Following the lead of projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and World of Women, the creators of Ethereum NFT project Cool Cats have signed major representation as they explore ways to expand the brand into other industries.
The Cool Cats makers have signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to explore potential licensing and merchandising opportunities, including things like animated content, brand deals, publishing, and events.
“The world that we’re building is full of imagination and full of just things to explore,” artist Colin “Clon” Egan told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s going to be more of an experience, rather than just a JPEG.”
Cool Cats launched in July 2021 and saw a swell of attention last fall, including a single NFT sale of more than $1.1 million worth of ETH, plus a partnership with Time magazine. All told, the collection of 9,999 NFT images has generated about $318 million worth of secondary sales to date, per data from CryptoSlam.
Notable Cool Cats holders include actress Reese Witherspoon, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and DJ Steve Aoki. Cool Cats recently launched a secondary Cool Pets project, with 20,000 total NFT images spanning a wider variety of creatures. That project has yielded more than $81 million in secondary NFT sales to date.
Holders of Cool Cats have a non-exclusive license to use their owned images for various commercial purposes, including to market products and create merchandise. That said, the creators of Cool Cats still own the overall intellectual property and can also use the images, as co-founder Evan Luza told The Hollywood Reporter.
An NFT functions like a receipt for a digital item, with profile picture projects like Cool Cats leading much of the market hype over the last year. All told, the market generated $25 billion in trading volume in 2021, with momentum carrying on into January but fading into February and more noticeably so far in March.
Last August, CryptoPunks and Meebits creator Larva Labs signed with United Talent Agency (UTA) to bring those NFT franchises to other entertainment verticals. However, given Larva’s recent sale of both IPs to Yuga Labs—creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club—it’s unclear whether that alliance will ultimately yield any fruit.
In October, Yuga Labs signed veteran music industry executive Guy Oseary to oversee its own push into entertainment and licensing for the Bored Ape Yacht Club. And in January, the World of Women NFT project likewise signed Oseary to begin its own Hollywood push. Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production studio will create film and TV projects based on World of Women.
CAA has signed a couple of other NFT-related clients, including pseudonymous collector 0xb1 to harness his collection (including valuable Bored Apes) for brand deals, as well as “Jenkins the Valet,” a fictional character based on a Bored Ape NFT.