The King lives on through his music, hundreds of impersonators, Graceland, a new film this summer, and more than 400 active Elvis Presley fan groups worldwide. And now, it appears on the blockchain.
Elvis Presley Enterprises, owned by Authentic Brands Group, which is funded by CVC Capital Partners and HPS Investment Partners, is the latest brand to investigate how Web3 might, as they say, “keep the magic alive.” Its latest effort, branded “Elvis On-Chain,” aims to return voting rights to fans by letting them purchase Elvis artifacts such as recordings, clothing, vehicles, or jewels and have a voice in where and when they are displayed. It will be an intriguing case study to see if enthusiastic fans—particularly those older—find any underlying promise in the novelty of non-fungible tokens and, perhaps more significantly, are prepared to pay for it.
As part of Elvis On-Chain, ABG collaborates with blockchain development firm Run It Wild to create a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) for Elvis fans, providing them with voting rights and a community wallet to purchase items. The fans must purchase one of the 1,935 NFTs that Run It Wild plans to issue in April to participate. Some token holders will receive a digital garment, such as Elvis’ 1973 American Eagle white jumpsuit or a pair of blue suede shoes. The NFTs will cost between 0.35 and 0.56 Ether. At the upper end of the spectrum, ABG would earn about $3.3 million from the NFT sale on crypto marketplaces, with 20% of the money going into the DAO’s coffers to buy back collectibles. Collectors have recently auctioned Elvis’ pink and black Cadillac, guitar pictures, and wine glasses.
ABG thinks that the attraction will be less about purchasing new clothing for your avatar and more about having a role in the future of the Elvis Presley brand. It will also provide the corporation with a new direct connection channel with the Elvis fan base.
According to Marc Rosen, ABG’s president of entertainment, they will be participating, and he believes that what the DAO does is allow them to formalize it and be a part of the process. The DAO’s actual structure, operating methodology, and debut date are unknown but Run It, Wild director Adam De Cata says NFT holders will be able to submit ideas. The community will vote on suggestions put up by Elvis Presley Enterprises. He claims that it is still very much a work in progress and will be allowed to do things as they see fit.
De Cata wouldn’t say much about what’s coming up in the future, save to highlight the virtual event collaborations with Decentraland and The Sandbox. There are plans to include audio into intelligent contracts and pre-condition agreements signed on the blockchain. De Cata said they’ll wait till the community weighs in on which memorabilia pieces the DAO should buy before making a choice.
Elvis On-Chain is the newest experiment in how brands and organizations use NFTs to mobilize followers. Because blockchain technology and infrastructure are still in their early stages, Web3’s practical use cases are restricted outside of the videogame, music, and digital art sectors. Musicians and companies experimenting with the technology appear to be getting the most out of it right now, which might explain why they’re flocking to back NFT initiatives like Bored Ape Yacht Club as investors.