Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant, affectionately known as The Black Mamba, and his 15 year old daughter Gianna, died in a helicopter crash in January 2021. This tragedy has stunned the basketball community. Although retired after twenty years of glorious service to the Lakers, having led the Lakers to five championship wins with his patented slam dunk, he continued to be a living legend in the hearts and minds of his fans, as well as the communities of Los Angeles and Orange County. In fact, the 24th of August has been officially declared as “Kobe Bryant Day” in LA.
There is now a way for those fans to keep his legend alive and to support a good cause in his name. It’s the KB24 NFT project, 24 being his jersey number which was one of the two jerseys retired on the rafters at the Staples Center, shortly after his retirement from the game. His talent for scoring and all-star fame are evidence of him having been one of the all time greats in the NBA.
Out of Court
Following his retirement Kobe devoted most of his time to his Bryant Foundation and its associated partners focusing on charity work. The KB24 NFT project is a way to ensure further funding for the causes he supported with both his time and financial resources. The KB24 project is launching the KB24 NFT Collection. Proceeds from the sales will go to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. The foundation is named after his moniker – the Black Mamba, and was posthumously changed to honor his daughter Gianna, hence Mambacita. The foundation provides facilities and sports programs for athletes and women who may not have access otherwise. The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation is a separate entity to the Bryant Foundation and is another of Kobe Bryant’s projects, which gives some insight into the measure of the man and the extent of his philanthropic work. The KB24 NFT collection will extend Kobe Bryant’s legacy into the digital universe and the sales will continue to keep his legacy going by helping to fund his and, now his daughter’s, foundation. The KB24 project is a way to keep his legacy alive and to keep on adding real value to the lives of others by fundraising. In short, Kobe Bryant will be immortalized.
The KB24 NFT Collection is quite simply a range of exclusive collectable merchandise and memorabilia associated with the legend. Each individual NFT will reflect an event or moment in Kobe’s NBA career. These items are highly desirable not only for fans all over the world, but also collectors and investors – even non-basketball fans. What makes this launch very attractive is that exclusivity is guaranteed by NFTs. The sales will be conducted on the “Opensea” marketplace. Opensea is a digital platform where NFTs can be traded, using a cryptocurrency such as Ethereum (ETH).
Presale reservations for items can be made on the KB24.com website. Fans and prospective buyers can sign up to see the presale list and they can join the Discord feed to keep abreast of developments regarding the collection and sales. What makes this sale so unique is that not only will the foundation have the proceeds from the initial sale, but it will also receive all the proceeds from future changes in ownership of the NFTs. This will ensure an ongoing revenue stream for the foundation. True fans will appreciate that aspect.
The KB24 NFT Team
The KB24 NFT started from a duo of Kobe fans and serial entrepreneurs Andy Treys and Sako Waves, who were able to acquire the domain only months ago in a secondary domain market. They shared via their Discord that their purchase of KB24.com was not cheap, but they purchased it “without hesitation” with the hopes of “restoring the integrity of Kobe’s official website”, their official Discord server also makes it clear that an NFT release was not pre-determined.
Andy, who also was lucky enough to meet Kobe in person multiple times, explained that he “grew up on the site,” and added that his team “wanted to keep it forever, just like a signed Kobe jersey or basketball, but in this case there is only one KB24.com.”
As the project came to light and made headlines, Sako says he envisions that their project “can serve as an example for what’s possible when traditional non-profit and charitable organization spaces are disrupted, and instead one-time events make a perpetual impact”.
Andy and Sako are viral marketing gurus who have their hands in various industries. The duo dropped all current projects and temporally moved their team to San Diego to avoid any distractions. Once they got to their new home, they knew they needed more help, extending invites to their business partners, David Bullock, Omkar Ganesan, Roman Royale, Vatche Ourishian, and Erin Zadoorian to create an army of resources.
The group assigned roles to every team member and slowly stated digging deep inside their rolodex , ranging from celebrities to high level individuals at highly successful companies to ensure they have everything lined up for a successful launch. The KB24 team further grew their team by adding Tory Waligroski and Elijah Steen to oversee the development and design of the NFT.
“We have so many people on board helping us bring the KB24 NFT project to fruition, and everyone is happy donating their time and resources without asking for anything in return,” says Andy, “It really shows how much impact Kobe Bryant had on everyone’s lives. We’re excited to share more information on everyone else helping with the project as we get closer to launching”
The hype generated from the KB24 NFT will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita foundation as all residual fees on The KB24 NFT will be donated and with recent NFT projects generating $50m in secondary market fees, the KB24 NFT can be a lucrative source of donations for the foundation for many years to come.
“The digital NFT art market has exploded in the last year as crypto investors look to enter the space,” Co-founder Sako said. “The possibilities are endless and we want to utilize that momentum to help fund non profit organizations working with communities to foster their love for basketball and sports in general.”
The KB24 website was designed by their digital marketing agency, primarily head designer, Marina Petre.
What are NFTs?
If you don’t understand what an NFT is, don’t worry you are not alone! NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. NFTs are crypto tokens that create a unique digital signature for each individual item to ensure and protect the identity, authenticity and origin of an item. It safeguards the item from forgery as owners and potential buyers can easily follow the verification trail of an item created by the NFT, elements of which are part of the software code stored by way of smart contracts and consist of information that is distinguishable, verifiable and, most critically, traceable.
This means that you can check that the signature on an item is indeed the real thing. NFTs can be publically traded. Most NFTs use the Ethereum network although other blockchains have started adopting NFTs as well. Unlike other cryptocurrency tokens, NFTs can’t be exchanged or traded for other NFTs. In other words, NFTs are not interchangeable. For example: Bitcoins can be exchanged for bitcoins or another equivalent value crypto currency, in accordance with a rate of exchange. NFTs have no equivalent and therefore can only be traded for a currency. The value of an NFT is determined by supply and demand, often at auction.
NFTs represent a huge advancement in the protection of rights and ownership, particularly in the realm of digital art. To date, the biggest sale of an NFT was for a piece of digital art which sold at auction for $69.3 million. The NFT market is big business. In 2021, NFT sales surpassed $2 billion in the first quarter. By all accounts the KB24 NFT is set to generate considerable interest around the world and the stage is set for some very keen bidding on the highly desirable collectables which will all but guaranteed appreciate in value in time to come.
Mega Star means Mega Media
There is no doubt that Kobe Bryant was and continues to live on as a mega star. His name therefore will continue to attract mega attention from the media. This means that the interest in the KB24 NFT Collection will be mega too. This is good news for early buyers and investors as that mega media focus will drive demand for a limited supply of collectables, making it a good investment opportunity for punters and therefore for the Mamba & Mambicita Foundation, for which the sale is yet another KB Slam Dunk!