Mets’ Tommy Wilson on How NFTs Can Empower Athletes
While many celebrities and athletes have found their way into the NFT space in 2021, few have been as active a part of the community as Tommy Wilson. Currently a minor league pitcher with the New York Mets, Wilson splits his time between baseball and digital art.
Wilson’s experience in NFTs differs greatly from that of most superstar athletes. While some — such as Rob Gronkowski and Lionel Messi — have become passively involved via one-and-done non-fungible drops, Wilson’s interest in the movement has been persistent.
The pitcher began his journey into NFTs during the COVID-19 pandemic, so he had time to become acquainted with the NFT and crypto communities. Even before Beeple opened the floodgates in March 2021 with his $69 million sale, Wilson was deeply invested in the space, balancing his time in the gym with building up his creative muscles working on 3D art.
“I had loads of time,” Wilson tells nft now. “I would do my workouts and stuff in the morning, and then after that, I would come home and start making art and connect with people on Twitter and discover this crazy awesome community.”
On this episode of the nft now podcast, the pitcher talks about becoming a crypto artist, getting his teammates involved in NFTs, what NFTs can do for athletes and more.
Sports NFTs have flourished in 2021. With NBA Top Shot becoming one of the largest NFT marketplaces over the course of the year, numerous athletes, franchises and leagues have become interested in the non-fungible ecosystem.
Unlike with large-scale sports NFT endeavors, Wilson isn’t grossing millions of dollars with each drop. But even so, he’s found success on platforms such as SupeRare, where his handcrafted 1/1s have helped him achieve a decent amount of income from the marketplace.
“I’ve been on SuperRare for a bit of time now, so [my income from the platform] was a pretty hefty sum of money for a minor leaguer like myself,” explains Wilson, who pitches for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. “Like, honestly, very life changing — absolutely insane.”
The athlete has generated just under $500,000 in total sales to date, according to CryptoArt.io, and Wilson hopes to spread his wealth of knowledge to his fellow players looking to become involved in the NFT ecosystem.
“I want to kind of raise awareness that a lot of these [minor league players] that I know are really struggling and just trying to support their families,” Wilson shares. “I’m trying to raise awareness for that through NFTs and also be able to support them and teach them about NFTs because I see a lot of opportunity there.”
Hit subscribe and stream our full conversation with Tommy Wilson to find out how he got New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso to do an NFT benefiting minor leaguers, and more.