Just like Ray Allen, Steph Curry received a special pair of sneakers to commemorate his breaking of the NBA’s all-time 3-point record. For Allen, it was a white and green pair of Air Jordan 13s; for Curry, the Under Armour Curry Flow 9 was hit with a blue and gold color scheme adorned with the record breaking number of “2,974.” Curry’s new record cements him as the catalyst of the league’s 3-point-heavy era, but what he’s doing with his sneaker is also emblematic of just how much that space has changed today.
Tonight, the special-edition Curry Flow 9 will be minted as NFT with all proceeds going to charities chosen by Steph and Under Armour. A total of 2,974 sneakers will be made available for $333 to reflect his record, and the non-fungible token will unlock a rare crossover of application across blockchain-based games.
For holders of the NFT, the virtual sneaker will become wearable in Sandbox, Decentraland, and Rumble Kong League and “usable” in Gala Games. And as Nike and Adidas have recently made big splashes into the metaverse, the Curry Flow 9 marks Under Armour’s first entry into the space that’s quickly become brands’ new grounds for competition. It’s even Curry’s second NFT minted and the second one to commemorate his record, as 2,974 tokens released yesterday featuring his likeness in a high-concept sketch.
The team behind Steph’s NFT — To turn the Curry Flow 9 into an NFT, Under Armour and Curry turned to NewKino, a New York City-based creative agency that’s recently added the metaverse into its portfolio. Conversations for the project, which has been dubbed “Changing the Metaverse for Good,” began in June, and the original idea was to create a TikTok challenge to celebrate Curry’s new record. As the goal became to make something more shoe-oriented, and in a year when the metaverse has exploded, it became clear that an NFT would be the perfect way to make some noise.
Putting together the project involved eight different stakeholders, including the four different blockchain-based games where the Curry Flow 9 will be available. Noah Kim, co-founder and creative director of NewKino, sees getting the five ostensive competitors to collaborate on a project benefiting charity as landmark moment in the early history of web3.
“For me, making these NFTS was another form of storytelling,” Kim says. “And what I found interesting in making these little mini movies is that there’s more to the story when you can bring them into a game and an ecosystem.”
Instead of static images, the Curry Flow 9 NFTs will consist of videos showcasing the sneaker along with casing that highlights his accomplishment. And with Under Armour having not yet announced any public-release for the special edition sneaker in a physical sense, the NFT may just be the only way for fans acquire it and own a part of the historic moment.
As has become abundantly clear, NFTs are absolutely going to be the next big thing within sneakers, and the Curry Flow 9 helps shows the possibilities that can be unlocked with the trend here to stay. And just as we’ll see Curry continue to rack up threes, don’t expect this to be the last time you see the NBA’s 3-point king in the metaverse.