Cheat sheet: Yahoo is selling sponsors on NFTs, starting with Rebecca Minkoff

The lead image shows an illustration of a person playing computer games.

Yahoo is getting into the non-fungible token (NFT) space, but is starting off by creating a gallery of NFTs for a brand partner rather than itself. 

In time for the return of New York Fashion Week this week, Yahoo, the official innovation partner for the event, is working with fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff on a 15-piece NFT drop that features clothes and accessories from her latest fashion collection. The NFTs will include 10 photos of models in the outfits as well as five “digital garments,” or virtual, 3D renderings of her clothes that can ultimately be used on an avatar in a number of future metaverses, according to Yahoo’s head of consumer Joanna Lambert. 

For now, though, these NFTs will remain collectors items.

This is a different approach from other publishers that have been experimenting with NFTs, including Time and Bleacher Report, and that have created a micro, consumer-based revenue stream off the sales of its own NFTs.

Image description –
A look at the Rebecca Minkoff NFT gallery. Courtesy of Yahoo and Rebecca Minkoff

The key details: 

  • This is Yahoo’s first entry into creating NFTs, but the publisher is accomplishing something that many other media companies are still struggling with — getting advertisers on board with the inclusion of NFTs in a media buy. 
  • The partnership with Rebecca Minkoff marks one of the first times that a publisher has been able to sell a campaign that includes an NFT component. 
  • The terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
  • Head of content at Yahoo Ryot Lab Nigel Tierney and his team built the entire virtual gallery and NFT collection in-house, using Yahoo’s Immersive XR platform, which was launched last year to create more augmented, mixed, and virtual reality advertising and branded content. The team partnered with OpenSea as the NFT selling platform.
  • The gallery is set in a 3D model version of New York City that users can navigate by zooming into the virtual Rebecca Minkoff storefront. Within the virtual store is a Guggenheim-style museum of the 10 available NFTs that users can move around in and view the digital art pieces. 
  • The gallery is able to be accessed on a mobile device with an AR display on the screen as well as on desktop, which is navigated through scrolling.
  • Rebecca Minkoff, co-founder and creative director of her namesake fashion label, has notably experimented with emerging platforms and technologies to market her brand, including being a regular voice on Clubhouse to launching an OnlyFans account. 
  • While this initiative leads Minkoff’s company further down the path of digital marketing innovation, the idea behind the NFT gallery was not to only appeal to existing NFT customers, but to introduce the brands’ fans to this new concept and get them excited about having another way to interact with a favorite designer. 
  • All of the proceeds from the sales will be donated to Female Founder Collective.

The revenue potential

For customers who are new to the NFT space, there are seven photo NFTs that will be sold at a set price that is equivalent to the cost of a Rebecca Minkoff accessory or clothing item (.1 ETH, or about $350). Six of the NFTs will have 10 editions each that can be bought on a first come, first serve basis. Then there is one collector’s NFT that has 150 editions available. 

Three of the 10 photo NFTs will be sold at auction, which will enable the price to increase based on the highest bid over a four-day period from Friday, September 10 to Monday, September 13. These NFTs include one one-of-a-kind image that also awards the owner with two tickets to the next NYFW, a signed, physical Rebecca Minkoff bag and a private video call with Rebecca. The other two NFTs in this category have five editions each and will award each owner with two tickets to the next NYFW.

If the NFT is resold down the line, a royalty structure was built in to award the charity with a continuous donation. 

Within the virtual gallery, users are also able to buy the actual clothing items by clicking on the “shop now” button for each clothing item. 

Extending the NYFW experience

New York Fashion Week is starting to resemble what it looked like pre-pandemic, but there are still many would-be attendees who are unable to — or don’t want to — fly into the U.S. to join a large gathering of like-minded, fashionable peers. But the good news is that these designer brands have gotten better at showcasing their latest collections to virtual audiences and can press forward with those strategies in order to reach at-home audiences as well. 

The Rebecca Minkoff NFT collection will be promoted and shared on Yahoo’s pages, which collectively garners 900 million monthly users, giving this massive audience the potential to engage with NYFW in a way that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.   

Yahoo’s plans for NFTs extend beyond NYFW (and into the metaverse)

The partnership with Minkoff is meant to get Yahoo’s foot in the door when it comes to future NFTs, but also to get its audience of sports, finance, lifestyle and gaming fans comfortable with coming to the site for all things metaverse related. It is also an early example of what all these NFT-based partnerships could look like for publishers and ad partners. 

“The ideas are endless and this interoperability of the platforms and avatars gives brands more creative flexibility, and is largely a way to connect with the predominant users of the metaverse such as Gen Zers,” said Lambert.

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