In brief Beer brand Budweiser will launch its first NFT collection today. The collectibles will serve as access to as-yet-unrevealed ‘Budverse’ and come with purported benefits.
Popular beer brand Budweiser was a surprising entrant to the NFT space in August, when it purchased a Bud-themed piece from Tom Sachs’ Rocket Factory collection and used it for the brand’s official Twitter page. Now Budweiser is launching its own NFTs, and they’ll be an entry pass to the company’s larger ambitions in the crypto space.
Today, Budweiser will release its first series of NFTs, dubbed Budverse Cans: Heritage Edition. The series will span 1,936 individual NFT collectibles, referencing the year the company first started releasing beer in cans.
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Vaynerchuk and VaynerNFT president Avery Akkineni on what they tell businesses that want to create successful, large-scale NFT projects
Vaynerchuk told Insider he “knew a lot of projects would be terrible,” but “I knew a few had the ability to be good.”
He said the artists depicted are ones “we genuinely believe have a shot of being ‘next.’”
Avery Akkineni said that the company covers everything from helping a brand set up crypto wallets and understanding the safe way to accept, store, and send crypto to “what should your website copy say, how do you create a Discord and engage your community, and how do you design a road map?”
For big brands looking to launch NFT collections and buyers deciding which NFTs to buy, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid, Vaynerchuk and Akkineni said.
Akkieni said brands need to engage with the people who’ve bought the NFTs.
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VaynerNFT’s main objective with this collaboration is to create strategic and meaningful experiences for Bud NFT holders as Budweiser makes its first-ever foray into the Metaverse.
The Heritage NFT Collection is composed of 1,936 unique digital cans representing 1936, the year the first Budweiser can was created. The collection will be available to consumers of legal drinking age via two different token types at launch – the Core Heritage Cans and the Gold Heritage Cans.
“The Budweiser Heritage Collection is designed to celebrate the brand’s iconic history while also moving Budweiser into the metaverse,” said Spencer Gordon, Vice President of Digital + draftLine at Anheuser-Busch.
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While there have been blatant rip-offs of the projects (GOOP TROOP and HEAD DAO come to mind), what has proliferated more widely across the medium are the instantly recognizable square Nouns glasses.
These glasses have popped up as an attribute in mainstream projects, such as Cryptoadz by Gremplin, one of the pixel artists on the Nouns project, and Chain Runners. They also show up in the beloved derivative project Noadz, where the artist Ser Noadz combines Nouns heads with Toadz bodies. The glasses have become what David Horvath, tapped by the Nouns Foundation to lead the Nouns Studio, calls the “Nike swoosh of web3” (a sentiment I understand but somewhat disagree with—more on that in a future post).
At any rate, the Nouns project—and specifically the Nouns glasses—have become an instantly recognizable calling card of NFTs and web3 at large.
Featuring 500 NFTs for each of the 22 artists participating in the drop, fans will soon have the chance to mint a randomly assigned NFT in one of three possible tiers, each yielding different collector rewards:
- Core lets owners rep these rising stars and show off their fandom.
- Rare get owners access to a virtual listening party on Discord with their corresponding artist.
- Ultra Rare gives owners access to TBA rare NFT benefits as well as a video call with their featured artist.
“I have a crazy affinity for emerging music artists,” Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerNFT said in a statement.
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Bud Light tweeted “We’ve got something brewing” and provided a link to their Discord to encourage fans to “get ready for what’s next!”
We’ve got something brewing.
Join our Discord and get ready for what’s next!https://t.co/txevk6xcJ2
— Bud Light (@budlight) January 19, 2022
On January 19, Bud Light tweeted a clinking beer emoji and the ascii art for the iconic Nouns glasses and changed their profile picture to the Noun #179, the beer Noun that the Nouns Foundation had recently transferred.
— Bud Light (@budlight) January 19, 2022
Linking this announcement back to the proposal in the Nouns Foundation vote #33, we can only assume that Bud Light will be featuring the Nouns glasses in a Super Bowl commercial this year.
This is MASSIVE for the NFT space and for providing an on-ramp for the general population.
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Budverse Legends: Dwayne Wade x Budweiser Zero Edition
Since his retirement in the 2018/2019 season, the 3-time NBA champion has been actively involved in various business ventures. He hit the ground running by signing a lifetime deal with Li-Ning after his exit from the NBA. He also has ongoing partnerships with MISSION, Hisense, BallerTV, Stance, Budweiser, Mars Reel, Wade Cellars, 800° Woodfired Kitchen, and D.
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It also tweeted three space-rocket emojis, which are often used by meme-stock buyers and crypto fans to signify that an asset is ‘going to the moon.’
“Budweiser is taking its first steps into the NFT universe. We’re excited to support Tom Sachs and his Rocket Factory project and join this incredible community,” a Budweiser spokesperson told Insider.
NFTs are digital assets like pieces of art, audio clips, virtual sports cards, or even tweets, which are tied to blockchain networks. Each NFT is therefore unique and almost impossible to edit or duplicate, making them popular among artists.
Often anyone online can still view NFTs, but there’s only one verified owner of the token on the blockchain.
The team at Budweiser has done their research, recognized this and made an incredible trade with the Nouns Foundation: a beer Noun NFT in exchange for featuring the Nouns project in a Super Bowl spot.
It started with Proposal 33 on the Nouns website: Feature Noun glasses in a Super Bowl commercial and on real beverage cans. The proposal detailed the following requirements for Budweiser in exchange for a Noun NFT:
- Include the Nouns glasses in a Super Bowl commercial
- Change the Bud Light Twitter avatar to feature Nouns glasses
- Allow holders of the brand’s NFT to provide guidance on how the Noun votes in future Nouns governance proposals
- Produce physical beer cans featuring the Noun
The vote passed on January 16, 2022 with a vote of 75 to one. Then the real magic happened.
This is a perfect example of how a derivative doesn’t dilute the value of the original; if anything, it creates more awareness of the original and a presents a path to acquiring it.
Win-Win-Win for Budweiser, the NFT Community and CC0
Clearly, as NFT artist Figure31 tweeted, the team at Budweiser took the old maxim of DYOR (do your own research) seriously. They thoughtfully engaged with the space, entered it with their own project and opted in to support one of the crown jewels in Nouns. Aligning with the modern ethos of CC0, they are supporting the underpinning infrastructure with ENS.