Daryl Morey Part of NFT and Crypto-Focused Group Trying to Buy English Soccer Team

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Whew. That’s quite a doozy for a headline.

Daryl Morey popped up randomly in a story by The Washington Post’s Rick Maese, which explains that there’s a group of investors looking to buy an English soccer team. The catch, however, is they are super-focused on crypto and NFT, which serve as a “significant” funding source.

From the story:

Backed by cryptocurrency and with familiar elements of both “Moneyball” and “Ted Lasso,” a group of American investors say they plan to purchase an English soccer team and rely on advanced analytics and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to create a new model of sports team ownership.

The group, WAGMI United, says it’s in the advanced stages of purchasing an English Football League club. The investors are believed to be the first group to buy a major sports franchise with cryptocurrency serving as a significant funding source.

The group is led by Preston Johnson, a prominent sports gambling analyst, and (Eben) Smith, a former derivatives trader now immersed in the NFT space. It also includes Daryl Morey, the Philadelphia 76ers’ team president; businessman Gary Vaynerchuk, the chair of VaynerX; and social media personality Bryce Hall, who has more than 21 million Tik Tok followers, as well as several creators, collectors and investors from the NFT and cryptocurrency worlds.

The name of the club isn’t disclosed, but it’s a lower division club, so something like a Doncaster or Scunthorpe. They aren’t buying Tottenham Hotspur. This is funny to me, because the small community of supporters for these types of lower-level teams is probably scratching their head thinking about a Yank group coming in with crypto and NFT and all of this stuff people still don’t have a firm grasp on.

The story goes on to the say that the group feels like the “traditional ownership model is broken and plan to employ a novel approach that relies heavily on NFTs as a revenue stream.” They are apparently going to invest in analytics and outspend to climb the ladder in hopes of earning Premier League promotion. The whole thing is simultaneously goofy, admirable, ambitious, and esoteric. I can see the shirt sponsor being a bored ape, or something similarly dumb, like a cat smoking a cigar or a snow leopard doing a back handspring. NFTs baby! They’re the future. Get in now, or else you’ll have FOMO!

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