Through the Apex Doodles NFT project, Oscar Joyce is combining his twin passions for Art and Racing while giving his fans the opportunity to follow his karting journey onto Formula 4.
This article is based on an interview I had with Oscar Joycethe Formula 4 Racer and Founder of Apex Doodles.
Sports fans have traditionally expressed their support for their favorite teams and sportspersons through the accumulation and exchange of collectables, merchandise, stickers, posters, and even trading cards. With the recent introduction of utility NFTs, we are now witnessing the emergence of a whole new facet for fan engagement and sports memorabilia.
After making a grand entry in late 2020, NFTs have taken the world by storm. Starting with art, NFTs have been spreading tentacles across a number of industries including music, real estate, ticketing, and digital collectables.
With recent developments in utility NFTs that give holders special rights and benefit apart from the amazing art features, there is no telling how further the technology is going to go.
Since NFTs are digital tokens that represent the ownership of real-world objects, they have become a popular method for fans to showcase their support for their favorite sportspersons and teams.
As an added advantage, NFTs can be traded in the open market. Add this to the fact that they also store value, which may appreciate or depreciate over time, and it becomes clear why crypto holders and fans have been flocking into the space.
One project that is launching soon in the space is Apex Doodles, an NFT project that allows fans to follow Kart racing ace, Oscar Joyce, through his karting journey and onto Formula 4. An up-and-coming racer, Oscar Joyce combines two of his passions through the Apex Doodles NFT project: Art and racing.
As previously promised, in this episode of Meet the CEO, we chart to Oscar Joyce. Oscar Joyce is a Formula 4 Racer and Founder of Apex Doodles. Through the Apex Doodles NFT project, Oscar Joyce is combining his twin passions for Art and Racing while giving his fans the opportunity to follow his karting journey onto Formula 4 using utility NFTs.
Can you please share a bit about your background, highlighting your karting journey and involvement in Formula 4?
I started karting when I was 14 years old. This was down at my local track Daytona Sandown Park. During the 12 months at the track, my speed became more and more promising after winning heats, sprint races and even setting some lap records. This later came to the point where we wanted to make the step-up into owner with Premium Karting and went to Bayford Meadows for a test. After that the rest is history and we started racing across the UK.
The weird thing is that, when I first started racing, I broke my hand, which set me back for 3 months. Then, I broke my coccyx (2 months out). And then Covid happened. So, all in all, we have only been racing for around 2 and a half years in total.
Coming to the end of last season, I was approached by a Formula 4 team based in Italy. They offered us to join them in pre-season testing at the beginning of this year. This is one of the reasons why the Apex Doodles project came about in the first place.
I understand that you are still in school. How do you manage to balance that with racing and now NFTs?
Thankfully, I have completed my final exams now (A Levels) and I am taking a year out of education to try and focus on my racing and this project to try and see how far we can get it to go. When we were in the talks and the development of the project it was very challenging due to the level of work and artwork that I was refining. I had the exams on the horizon which meant I had to do lots of revision to try and keep on top of them. As you can tell, revision and racing don’t really go hand in hand. When you are racing, there are so many things to remember such as references, data and small things that can make a massive difference to your performance.
So, to answer the question, in short, it was very hard to make that balance between exams, racing and the NFT project. I think the hardest thing was when we took the time out of racing and chose not to race at the second round of the British Champs this year due to one of my exams being on the Monday after the race weekend. I had had such a great first round putting us 6th in the championship, then I had to sit and watch my competitors race!
What is Apex Doodles? And what motivated you to start a project that combines NFTs and sports?
Well, Apex doodles started during my revision and yes I know that sounds weird. Basically, I had mock exams coming up and when I was revising, I started doodling in between my revision sessions. This led to me showing my dad these crazy sketches that I had been doing and we came up with the idea of selling them as NFTs. My dad and I had been monitoring the crypto space for the past 6–7 months and we thought why don’t we try and merge the communities together to try and use it as a funding model for drivers and athletes in sports.
That is how the idea came about but the main motivation for the project was the expenses involved with getting into sports, which unfortunately creates a barrier for many great talents in sports. This is a massive problem within the motorsport community, I think it’s obvious looking at some of the F1 drivers who have their seats in F1 now. They are only there because of how much money they are putting on the table each year. Furthermore, there are stories within the motorsport community that I can’t disclose but make me think people have more money than sense.
What are the main goals for the project and did you create Apex Doodles to serve your racing funding only or other racers as well?
The main goal for the project is to try and get it to the point where we can use it as a springboard for myself as well as other drivers and athletes. We have a long-term vision and we even want to try to help different athletes fund their careers within different sports.
How does Apex Doodles solve funding for new race car drivers as well as athletes in general?
It doesn’t solve funding. It offers a new channel which has never been seen before within the funding community of athletes.
We all know people normally will make blog posts and social media posts to try and search for a company that is willing to sponsor them. The problem with this especially in racing is sponsorship can be the decider each weekend whether a driver is going to turn up or not, and through classical sponsorship, they will set goals for the drivers that they must meet. If the driver doesn’t meet those goals, the sponsor will withdraw from sponsoring the driver.
With Apex Doodles, we aim to build a community showing the journey and the complexity of how many factors need to come together to get to the next stage in a motorsport career. It will allow the athlete or driver to reach their goal and have community backing while enabling fans to feel like part of the journey through the high and lows of the sport.
Is Apex Doodles a one man project? Who are some of your team members?
The team is made up of about five people who have been bringing it to fruition:
- Alex Shaw — big advisor and thinker!
- Nick Callos — PR man
- David Goodwin — Smart Contract Development Guru
- Dad Joyce – Putting his finger in everything
- Oscar Joyce – Doodler and Racer
What more can your NFTs do for their holders apart from being a collectible?
There are various benefits to becoming a holder of one of the Apex Doodle pieces, such as joining our private discord channel or the opportunity to spend a day testing with me on track. We will have our own race championship online and offer incentives for the next collection. Following the journey is part of it and we will bring everybody on the journey and invite the community as we go to a few of the races.
It is a real-life NFT project that we see crossing over into the crypto community space and in the future, we may well stream some of the races live into Decentraland!
How much is the total supply of Apex Doodle NFTs? Will they go in all together for public sale or do you plan to sell in phases?
The first wave will land in Q3 2022. There are 256 NFTs that have already been racing. We will sell these all together at this point. As we travel, we will do unique one-offs and then a further collection at the beginning of next year to mark our next stage in motorsport.
Please elaborate on your roadmap. Where are you and what are some of the future developments and events that your fans and investors can look out for?
Wow, this is the funny part. We are only at the beginning of it in the karting stage at the moment. But in the future, we hope to move into the formula categories with the help of Apex Doodles and see how far we can get into motorsport.
Whether this is in GT racing or Formula racing we’ll just have to see what the future details. We will be letting the community know as we go. Here is the full roadmap for Apex Doodles.
Are there any plans for partnerships or affiliate programs with other sports people, content creators and streamers?
As mentioned, the whole idea of the project is to help other athletes in whatever sport reach their goals without having the burden of funding being an issue.
So in short, yes, we would love to make the project more than just racing. At the moment, we are also looking for content creators and streamers and other people who are interested in being part of the project to join the team.
Why should a fan own an Apex Doodles NFT? Are there any benefits or perks attached to the NFTs?
If you are into racing, then our aim is to take people on the journey and show the ups and downs of the sport. By holding an NFT, we will give you an inside track to the sport. As we travel, there will be different perks and we will respond to what the community asks for.
From private test days and driver coaching to online championships, we aim to be different and engage at different levels with the NFT space and real-life racing. We are the first, so I think there will be a variety of ideas that we need to build on.
Once again, as mentioned, there will be many massive perks, such as invite-only private track days that include driver coaching, as well as other exclusive things from the motorsport community for people to see.
When is the first set of the Apex Doodle Genesis NFTs dropping and what special features can your fans look out for?
One of the main features to look for within the project is the names of the pieces. They all have a link to racing and motorsport but make sure you look out for Mr Apex. It is fun and the piece of artwork is racing on the track in the UK and Europe.
Looking at the whole NFT industry in general, there are critics who have said that most NFTs tend to be overpriced while offering little to no value. What do you think NFTs need to offer to succeed?
NFTs have to offer value within the real world, combining both the digital and physical to create change in the real world. This is something that needs to happen within the NFT space. Owning something on the blockchain is very cool, but seeing the change in other people’s lives is even better. Especially linking it to this project scene, the change we hope to see is within the funding models of motorsport.
In general, NFTs are a part of new modern art and the artist can offer different perks and things to their community to try and give more to a buyer of an NFT.