NICKLAUS COMPANIES AND SOUL MACHINES TO RELEASE FIRST NFT COLLECTION CELEBRATING THE GOLF LEGEND'S RECORD 18 MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORIES
Each NFT will unlock an intimate story behind his triumphs, told by Digital Jack, the Digital Twin of 38-year-old Jack Nicklaus, and include exclusive real-world experiences, merchandise, autographed memorabilia, and a passport into the Golden Bear metaverse.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nicklaus Companies and Soul Machines have announced the historic first release of an exclusive NFT collection celebrating the legacy of Jack Nicklaus, reborn in web3. The collection consists of 18 tokens, each featuring a 30 second video of Digital Jack recounting the story of one of Jack Nicklaus’ 18 championship wins. Owners have the opportunity to become founding members of the Golden Bear Club: an NFT initiative connecting superfans to exclusive digital and real-world experiences, with Digital Jack at its center. Owners can register for the NFT via the official Golden Bear website and Premint. Through the Digital Jack NFT, fans can unlock and own memories of Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time, and the first athlete in the world with an autonomously animated, AI-driven Digital Twin using state of the art technology from Soul Machines.
The NFT collection, maintained by Nicklaus Companies in perpetuity, will launch on Aspen NFT Marketplace with transferable, on-chain terms and conditions. Additional purchase perks include signed memorabilia, exclusive Jack Nicklaus® merchandise, and an invitation to the 2023 Jack Nicklaus International Invitational Tournament Experience: consisting of VIP hospitality tickets and two days of 18-hole rounds of golf at a Jack Nicklaus-designed signature golf course, valued at $15,000.
The NFT collection is the latest evolution of Nicklaus Companies’ partnership with Soul Machines, the groundbreaking company pioneering the creation of autonomously animated Digital Celebrities in the metaverse and the digital worlds of today. Beginning in 2021, in partnership with Nicklaus Companies, Soul Machines created Digital Jack, an autonomously animated digital version of Jack Nicklaus, reimagined as a 38-year-old man at the championship peak of his record golf career. Now, Soul Machines is leveraging its deep-tech research and advanced motion capture technology to transform Digital Jack’s authentic likeness, facial movements, and mannerisms for each of the 18 NFTs in the collection.
“When Jack and I first became partners, a main focus of our mission was to institutionalize the brand and enhance his legacy for future generations,” said Howard Milstein, Executive Chairman of the Nicklaus Companies. “Soul Machines and Greg Cross are world leaders in this innovative technology. Our latest collaboration not only enhances the way Jack’s fans engage with him today, but also opens the door to a new generation of sports lovers looking to learn about golf from the best to ever play the game.”
“We’re excited to build on our partnership with the Nicklaus team and expand the capabilities of our AI technology across both blockchain and the metaverse,” said Greg Cross, CEO of Soul Machines. “This NFT collection broadens the reach of Digital Jack, offering access to his memories, wisdom, and charisma on a global scale, and furthers Soul Machines’ goal to provide unique, one-on-one user experiences in our increasingly digital world.”
Soul Machines, founded in 2016 by serial tech entrepreneur Greg Cross and Academy-Award winner Mark Sagar, brings avatars to life in the form of autonomously animated 3D Digital People. Leveraging groundbreaking AI technology, Soul Machines aims to improve the way we work, play and engage with the metaverse by creating astonishingly lifelike Digital People that have audio and visual perception and the ability to respond with gestures and motion, be aware of and interact with humans. Soul Machines’ Digital People deliver highly personalized brand experiences for global enterprises including NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®, P&G, Twitch, and The World Health Organization, while also redefining entertainment and fan engagement through celebrity Digital Twins, including Carmelo Anthony, Jack Nicklaus and Mark Tuan. Whether creating a digital ambassador or influencer for a brand in the metaverse, or opening new paths for celebrity figures to engage with their fans, Digital People by Soul Machines add a uniquely immersive element to human interaction to elevate experiences in the metaverse and today’s digital worlds. For more information, visit www.soulmachines.com.
For over 50 years, the mission of Nicklaus Companies and its predecessors has been to enhance the golf experience and to deliver quality branded products and services on a global basis that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of its founder, Jack Nicklaus.
Nicklaus Companies’ businesses include golf-course design, the development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of lifestyle products worldwide under the iconic Jack Nicklaus® and Golden Bear® brands.
Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has created over 430 courses worldwide, open for play in 45 countries and 40 U.S states.
In 2007, Jack Nicklaus partnered with Howard Milstein to further the growth of these businesses and expand the established brands into new businesses. In addition to institutionalizing the Nicklaus brands for the future, Milstein has instilled a personal philosophy of “A Brand That Gives Back”; with products and partners committing to donations to help the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and other charities.
A leading entrepreneur in the golf industry, Milstein also created 8AM Golf, a family of companies that also includes GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com, Miura Golf, Club Conex, True Spec Golf, Chirp, 3’s and GolfLogix. All share a common mission to help players at all levels enjoy the game more.
The team at Nicklaus Companies prides itself with leveraging the brand’s winning heritage to achieve excellence, growth and champion social good.
For further information, please visit www.nicklaus.com.
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SOURCE Soul Machines