Philadelphia Eagles second-year wide receiver DeVonta Smith is looking to the future for his upcoming collaboration with a cutting-edge sneaker brand from Massachusetts.
Endstate has partnered with the NFL player to release a pair of signature shoes that come with a non-fungible token. The NFT will be released sometime this month, and the sneakers will ship in December, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.
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The shoes will be available in three colors – kelly green, black and gold, and blue and pink. Each pair will have a near-field communication chip embedded in the tongue, which uses an encoding process to connect to the virtual NFT.
The NFT will give owners exclusive access to prizes, signed merchandise, Eagles game day benefits and personal events with Smith.
My collaboration with @Endstate will change the game. It’s MORE than a pair of limited edition sneakers. You’ll get a pair of my premium, signature sneakers PLUS exclusive access to events, next game day benefits, and bonus merchandise and memorabilia. How? 👇 pic.twitter.com/7ZsAIqJGK8
— DeVonta Smith (@DeVontaSmith_6) 7 September 2022
“As a two-time national champion and Heisman Trophy winner, first-round NFL draft pick and standout wide receiver for the Eagles, DeVonta’s resume on the field speaks for itself, but we’re just as impressed with who he is off it. field,” said Bennett Collen, CEO and co-founder of Endstate, in a statement. “We are excited to work with DeVonta to design a sneaker that embodies what makes him special – generational talent, hard work, high character and impeccable style .”
Collen founded Endstate in 2021 with Stephanie Howard, a sneaker company veteran who has worked for over 25 years at New Balance, Nike and Reebok. She has created a number of popular shoe designs, including the New Balance 850, Nike Air Max Verona and the Reebok DMX6 Trail.
Howard told Highsnobiety that the idea for the company was created after Collen, a professor of business applications at Boston College, reached out to her after hearing her speak during a webinar. Collen believed that NFTs could provide a way for creators and athletes to collaborate in the sneaker market.
“We take some of the stories that are told around him and his aura and we build the product with him,” she said. “The nice little details help fans discover the story of who he is.”
The NFT market grew in popularity over the past couple of years, but peaked at an estimated $40 million in 2021. However, as of May, sales have begun to flatten, The Wall Street Journal reported. Endstate takes a different approach by combining tangible objects with physical products.
“Instead of thinking of it as just an NFT, sneaker or physical product with a digital twin, the most exciting part about it is this singular connection we’re creating,” Howard told HypeBae. “That’s why we choose to do most of what we create in the collaborative world.”