Written in partnership with Ascend Agency

Many of us enjoyed collecting trading cards of our favorite athletes and entertainment stars as children. While some just enjoyed collecting as a form of entertainment, card connoisseurs knew they were much more than just a pretty picture. Even in the early days of trading cards, collectors understood that these rare finds were like historical artifacts telling a story about the time itself.  

Take, for example, Honus Wagner’s Pittsburg Pirates baseball card. Known as “The Flying Dutchman,” Wagner was a legendary baseball player with a bat-shattering swing, but his popularity is often overshadowed by stars like Cobbs, Mantle, or Babe “The Great Bambino” Ruth. Still, his baseball card competes with the best of them. In August 2021, Wagner’s 1911 American Tobacco Company T206 card sold for $6.06 million — due to the card’s rarity and Wagner’s own complicated relationship with the American Tobacco Company.  

Trading cards that signify an important sports season or particular event have more value and staying power, and even today, collectors are willing to spend millions on these iconic bits of American history. But there is a new form of collectible card overtaking the market, as now, in 2022, the rise of NFTs is enabling these illustrative moments to be more interactive and less likely to diminish. 

As athletes were the centerpiece of entertainment in the 20th century, the fascination with celebrities has taken a life of its own in the 21st. Fans looking to connect with their celebrity heroes find themselves liking tweets, following Facebook posts, and commenting on Instagram to become a small part of a popular personality’s life. More than ever before, fans want to be a part of celebrity history as much as they want to capture it.  

On the flipside, celebrities are also trying to engage with their audiences in new and genuine ways. But while celebrities try to establish an authentic connection with their fans by creating groups or organizing meetups, these efforts are often bogged down by logistics, internet trolls, and spambots. Celebrities can’t effectively include followers in their iconic moments when facing a mountain of criticism on social media or trying to differentiate fans from frauds.  

To establish a closer relationship and provide tangible value for supporters, a new blockchain project, Zoop, allows fans to connect with their favorite celebrities, musicians, and athletes through trading cards. Like athletes of the past, celebrities can distribute a limited amount of rare digital trading cards representing iconic moments in pop culture history.

These trading cards also act as a calling card for stars to distinguish between casual admirers and truly faithful fandom members. Soon, using digital trading cards to solidify celebrity-fan relationships is expected to become the norm for stars with large fanbases, who can use them to build their own authentic community and create online touchpoints for their audience.   

Prior to Zoop’s app launch, a unique access card known as the “Zoop Priority Pass” will be issued in limited quantities. The pass serves as a gateway to exclusive community experiences and premium content. In addition, each card will be a collector’s item, with distinct, creative artwork.   

Ultimately, Zoop’s mission is to put power back in the hands of creators. They plan to revolutionize how celebrities connect with their followers and how fans access like-minded digital communities. This ultimate platform is set to serve as a hub for fans, creating unique fan experiences available for purchase using Zoop tokens. 

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