Her second collection of non-fungible tokens, this partnerships marks the four-time Grand Slam champion's first with Autograph, which was co-founded by Tom Brady. Osaka joins retired MLB shortstop Derek Jeter and golf great Tiger Woods as members of the board of advisors.
"My sister dropped a collection of NFTs a few months ago, and it was exciting to see how well they did," Osaka told Yahoo Sports. "With NFTs, I’m able to choose special moments of my life to share directly with fans, which I find really empowering. Plus it’s an awesome way to be creative and tap into my passion for art."
Mari Osaka, who recently hung up her tennis racket for good, and Osaka launched their first joint collection of NFTs in April, auctioning off six pieces of art to benefit mental health initiatives for athletes worldwide. According to Hypebeast, the first five NFTs collectively sold for nearly $600,000, while the final was awarded through a raffle.
Osaka's first NFTs with Autograph are launching as part of the Pre-Season Access collection, which features iconic athletes in lively visual representations. For Friday's launch, the 23-year-old worked alongside the Autograph team to select an image of herself and digitally sign each graphic. By purchasing an NFT from the Pre-Season Access Collection, fans will have preferential access to future NFT drops on Autograph.
As the popularity of NFTs grow, so does the criticism. Osaka said to Yahoo Sports that while some speculate NFTs are just a trend, but that's actually the contrary.
"I think NFTs and crypto are here to stay, and it’s something I want to embrace," she argued. "This is the same fervor of collecting cards, but this time its digital which is so in-line with my generation and how we behave."
More from Yahoo Sports: