14/07/2021 NFT Startup Venture Notables Draws CAA, UTA, WME as Advisors (EXCLUSIVE)

Notables NFT
Courtesy of Notables

Investment firm Forest Road Co. has enlisted Hollywood’s largest talent agencies CAA, UTA and WME to help launch the NFT sales venture Notables.

Notables is designed to serve as both a creator of NFTs and as an online sales platform for the “non-fungible tokens” offered up for auction as unique digital items often aimed at super-fans of a given sector or personality. Notables describes CAA, UTA and WME as “stakeholders” in the company, although it’s not clear if there is direct investment. Creative marketing agency Matte Project is also on board as a stakeholder.

The talent agency connection is designed to facilitate the creation of one-of-a-kind items tied to their high-wattage clients. Forest Road is the same firm that recently partnered with Disney alums Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs on two special purpose acquisition vehicles, but Notables is not part of either of those SPACs. Mayer and Staggs are board members of the Forest Road Co. parent company.

The Notables management team will be unveiled soon, a spokeswoman said.

Forest Road has been building Notables as a startup since late last year. A selling point for Notables is that it plans over time to make NFT sales available via traditional currency and credit cards rather than solely in cryptocurrencies, as most NFTs are offered today. However, Notables’ first two “drops” for sale will be offered only for cryptocurrency buyers.

Notables aims to position itself to content creators and IP holders as a clearinghouse for the creation and distribution of NFTs. Notables is the latest in a string of bets made by investors and entertainment industry players that NFTs will gain real value and not become to the 2020s what the Pet Rock was to the 1970s.

Notables’ strategic advisory board includes Ashley Graver, Spotify’s global head of creative artist partnerships; Golnar Khosrowshahi, founder & CEO of Reservoir Media Management; Lesley Silverman, digital assets agent at UTA; Fara Leff, chief operating officer at Klutch Sports Group; and Tara Dziedzic, NYSE’s head of business development for global listings.

“The potential for Notables to power new revenue streams for creators is incredible,” Graver said. “Notables has the unique ability to allow artists to push the boundaries of fan engagement.”

Like Forest Road, Notables will be based in New York and Los Angeles. Matte Projects will focus on developing the company’s brand identity and working on designs with IP holders.

“While the NFT market has quickly become saturated, we have aligned with Notables’ blue-chip approach and the belief that NFTs are far more than a novelty but a powerful way for artists to own and monetize their work, and a unique way for fans to collect masterpieces,” said Matthew Rowean, chief creative officer for Matte Projects.

Forest Road also touts Notables as on track to be the first-ever “carbon-neutral” NFT platform through Forest Road’s existing investments in renewable energy — an effort to assuage Hollywood concerns about the high cost of electricity and other resources used to create NFTs and the cryptocurrency markets that fuel their sale.

Forest Road has vowed to deploy “upwards of $100 million” with two unnamed partners to fund the generation of 160 megawatts of solar energy to help offset the natural resources used to drive the Notables platform.