WWE successfully dipped its toes into the NFT market earlier this year. The company is said to have brought in more than $100,000 by auctioning off packages that included digital assets featuring The Undertaker (that are also cryptocurrency... read more about NFTs here) over WrestleMania 37 weekend.
So for SummerSlam, with John Cena back on the roster for a few months, the company decided to do something similar with the 16 time WWE World champ. For this go-round, fans could buy a Cena non-fungible token along with a limited edition merchandise, including the Super Mario Bros III shirt Cena debuted for his match with Roman Reigns in Las Vegas.
500 gold tier packages were offered for $1,000. Cena says 37 were sold.
The Suicide Squad star shared that news while appearing at Florida SuperCon last weekend. Cena said that while he and WWE thought they read the market right in terms of price, it turns out they “were absolutely wrong.” He called the venture “a catastrophic failure”:
“I talk a lot about failure. This idea failed.”
Cena was apologetic when a fan expressed disappointment he couldn’t get the merch because he couldn’t afford the package price, but overall chalked up the experience as one to grow on:
“... it’s okay to swing big. It’s okay to be wrong and okay to take chances, but when you are wrong and do fail and you have a moment where you can learn, learn. Course correct, move forward, grow.”
WWE President Nick Khan has talked up NFTs as a revenue stream to investors, and to the public at large as a way for the company “to deepen our connection with the WWE Universe.”
We’ll see what they learned from the “failure” of the Cena NFT effort.