Want to play tennis with serial entrepreneur and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk?
You’ll have to snag a VeeFriends non-fungible token. Gary Vaynerchuck, also known as Gary Vee, is working on a new project combining collectible NFTs with social token utility. The result is a novel project with big potential benefits for Vaynerchuk fans, including annual tickets to his in-person, multi-day conference; direct access to Gary Vee himself; and other exclusive gifts.
For Vaynerchuk, whose dedicated 11M followers and subscribers across social media see him as a business guru, this is a way to bring his passion for collectibles (he’s stated that he had a hustle selling rare cards as a kid), and today, NFTs, to a wider audience.
Since teasing the new NFT project in April, Vaynerchuk has gotten 127,000 people to join the VeeFriends Discord channel. Many of Vaynerchuck’s followers aren’t well-versed in crypto, so he released a series of blog posts throughout April instructing his followers on the basics of NFTs, how to make a crypto wallet, and how to fund that crypto wallet with ETH.
It’s been an educational experience so far, but Vaynerchuk, who is also the CEO of digital media company VaynerMedia, is about to take it to the next level with the drop of the NFTs.
The VeeFriends collection will consist of 10,255 NFTs depicting 268 unique characters created by Vaynerchuck, and will also function as admission and access gateways in various forms.
VeeFriends Admission NFTs are the base level, acting as three-year access tickets for VeeCon, a marketing, business and entrepreneurship conference. The date and location of VeeCon has not yet been determined. These NFTs will also include character art, hand-drawn by Vaynerchuck and varying rarity distinctions (ie: 1/1 Hologram) for collectability.
Next, VeeFriends Gift NFTs, all 555 of which depict the same drawing of a goat, provide the same three-year access pass to VeeCon, but also promise owners “a gifting experience curated by Gary and the VeeFriends team.”
Finally, along with the VeeCon conference pass, VeeFriends Access NFTs grant the owner special, direct access to Vaynerchuck. These Access NFTs are the most unique and limited in quantity, with benefits ranging from group meals with Vaynerchuck to one-on-one fishing, workout sessions, or checkers.
The VeeFriends NFTs will be sold via a dutch auction format with a starting price of 3 ETH and a floor price of 0.5 ETH, according to a pinned post in the VeeFriends Discord. It’s unclear if buyers will be able to purchase specific tokens or if the distribution will be random.
While the launch was originally planned for May 5, it has been delayed due to what Vayncheck called re-evaluations on the tech side.
Faith in Gary Vee
Social tokens have been explored before, such as Alex Masmej’s ALEX tokens that give users voting power over Alex’s real-life choices, but VeeFriends is the first instance of a project where expensive, collectible NFTs double as passes to real-world experiences with a public figure.
And with that, some in the broader crypto industry might see major risks that hinge on trust of a single person, Vaynerchuk, or group, his team.
For example, since one of VeeFriends’ biggest selling points is its functionality as a real-world conference pass, this could limit its value for anyone holding the NFT but unable to travel to the yet-to-be-determined destination where the conference will be held.
Separately, the value of these NFTs is tied directly to trust in Vaynerchuck, both in him keeping his word and in his physical health. Theoretically, if Vaynerchuck got injured, your $9000 investment to play tennis with him would really just be a $9000 digital stick man named “Tennis Elbow.”
And due to the nature of NFTs and the loose language of the VeeFriends Experience Terms, if Vaynerchuk decided he didn’t want to allow redemption anymore, there aren’t rules for restitution. Moreover, the terms clearly state that the ability to redeem experiences and access to VeeCon expires on May 6, 2024. After that date, the value of any given VeeFriends NFT really will hinge entirely on its collectability.
To be sure, Vaynerchuck’s fans have confidence in the value of VeeFriends, both as a brand and as a community project.
“The conferences are already lots of value but Gary tells us to not underestimate the BRAND of VeeFriends,” wrote a VeeFriends Discord group member with the username bill19. “There will be 45 years of building this brand. Imagine giant franchises like Pokemon, Star Wars. EXCEPT VeeFriends will be based on positive character traits, it will be about human kindness, etc. changing the human race for good. That’s the legacy. Imagine VeeFriends cartoons that kids will love and be shaped by…Hope you see more value now.”