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Navigating Web3: Behind the Scenes of the Diego Maradona NFT

Brand and investment company, Podium Ventures, speaks exclusively to License Global to discuss creating the Diego Maradona NFT, the pitfalls of Web3 IP legislation and the future of digital brand engagement.

Ben Roberts

August 2, 2022

3 Min Read
Sanjay Wadhwani.
Sanjay Wadhwani.Podium Ventures

Sanjay Wadhwani, chief executive officer, founder, Podium Ventures, is tasked with bringing the brand of football legend Diego Maradona to a new generation, and Web3 may be the key. 

Led by Maradona's sisters Lili and Rita Maradona, alongside Sattvica – the commercial entity controlling the worldwide rights to Maradona's brand name, image and likeness – the Podium Ventures partnership is built on the vision for growing the Maradona brand globally, with a particular focus on Web3, the gaming sector and the metaverse. 

After establishing MetaFrames – a next-generation Web3 media company – in 2020, Podium Ventures will launch the Official Maradona Fan Club to take the icon into the age of Web3.  

License Global: How are you approaching the brand of Diego Maradona, someone who is considered a legend in sports? 

Sanjay Wadhwani: Maradona is a true football icon and a hero to millions, but his fame transcends the world of sport. He is one of the most famous names of the 20th century, and the brand should reflect this. 

Working with his estate, specifically with his sisters Lili and Rita, what are you hoping to achieve with the Diego Maradona brand? Where do you see the biggest opportunities for the brand?  

When a brand is built around a much-loved person who has passed, we are responsible for ensuring the values are true to who they were and protecting their legacy. Looking ahead, we're particularly excited about the opportunity to introduce millions of younger football fans to this all-time great. Video games, mobile and Web3 –as that develops – will offer lots of ways to do this. 

Let's approach the NFT market. What is the real draw for a brand like Diego Maradona, and how can you use his unique archive to create collectibles? 

There's a lot of hype now, but we are thinking long-term on this. There are fun collectibles and amazing artwork as part of this project, but the long-term value is membership in the new fan club, something that will be added on an ongoing basis. 

We've spent eight months planning and developing the collection because we know how important Maradona is to many people.  

Where do you see the NFT market going, and where is the consumer demand sitting right now? 

It's changing all the time, and it's changing quickly. We're probably moving from the phase of many things based mainly on novelty to a more stable phase where people are looking for tangible value.  

The NFT consumer base is still a tiny and specialized group. The real opportunity is for this to become more accessible and useful to many more people, but there's a lot to be done to take this into the mainstream. It's something we look forward to working on over the coming months as we develop the next Maradona collection. 

You're a specialist in this area. How do you think IP legislation will change in the wake of Web3? 

At first, there was a lot of confusion over IP in Web3 and many misuses. But we've seen that the fundamentals remain the same.  

However, the area I am most interested in is how Web3 can open new opportunities for individuals to create and provide access to people who may not have been able to make a living from their talents before. 

We believe that the brands that recognize this and act early will benefit greatly too. And in time, legislation will catch up with commercial practice. 

About the Author(s)

Ben Roberts

Content Director (EMEA), License Global

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