The apex predators of the open ocean are being transformed into non-fungible tokens. To bring a new dimension to its annual Shark Week, the Discovery Channel has teamed up with Nifty’s to launch a set of 12 NFTs that will be attainable through two different methods.
To collect the complete set, viewers will need to tune into each night’s Shark Week programming. At 9 p.m. ET, a QR code will appear on screen, and those who scan it will be able to claim a free token. Seven of the 12 NFTs will be made available this way, and the other five will be sold on the Nifty’s platform between July 20 and July 31. Those “premium” items will feature five of the most celebrated shark species in the world: Great White, Hammerhead, Goblin, Whale, and Frilled.
Nifty’s, as its name implies, uses NFTs to engage fan communities. It has previously partnered with several other time-honored franchises, including Looney Tunes, The Matrix, and Space Jam. Collectors who manage to snag all 12 Shark Week tokens will be able to claim exclusive rewards, including official merchandise tied to the annual programming block.
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Discovery tends to use Shark Week to connect with digital fan communities and explore the potential of emerging technology. The seven-day celebration of Chondrichthyes first aired in 1987 and has become a social media phenomenon in the digital age. On Instagram alone, there a 1.4 million posts that feature the #sharkweek hashtag.
An NFT-based promotion may seem like an odd choice for Shark Week. Some shows that wair during the block chronicle the protection and observation of shark communities, and NFTs have been criticized for their negative impact on the environment. To align its digital tokens with its brand ethos, Discovery has turned to Nifty’s “eco-friendly” NFT platform, which uses the Palm Network to efficiently mint items.
Discovery will also pair its Shark Week NFT collection with a $5,000 donation to Beneath the Waves (BTW), an organization focused on ocean conservation. BTW previously launched an NFT line of its own, with all proceeds going to shark research. At the time, the organization’s CEO, Dr. Austin Gallagher, called these sorts of promotions “the future of fundraising.”
So the Shark Week NFTs are mindful of the environment, but can they weather the “crypto winter” that has tanked token prices and led to layoffs at major exchanges? Anyone who’s seen a piece of Shark Week programming knows that some shark species are always swimming and incapable of stopping. That mentality will help Discovery as it winds its way through the Web3 world.