“I have the same jersey as an NFT” [RgStudio/E+ via Getty Images]
Add this to your list of things to leave in 2021: “Wait, what?" just topped the ranking of banished phrases for 2022. The runners-up: “new normal,” “you’re on mute,” and “supply chain” (guilty).
Tech stocks fell yesterday as the industrials-heavy Dow index snagged its second record high of the year. New data showed that supply issues (again) are easing — a positive for industrials, manufacturing, and energy companies.
Get the jury some takeout... After a whopping 50 hours of deliberations, jurors found Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes guilty on 4 of 11 charges in her criminal trial. The 37-year-old was convicted of three fraud counts against investors in her disgraced blood-testing startup, and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.
Bad blood money... Theranos claimed that with just a few finger pricks of blood its tests could detect health conditions from cancer to high cholesterol. Holmes raised $900M+ from investors, growing the company to a $9B valuation and becoming the youngest female self-made billionaire on paper. Holmes was convicted for lying to investors about the accuracy of Theranos' machines. And still…
Industry investors are mostly unfazed... Theranos doesn’t seem to have dramatically changed how investors select companies to fund, or how openly startups share information. Notably, Theranos’ funding wasn’t typical of the traditional Silicon Valley model — it was largely backed by prominent individuals (like Walmart's Walton family and Rupert Murdoch). Also notable: Theranos’ board was light on medical experts, while including distinguished former national-security leaders (James Mattis, Henry Kissinger). Still, the Theranos saga shows the importance of rigor and transparency when it comes to due diligence.
The MVP of sports merch… is now also the MVP of sports cards. This week, sports merch business Fanatics bought 70-year-old sports-card icon Topps for a reported $500M. Now, Fanatics owns the rights to sell trading cards of players in the MLB, NBA, and NFL. (BTW: Topps also owns Ring Pops and Bazooka gum, but its nostalgic candy biz wasn’t part of the deal.)
The Tesla of trading cards… Trading cards have boomed during the pandemic, fueled by growing interest in digital collectibles like NFTs. To cash in on the collecti-craze, Fanatics first teamed up with the NFL and NBA. Now, by buying Topps and partnering with the MLB, Fanatics can also sell baseball cards, both physical and digital. Last year, Topps reportedly sold $560M of physical and digital cards in 100 countries.
The Disney-fication of sports could be digital… Just as Disney turned its popular characters into park rides, video games, and stuffed animals, Fanatics hopes to milk its sports rights for all they’re worth. As Fanatics buys the rights to fan-favorite sports licenses, official Yankees NFTs and digital Tom Brady jerseys could be coming soon. Startup Top Shot has sold over $800M worth of NBA NFTs since launching in 2020, including a nearly $400K LeBron NFT. The NFT market is expected to expand more than 5X by 2025, with much of its growth driven by sports collectibles.
Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Walmart, Tesla, GM, Disney