David Beckham kicks off new role in the metaverse


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David Beckham

Football star and entrepreneur David Beckham has kicked off a new game in the metaverse as global brand ambassador for the DigitalBits open-source blockchain protocol.

The role will see Beckham, 46, promoting DigitalBits, which supports digital assets including non-fungible tokens and stablecoins, to consumers and other organisations.

He will also team up with the start-up on several new projects. Among these are new ways to connect with fans, potentially in the next iteration of the internet known as the metaverse.

The metaverse has been defined as a virtual-reality space where users can interact within a computer-generated environment.

“I am always keen to find new ways to connect with my fans across the world,” Beckham said.

“The moment I spoke with [founder] Al [Burgio] and the DigitalBits team, I knew that this was a major opportunity to create new experiences for my fans online. I have always taken pride in working with the best teams, and I am so excited to work on my NFT collections and more innovations in the future.”

The value of the agreement has not been confirmed, but media reports estimate that it is worth £5 million ($6.5m).

Last year, DigitalBits signed an €85m ($92.8m) deal with Italian football club Inter Milan and sealed an agreement with AS Roma for €36m. Other sporting celebrities it has gone into partnership with include former boxer Floyd Mayweather and US professional basketball player Lisa Leslie.

Beckham, the former England footballer, and his wife, Victoria, are estimated to have a combined net worth of $450m, according to wealth tracker Celebrity Net Worth.

Football earnings have provided the lion’s share of those assets, but the Beckhams also have several businesses and endorsement deals. They also own a $24m penthouse in Miami.

Beckham owns the MLS football club Inter Miami. In 2019, he co-founded Studio 99, a production and content studio focused on unscripted films and advertising content for global brands. In 2020, he was announced as the co-owner of British professional e-sports company Guild Esports.

His brand endorsements include adidas, EA and Diageo.

Cast member Snoop Dogg arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Addams Family" at Westfield Century City on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Snoop Dogg

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr, known to the world as Snoop Dogg, has been one of the early movers in the metaverse. Now, the rapper is working to launch his own streaming app which will host music from his Death Row Records.

Until then, the music will “live in the metaverse” and operate as an “NFT label”, he said.

Snoop Dogg, 50, said low returns from streaming services prompted him to consider building an alternative revenue stream. He acquired Death Row Records, which launched his career, in February, and almost immediately took the label’s discography off streaming platforms.

“First thing I did was snatch all the music off those platforms traditionally known to people because those platforms don’t pay,” he told Revolt TV’s Drink Champs.

“Those platforms get millions and millions of streams, and nobody gets paid other than the record labels. So, what I wanted to do is snatch my music off, create a platform similar to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu. It’ll be a Death Row app and the music, in the meantime, will live in the metaverse.”

Snoop Dogg’s move appears to be part of an effort to help artists generate more profits from their work.

An artist whose music has been streamed 100 million times doesn’t make $1m, he said.

“I want to create an avenue to where I can show people how not to always have to go through the slave trade, but create our own trade where we are engaging with our own fans buying our music and then making us money off of the music by it being traded and sold,” he told the show.

The rapper said his most recent album, BODR (Bacc on Death Row), made $21m in the metaverse on the day it was released in February — a sum he said would not have been possible via streaming services.

BODR was initially available in the form of 25,000 “Stash Box” NFTs containing one of the album’s songs for $5,000 each, according to Billboard.

BODR is also available on streaming services.

Snoop Dogg has since also released some Death Row music in the form of limited-edition NFTs.

The American musician has his own virtual world called the Snoopverse, where paid participants can visit a digital version of his home and potentially attend virtual concerts.

On April 20, an early access pass to the Snoopverse was selling for the equivalent of $1,491 on gaming metaverse platform The Sandbox, according to the day’s cryptocurrency exchange rates.

Snoop Dogg owns virtual real estate in The Sandbox, where he has released NFTs and launched a virtual music video for the track House I Built.

Separately, he has released several NFT collections, including on the Cardano blockchain.

Snoop Dogg’s net worth is estimated at $150m by Celebrity Net Worth. His income includes music sales, television and film work, clothing lines and commercial endorsements, including Beyond Meat and Bic lighters.

Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma and her husband, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. Sharma recently invested in Wholsum Foods. AFP

Anushka Sharma

Bollywood star and new mum Anushka Sharma has been slowly building a portfolio of food-related investments. Last week, the actor joined Indian millet-based start-up Wholsum Foods as an investor and brand ambassador for its flagship brand Slurrp Farm.

The company, founded in 2016, creates millet-based snacks and meals for children that are also available in the UAE, as well as online in the US and UK. The ancient grain is a traditional food in India.

“It’s a realisation that hit home even harder after I became a mother — I want my daughter to develop a healthy relationship with food and I have to start her on that journey early on,” Sharma said.

“Wholsum Foods was started by two mothers so their mission to unjunk the plates of kids and families across the world resonates with me strongly … Through the partnership, I hope to help nurture India’s rich heritage of millets and enable today’s generation to leave behind a healthier lifestyle and planet for those to come,” she said.

Sharma posted a promotional announcement to her Instagram account last week, posing alongside co-founders Shauravi Malik and Meghana Narayan, a swimmer who represented India at the Asian Games.

Her investment follows Wholsum Foods’ $7m funding round led by Investment Corporation of Dubai and multi-stage venture fund Fireside Ventures. The Gurugram-based company aims to nearly triple revenue over the next year, from 550m Indian rupees ($7.2m) to 1.5 billion rupees by March 2023.

In February, Sharma and her husband, cricketer Virat Kohli, joined Mumbai-based fake meat brand Blue Tribe as investors and brand ambassadors for an undisclosed amount.

Sharma’s net worth is estimated to be about $35m, according to Indian media. Her income stems principally from acting and producing work in more than 20 films, and from endorsements for brands such as Standard Chartered bank.

The actor last month stepped away from Clean Slate Filmz, the production venture she founded with her brother, Karnesh, to concentrate on acting. She also owns fashion brand Nush, launched in 2017, and has several investments with Kohli.

Elvis Presley
Credit: courtesy RCA

Elvis Presley

Universal Music is to manage Elvis Presley’s song catalogue under a publishing deal with Authentic Brands Group announced earlier this month. Hits such as Can’t Help Falling in Love and Jailhouse Rock are covered under the deal, Reuters reported. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal comes before the June release of director Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, Elvis, starring Tom Hanks and Austin Butler.

It is the latest in a series of music catalogue deals, including sales by Bob Dylan, Tina Turner and Sting.

Presley’s estate is worth between $400m and $500m, according to Rolling Stone. At the time of his death at the age of 42 in 1977, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” was estimated to be worth $5m.

Updated: April 25, 2022, 5:00 AM



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