How Did BAYC Become Such a Successful NFT Project?

Have you ever wondered why BAYC has enjoyed such massive success and following? Let’s see how they managed to provide more and more value to the collector and insane success to its creators and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

The rise of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT art project by Yuga Labs has been rather insane. However, it should be an inspiration to other NFT creators out there. In an ever-tech-savvier world, converting their art into NFTs or launching new NFT projects is a relatively new but very efficient way for artists to monetize their work. 

The sale of the original NFT does entail a hefty paycheck. However, let’s not forget about the royalties associated with each time the NFT changes hands. The notion that “artists are poor” or “there’s not much money in the field of art” is bound to change soon. A generation of multi-millionaire individuals who got there by creating or flipping digital art is coming. 

Bored Ape #8585 sold for $2.7 million last October 

What is so Special About BAYC?

In the case of BAYC, what started as a way to get your random ape for under $200, now has apes selling for a floor price in excess of 200 thousand dollars! The project surpassed one billion dollars in total sales in January this year. However, the incredible community formed around this project is more important than prices.

What the creators of BAYC offered ape owners was a membership to the actual yacht club. Within that membership, the collector got periodic bonuses or exclusive merch. They even attended special events and gatherings for being a part of the ape crew.

The exceptional value generated in this project is all about the community of people that have purchased these apes. They are doing a lot to lift each other and bring value to themselves and the rest of the community.

Many Hollywood celebrities and other hugely prominent figures from the sporting world and the music and television industry, like Jimmy Fallon, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Stephen Curry, etc., have all “aped in” and actively endorsed their digital apes in their everyday lives.

Prominent personalities and their web3 avatars 

BAYC organizes many exclusive social gatherings and events. They have their own YouTube radio channel and even discord servers, with active members supporting and mentoring each other. 

The networking opportunity this provides to any collector is extraordinary. There is easy exposure to successful people from various backgrounds. For example, the co-founder of Ethereum, a paradigm-shifting giant in the blockchain industry.

When it comes to randomly generated images, it’s hard to make them look cohesive or well put together. But in BYAC’s case, the art itself is excellent, and collectors love using their apes as their Twitter avatars, their other online avatars, etc. It becomes a sort of animal mascot for them, thus serving as a digital identity.

What brings even more value to collectors is that they receive commercial usage rights. Meaning, they can sell any spinoff product based on the art or even license the image to secondary parties. The token acts like an ID card that gives them exclusive access to a variety of things.

Bored Ape Kennel Club Initiative

Since its opening launch, the founding team has further created free-to-redeem pet NFTs for all ape owners via the Bored Ape Kennel Club initiative.

There’s something called “The Bathroom,” where collectors can place one pixel in a specific timeline and then draw stuff together with other ape owners. It’s pretty impressive that people drew cohesive images. It’s magical when the internet actually works together, which is an excellent part of the ape crew.

The Mutant Ape Yacht Club was also launched later to expand the community to interested individuals who weren’t brave enough to come in at the beginning. They unleashed 10,000 zombified apes, with missing limbs and weird growths, via an auction. The mutant apes sold out within an hour with a floor price of 3 ETH, or about $11,000.

The BAYC team then randomly airdropped 10,000 “serums”, to pre-existing Ape owners for their Apes to “drink” and hence create mutated clones in the form of separate NFTs to add to their collection.

In October 2021, they announced and organized the first annual Ape Fest, which ran from Oct. 31st through Nov. 6th, and included an in-person gallery party, yacht party, warehouse party, merch pop-up, and charity dinner in New York.

The creators even sold branded baseball caps and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to ape sanctuaries and other charities. They recently surprised collectors with a treasure hunt. The winner received 5 ETH and another ape.

Roadmap 2.0

They have a Roadmap 2.0 in place, having already delivered what they promised on Roadmap 1.0 to their community. 

Even then, the BAYC team is still searching for ways to create more value by building even more doors that the tokens can unlock.

Yuga Labs has already hired several artists, social media managers, and Discord community managers. “We want to be a Web3 lifestyle company,” said Goner, one of the creators of the BAYC, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, where he emphasized that they’re still growing.

Such a consistent hunger to bring more value to its community brings massive success and following to a project, the likes of which BAYC creators have enjoyed. Reaping the success of their NFT art project, Yuga Labs even recently acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits from LarvaLabs, in a deal that rocked the NFT space.

There is much to learn from the journey of BAYC and its creators. The main focus for NFT artists should be to incentivize their collectors and consistently provide value to their community. The community is bound to give back to its creators naturally. 

OpenSea Monthly NFT Sales Volume and Active Traders, Source from Dune Analytics
OpenSea Monthly NFT Sales Volume and Active Traders, Source from Dune Analytics

An insight into BAYC’s journey to the top highlights the importance of being community-driven. It can give other NFT creators great ideas and techniques that, if correctly executed, would make their NFT project, without a doubt, a huge success. 

BAYC was just the Don Bradman of NFT art projects. The Brian Laras, Sachin Tendulkars, and Shane Warnes are yet to come!

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