Project Venkman brings a new perspective to the world of NFTs.

By Kelly Comis, Photo courtesy of Project Venkman

It’s clear NFTs are here to stay. They have exploded in popularity over the past year with major brands and celebrities getting involved in the space. The first wave of NFTs (or non-fungible tokens, unique digital assets that cannot be replicated or exchanged for something else and are stored on the blockchain) primarily revolved around digital art; now the possibilities for NFTs go far beyond that. Creators and companies are creating NFTs with ways to engage fans or customers while remaining relevant.

Project Venkman uses NFTs to redefine storytelling for celebrities and fans. For women who lead companies, brands and experiences in Austin, NFTs represent a new territory with incredible promise, but they also come with a lot of confusing terms and challenges. Powered by the same technology as cryptocurrencies, there have been scams, false promises and hundreds of copycat projects. Some celebrities were early to jump into the NFT craze last year, and many of the projects didn’t live up to the hype.

Project Venkman and Bill Murray

I’ve spent the past decade working with celebrities and top brands, and as a previous co-owner of a local sports publishing magazine, I’ve seen how social media, when done well, can transform a company’s sales and open up new possibilities. New platforms, like TikTok over the past few years, present new opportunities for growth. NFTs and the Metaverse are being hyped as the next big thing. I saw this jump to new media as a challenge to take on for my personal growth and as a chance to learn unique skills.

As I joined Project Venkman, we launched a member NFT collection on Coinbase last month, centered around the life and stories of the iconic actor Bill Murray. The Bill Murray 1000 release set records and became the top-selling project ever on Coinbase NFT. Forbes wrote up the launch as the “blueprint” for celebrity NFT projects.

How did we accomplish this?

At Project Venkman we believe in utility. So what is utility? Utility is the action behind the NFT. When you purchase a Bill Murray NFT, you get a unique silver coin, you get to go to in-person once-in-a-lifetime events where Bill Murray will entertain you and share his stories, you get access to private member chat channels and you get to join a community of super fans. To evolve beyond this first phase of NFTs, we have to focus more on the experience and helping each owner feel like part of a greater group of collectors and fans.

Our plan is to simplify the onboarding experience for those who want to join the crypto and NFT world. We partner with companies that make a simple, seamless checkout process. Traditionally you had to buy in ETH or another cryptocurrency to claim an NFT, which makes it hard to understand. Through our partner platforms, we allow the use of debit cards and credit cards to users when purchasing NFTs, so it’s as easy as shopping on Amazon.

austin-woman-project-venkman-kelly-comis
Kelly Comis, Project Venkman’s head of marketing

We don’t want NFTs to be scary. In fact, we believe in the exact opposite! NFTs are fun, unique, cool and a way to experience events like never before. People will purchase NFTs that they love and are passionate about (i.e., art, memberships, experiences, fashion, etc.). Think of an NFT as a box or container only—it’s what’s inside that matters. For us, it’s the utility.

The Future

As far as the future goes, according to a study by MarketsandMarkets, the global NFT market is expected to grow from $3 billion in 2022 to $13.6 billion by 2027. We want to be at the forefront of that growth. We want to bring you experiences like never before and utility that matters.

How does this market grow to $13 billion in a few years? We’re excited about the improvements to the shopping and fan experience that unlock this next wave of utility. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit and other major social platforms have launched or announced their support for NFTs. Bringing your favorite digital art, memberships, sports, games and achievements into these platforms in a verified way helps each user showcase their passions, personality and achievements.

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing our next partnerships, projects and surprises we have planned for our NFT members. Project Venkman truly is writing the playbook for celebrity NFTs and taking the fan experience to the next level, and we can’t wait to show you what we have in store.


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