MGM Resorts International is taking a technological leap into entertainment by becoming the first Las Vegas resort to sell non-fungible token-enabled live performance experiences.
MGM partnered with New York City-based ticketing blockchain YellowHeart to sell 1,100 NFT-enabled tickets to see the Jabbawockeez dance troupe and its new production, “Timeless.”
Andrew Machado, MGM Resorts’ senior vice president of digital design and business adjacencies, said the opportunity to add value to a ticket transaction — and to be the first to do it in Las Vegas — was what drove the company into the NFT realm.
“When you look at MGM, we sit at the intersection of gaming and entertainment and we’re always looking at ways to delight our guests,” Machado told the Review-Journal. “When you look at what NFTs can do, it feels like something natural in a space that we should be playing in and experimenting with.”
The NFT VIP ticket bundles will sell for $155 and $340 and provides different levels of immersive experiences that buyers can enjoy well after the performance.
When NFT holders redeem their limited-edition tickets at the show, their monochrome digital ticket transforms into a Jabbawockeez video, which becomes a permanent keepsake and a digital key unlocking other exclusive benefits.
NFT ticket holders will get premium seats, behind-the-scenes access and meet-and-greet opportunities at Jabbawockeez’s “Timeless” production, which runs April 7 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. as well as April 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30.
NFT ticket owners also become founding members of the MGM Rewards-Jabbawockeez NFT community — receiving limited-edition content, merchandise and future offers from MGM Resorts and Jabbawockeez. Additionally, 24 hours after the show, NFT owners will receive a signature “History in Motion” collectible commemorating the moment in the group’s history.
The $340 VIP Icon Ticket Bundle provides early theater entry, premium seating, a Jabbawockeez meet-and-greet, exclusive merchandise, unique digital collectibles and “Timeless” content, status as a founding member of the MGM Rewards-Jabbawockeez NFT community and a $100 food-and-beverage voucher for use at MGM Grand’s Level Up bar the night of the show.
The VIP MC Ticket Bundle that sells for $155 provides special seating, Jabbawockeez digital collectibles and content, status as a founding member of the NFT community and a $25 food-and-beverage voucher for use at Level Up.
A natural partner
Machado said he believes the Jabbawockeez are a natural partner for the NFT project.
“We’ve been working together for years, they’re out-of-the-box thinkers and there are a lot of ways we could work together for something like this,” he said. “When it comes to the NFT experience, I wouldn’t just limit it to the Jabbawockeez but I would say what we’ve created with them is something special. When you buy the NFT ticket, you get this incredible digital experience where the ticket is almost alive.”
Machado said working with YellowHeart, a pioneer in NFT ticketing experiences, has resulted in providing easy transactions for consumers.
“The exciting element is the fact that we’re at the point where you can make a transaction like this so easily through YellowHeart,” he said. “You pull out your (credit) card and you’re getting this magical experience delivered to your app and all of the complexity is removed.”
Josh Katz, founder and CEO of YellowHeart, said NFT ticketing and Las Vegas are a perfect match.
“Up until now, ticketing for Vegas has never changed,” Katz said. “It’s been the same since the invention of Las Vegas where a ticket acts as a barcode, a person purchases a receipt, where now a ticket not only gets you into an event but continues giving you utility, opportunity and access post-event.”
MGM ‘a game changer’
Calling NFT ticketing “a truly game-changing moment for Las Vegas,” Katz said the partnership with MGM is not exclusive and that YellowHeart would be happy to work with other Las Vegas companies and performers in the future. But he praised MGM management for coming to him last summer to work on Wednesday’s ticket launch.
“MGM is a very innovation-forward-thinking company,” Katz said. “The senior leadership really understands that you need to push the boundaries of innovation in order to better the product and the guest experience so when they learned of us in NFT ticketing, they immediately raised their hand to be one of the first to be using it.”
Katz said Las Vegas being a 24-hour city also makes the project worthwhile.
“In a town like Vegas, it really is the perfect fit because you leave the show and the night’s just starting.”
Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.
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