At first glance, DraftKings (DKNG 1.08%) and GameStop (GME 1.12%) appear to hold little in common. One is an emerging online gaming site, while the other is an established tech retailer working to redefine itself. However, the two consumer discretionary stocks hold one key commonality -- they have hinged part of their hopes on building a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace.

NFTs are unique, secured data attributes stored on a distributed ledger. In recent months, they have fallen out of favor, so much so that these marketplaces could become a detriment to both stocks. Still, regardless of NFTs, one stock will likely emerge as holding more potential.

The NFT marketplaces

NFTs surged in popularity in recent years. But according to the industry website NonFungible, interest has dropped significantly. Its sales volume fell by nearly 50% in the first quarter of 2022.

It remains unclear whether NFTs were a one-time fad or if they have just encountered a rough patch. But despite the turmoil, both DraftKings and GameStop have moved to enter this marketplace.

DraftKings has already launched its marketplace. The NFT site specializes in collectibles related to sports, entertainment, and culture. Also, it supports curated NFTs and secondary transactions.

In contrast, GameStop has not launched its NFT site just yet, but has plans to do so by the end of July. Moreover, it intends to target some different markets than DraftKings. It will focus more explicitly on the metaverse and emphasize selling blockchain tokens representing metaverse assets. Digital real estate and weapons used in games are examples of what its marketplace might sell.

Evaluating their potential

Of the two NFT marketplaces, DraftKings' potential is easier to measure at this time. This is primarily because it is the site that is currently operational, having launched in 2021. Despite that first-mover status, DraftKings did not discuss NFTs extensively in its first-quarter earnings report. It also published no financial figures related to this segment.

Additionally, most of its NFT-related news focused on linkages with other parts of the DraftKings ecosystem. Among those offerings was a Primetime NFT Series released before the NCAA basketball tournament, designed to drive engagement.

As for GameStop, its NFT market might be worth watching once it becomes available. forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 46% for the metaverse through 2031. Such growth could bode well for GameStop's NFT marketplace.

Still, the NFT market will probably have to recover. Moreover, GameStop will have to show it can execute its NFT strategy effectively if it wants to win over users and investors.

Should investors buy either stock based on NFT marketplaces?

In the end, NFT sales have become depressed, and neither DraftKings nor GameStop has proven itself in the NFT marketplace. Hence, investors should probably not consider NFTs when buying either stock.

Nonetheless, if forced to choose one of these NFT-related stocks, the financials appear to tilt the decision toward DraftKings. Its Q1 revenue came in at $417 million, a 34% increase year over year. While not as high as the 111% growth in 2021, revenue growth remains at elevated levels.

In contrast, GameStop's $1.4 billion in revenue grew by 8% in its fiscal Q1 (ended April 30), a decline from the 18% revenue increase it experienced in fiscal 2021. Although it is not a perfect comparison since GameStop's fiscal year is one month behind that of DraftKings, DraftKings has exhibited consistently faster revenue growth.

Admittedly, GameStop stock outperformed DraftKings over the last year. Also, the DraftKings price-to-sales (P/S) ratio of 3.5 is well above GameStop's 1.5 sales multiple.

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Nonetheless, DraftKings has built an online gaming ecosystem in the emerging online gambling market with fantasy sports, sportsbook, and casino gaming that could benefit from synergies with an NFT marketplace. As more states legalize online gaming, this ecosystem can serve as the most prominent alternative to visiting a casino.

Conversely, GameStop's business model is in trouble. The rise of e-commerce and the predominance of online game sales has threatened GameStop's reason for being. Though it pivoted into online sales and collectibles, these are established businesses where GameStop holds no meaningful competitive edge.

Also, as stated before, GameStop's prospects in the NFT business are uncertain at best. While one might say the same about the DraftKings NFT business, DraftKings will probably fare better even if neither company succeeds with non-fungible tokens.