NBA Top Shot’s Kevin Durant Partnership: What We Know so Far
by Chris Otis
If you’ve been in the NBA Top Shot community for any significant amount of time, you’ve seen it asked on countless occasions: “wen marketing?” Though it’s often posited as a meme, it has also served as a desperate cry in times of market difficulties — basically the Top Shot equivalent of “can devs do something”. But this past week, with the premiere an ad spot featuring NBA superstar Kevin Durant, the answer to this question has finally been answered with a resounding, “RIGHT NOW!”
Durant’s partnership with Top Shot cannot be understated, as quite possibly the best basketball player on the planet at the moment. The ad is being promoted across all major social media platforms, and possibly could be seen on TV in the near future.
The metaphorical marketing taps have finally been turned on, and the Top Shot universe will never be the same.
This didn’t come out of the blue, however. The partnership between NBA Top Shot, Kevin Durant, and Rich Kleiman’s Boardroom was announced back in October. Since then there have been clues left behind that signaled something big was coming soon.
Kevin Durant on Top Shot: What’s Happened So Far?
Now that the cat is officially out of the bag, it seems to be the perfect time to recap everything we know so far about this game-changing partnership, how the market has reacted to the big news, and make some educated guesses about what’s coming next.
Kevin Durant & Top Shot Partnership Announced
Back in October, the landmark partnership between Durant, Boardroom, and NBA Top Shot was announced in a blog post that’s full of a bunch of really exciting tidbits. At the time, it was hard to know just what was going to come out of the relationship, but references to video content, Moment curation, and advancing NFTs into the mainstream can be found throughout.
This one particular quote from KD included in the blog sums it all up nicely:
“Top Shot is the future for basketball fans — bringing them closer to players and building community across the sport in new and innovative ways,” Durant said in the announcement. “At Boardroom, we’ve also been at the forefront of the NFT space, and I’m excited to partner in advancing NFTs further into the mainstream, creating and curating exclusive Moments and content with Top Shot.”
Kevin Durant Top Shot Takeover Begins
Fast-forward to this past week, a little over three months from the initial announcement, and the NBA Top Shot world was rocked by the KD commercial launching and the start of what’s being dubbed The Kevin Durant Top Shot Takeover.
To take advantage of all the new eyes that will find Top Shot for the first time, a limited time special offer went live as well: 50,000 Starter Packs that include a guaranteed Kevin Durant Series 3 Moment (x/60,000) are now available for all new users to purchase for $9. These new KD Moments are narrated by the man himself, only the third play to be narrated on Top Shot. You can use the Moments immediately in a special Flash Challenge alongside the other three Moments included in the Starter Pack.
Without any additional Moments needed from the marketplace, this challenge is designed for new users to get a feel for how Flash Challenges work and get a free Series 2 Base Set pack reward.
Durant even made his first NFT purchases on Top Shot this week, with help from NBA Top Shot community lead Jacob Eisenberg.
Marketplace Reaction to KD Marketing
Of course, given the gravity of the KD announcement and content, the Top Shot market reacted. It seems that Top Shot may have anticipated this, and just released a blog post which shed some light on the market’s reaction to the KD ad launch.
As can be seen above, the 88,360 purchases on January 19 made for the third-highest total on any day in the last six months. This is backed up by MomentRanks market data seen below, in which the massive spike in 24-hour transactions, sales volume, and unique buyers and sellers is clearly visible in the period following the January 19 announcement.
Incredibly, 12.4 percent of those nearly 90,000 purchases came on Durant Moments alone. This is a remarkable figure, certainly due in part to the inclusion of Durant Moments in the most recent Flash Challenges, but likely also due to the confidence that Top Shot collectors have in the long-term utility of Moments from the new superstar face of the product.
(Author’s note: Time zone used is 15 hours ahead of PST (Top Shot main time), so the data on my end is skewed toward January 20 as a result.)
Certainly, there is much, much more to come from this Kevin Durant and NBA Top Shot partnership. One thing that becomes immediately clear when looking for clues as to what’s coming next, however, is that a Kevin Durant curated set is coming in some form, and probably quite soon.
In the initial blog post announcing the partnership, multiple mentions to Moment curation are made, even by KD himself in the aforementioned quote. The biggest clue, though, may have come nine days after that announcement, in the form of the Series 3 Roadmap.The roadmap reads as follows:
“Appearing throughout the regular season will be one of the most exciting first-time sets in Series 3,” the blog reads. “This set will consist of multiple drops, featuring a small number of new Moments curated specifically by current or former NBA greats, fitting a drop-specific theme chosen by the players themselves. Often these drops will be accompanied by a reward from the headlining player, including ones they self-select as their own favorites.”
Surely it doesn’t take much to read between the lines here and see that Durant will headline the first of these promised curated sets. Throw in the ominous “coming soon” section seen on kevindurant.nbatopshot.com (shown above), and it’s pretty clear that this is going to happen. According to the S3 Roadmap, this would be a Common set when it does drop.
Looking further ahead, the final lines of the KD Takeover blog post read:
There will be more surprises in store for KD’s fans, our existing community, Flash Challenge lovers and members of the Nine Lives Lounge, too,” the blog reads. “Details on all of that are coming soon.”
It seems safe to assume that KD Moments will likely be required for many Flash Challenges, if not for all of them, while this takeover is ongoing. In addition, something will be coming for Nine Lives Lounge members in the near future as well. What this may look like is hard to say, but air drops, merch raffles, or some other kinds of giveaways seem likeliest to me.
Final Thoughts: Kevin Durant x Top Shot
All things considered, this is a massive development in the world of NBA Top Shot. The marketing taps have been turned on big-time, there’s a massive push to acquire new users for the first time in a very long time. Kevin Durant, one of the greatest basketball players to ever walk this planet, is now the face of the product.
What this will all mean down the line is hard to say, but one thing is for sure: Top Shot seems to be gearing up for a launch to the mainstream, and things will never be the same again.