packs” that will come out will include “moments” from players such as Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker, Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson. Some packs are common and include more accessible priced moments, while others will be “rare and legendary.”

“Top Shot presents an exciting opportunity for the WNBA to engage passionate fans on a whole new level and celebrate the league as it continues to make history,” WNBA chief operating officer Christy Hedgpeth said in a statement: “We have been at the forefront of innovation in many respects, and partnering with Dapper Labs on Top Shot allows us to highlight the talent and incredible performances of WNBA players in a heightened way through a digital experience.”

The new partnership comes as the popularity and viewership of the WNBA continue to grow. The game between the Seattle Storm and Chicago Sky on Aug. 15 drew 755,000 viewers on ABC — the most for a regular-season WNBA game since 2012.

In March, Canadian blockchain technology company Dapper Labs secured $305 million in private funding to boost the NBA Top Shot website.

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