There is no celebrity too small to be monetized on the blockchain. But how about celebrities-to-be, the rising stars of sports, music, or art? Blockchain has a great power to transform talent promotion and support for younger aspiring celebrities so they don’t drop out — this idea is at core of TokenStars.
TokenStars is the first project to tokenize people, specifically celebrities. It starts with tennis and football verticals. At later stages, it will utilize a shared infrastructure and launch the new verticals (poker, basketball, hockey; cinema actors, models, musicians).б
Why do we start with tennis?
Sport professionals and celebrities in general can be viewed as assets. Over the course of their careers, athletes improve their skills, gain unique abilities, and start play against higher skilled professionals which further improves their skills. We call this the ‘self-reinforcing professionalism cycle’.
At the same time, extraordinary results attract fans — which make the athletes of interest to the sponsors — who pay disproportionally high money to the now-popular athletes — who start celebrity lifestyles, and attract even more fans. This is the ‘self-reinforcing celebrity status cycle’.
Tennis is one of the most popular sports worldwide. When successful, tennis stars earn prize money (less than $1 million for 400th ranked player, $60+ million for a top-5 player) and sign sponsorship deals (which are roughly 5–10X times larger than the prize money earned over the player’s career).
ACE, our first project, aims to provide funding and promotion resources to aspiring tennis players at the junior age, so they don’t drop out of sports. Getting support significantly increases their chances to go further in professionalism cycle, and consequently — for the success.
From the age of 8 to the age of 18, before young players first start earning prize money at the tournaments, they need to spend significant amounts of money on tournaments, trainings, and equipment. The estimation of training costs for a junior is about $100,000 a year.
We expect to sign the players at 13–14 years of age, and to sign their first sponsorship deals at 14. Usually, these are relatively small, like $10–30K for every sponsor per player per year.
Additionally ACE offers representation and promotion to professional tennis players (top 200 in ATP and WTA rankings), who are already sponsor-ready but were overlooked by traditional agencies. That way, they can reinforce their celebrity status cycle.
These athletes earn sufficient amount of prize money to cover their tennis-related expenses, so ACE won’t have to cover their training, travel and other costs. Established players have marketing potential to accumulate sponsorship deals for $250–400K per year.
How do the tokens work?
ACE tokens are software with cryptographic elements that are sold out as a utility appliance for the ACE platform. The ACE tokens are based on the Ethereum protocol and conform to the widely-used ERC20 standard.
Buying ACE tokens gives an opportunity to support favourite athletes, to interact with the platform, to gain access to exclusive offers, and even to receive compensation for activity.
After becoming celebrities, athletes can give a lot in return to early supporters:
- a share of earned income;
- business and non-profit endorsements (via commercials or social media posts) well below the market price;
- training time (one-on-one or in group, in person or online);
- communication with fans (via video chats, text chats, offline exclusive meetings, selfies, etc.)
- signed merchandize, books
- tickets to events, etc.
As a result, ACE aspires to introduce 1 billion tennis fans to the blockchain world, to create a decentralized talent management system where young athletes can get support, and to share the value with the community.