EXCLUSIVE: Tony Stewart On Orange Comet Partnership, NFTs As ‘Next Generation Of Collectibles’ For Fans
NASCAR, INDYCAR and USAC champion Tony Stewart is launching non-fungible tokens to engage with his fans and bring forth the next generation of Web3 technology.
Interest in NFTs, Connecting With Fans: Stewart and Tony Stewart Racing partnered with Orange Comet on an upcoming launch of NFTs.
Stewart credits his wife Leah Pruett, a drag racing driver for NHRA and also a partner on the NFT launch, with getting him interested in NFTs.
“Actually, my wife Leah, she’s pretty tech savvy. I am the least tech savvy person probably on the face of the planet,” Stewart told Benzinga on first hearing about NFTs.
Stewart said he didn’t understand NFTs for awhile but became more interested after hearing other athletes like LeBron James get into the space and hearing his wife talk more about it at NASCAR events.
The former NASCAR champion said he’s excited to see the fan reaction to the NFTs and what Orange Comet is capable of doing in the space.
“It’s kinda like going back to the baseball card days.”
Stewart said everyone was excited about cards as kids and now there’s that same feeling about NFTs.
“I turn into a five-year-old, all excited,” Stewart said of talking about NFTs and seeing demos of the upcoming launch. “Orange Comet is so capable of doing so many cool things.”
The NFT Drop: Orange Comet is no stranger to the NFT space, with collections for partners like the New York Islanders and the AMC Networks AMCX hit show “The Walking Dead.”
“We tell stories in our NFTs,” Orange Comet CEO and co-founder Dave Broome told Benzinga. “This is the celebration of a man’s career.”
Broome told Benzinga that Stewart is iconic and he’s excited to launch the collection.
The collection includes 30 Champions Series NFTs. The NFTs will be priced at the equivalent of $5,000 converted to Ethereum ETH/USD.
Each Champion Series NFT comes with an official firesuit autographed by Stewart. Other utilities for NFT holders include a virtual hangout with Stewart on Zoom Video ZM in the fall and hospitality access at racetracks.
Owners of the 30 pieces in the Champion Series also have a chance to get a one-of-a-kind collectable.
“We are going to be giving away to one of these 30 people, and this is unprecedented, one of Tony’s cars.”
One holder will get Stewart’s car from the 2011 NASCAR Championship Cup.
The Legacy Collection, with pricing to be determined, includes 500 pieces. Fans who buy at least two NFTs in this series will get an autographed hat. Legacy Collection holders will also have a chance to win a place for a Zoom hangout with Stewart.
“It’s a limited series in many ways,” Broome added, with a total count of 530 pieces.
Stewart said he’s excited to hear what the car winner is going to do with it.
“Is it going to be a lawn ornament [and] sit in their living room?” Stewart asked.
The NFTs launch on Aug. 23 with a drop on TonyStewartNFTs.com and OpenSea.
Related Link: New York Islanders Launching NFTs To Celebrate UBS Arena Opening: Here’s The Details
Stewart on the Drop: Stewart said he wanted to do the NFT drop with the car giveaway “because nobody’s done anything like this.”
Stewart likes to be part of things that are first, which includes moments in racing, business and life that he thrives on.
The racing legend is the first to win the USAC triple crown, and the only driver to win championships in NASCAR, INDYCAR and USAC.
Stewart said he encourages other athletes to consider the NFT space.
“I don’t see a negative to it, the sky’s the limit.”
The race car driver and team owner also said NFTs don’t have to worry about sunlight or creased corners, like sports cards do, making a memory that “can last a lifetime.”
“This is the next generation of collectibles.”
Growth for Orange Comet: An NFT production and promotions company, Orange Comet specializes in art, sports and entertainment drops. The company was founded by Broome along with NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner and Grammy-award winning musicians Emilio and Gloria Estefan.
Broome said he’s a sports fan and he knows how important it is to find icons like Stewart for NFT collections. He said he was excited to have Stewart partner and bring his “ridiculously amazing career” into the Orange Comet storytelling ability.
“It was a no brainer,” Broome said.
Broome said he wants to see Web3 and NFTs continue to evolve. As for what’s next for Orange Comet and potential partnerships, Broome said there’s more to come.
“You’re gonna see some pretty massive announcements.”
Photo courtesy of Orange Comet.