As non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are phenomenally changing the landscape of art, they have become huge billboards for markets too. The best use case of them being – NFTs taking the ‘sports world’ by storm…
Consequently, more and more athletes, clubs, and sports are getting on the crypto collectibles bandwagon, be it NBA or the world’s largest football club Manchester!! The NFTs from these platforms have demonstrated significant impact on the sports world and proved to be a talking point for sports fans across the globe.
But what are Sports NFTs? Let’s find out..
What are Sport NFTs?
Sport NFTs are distinct NFTs themed on sports, that have non-interchangeable records stored on blockchain, a digital ledger.
Thus, many NFTs from the sports world are digital souvenirs and trading cards featuring some of the popular athletes. Sports NFTs can also be photos, clips or for that matter even audio of the best sport moments!
In fact, many teams from different sports and ticket vendors have joined the NFT world by minting ticket stubs into NFTs. The Golden State Warriors were the first professional sports team to issue its own NFTs in April last year.
Many of us have had a shared childhood memory of collecting sports mementos (nostalgic yet?). How can we forget exchanging sports items and collectibles like cards, signed jerseys, and so on, for money even though it was a lot of hassle.
Thanks to sports NFTs, fans can now verify the legitimacy of such things on the blockchain and conduct peer-to-peer swaps in seconds.
The underlying blockchain technology of NFTs offer security to proprietorship and also retain the exclusivity of historic sports memorabilia.
We’ve included a few of these platforms below that are already changing the face and fate of the sports world with a blown-up adoption of NFTs.
The first off the list is definitely the NFTs from the big shot of the sports world- the NBA!!
It all started when Dapper Labs, a key blockchain business, partnered with the NBA, the world’s premier basketball league, to create NBA Top Shot, a well-known sports-related NFT application.
As a result of this, basketball fans will be able to buy and sell highlight video clips from top-tier games. These reels are accompanied by NBA-licensed digital items.
The owner does not have the right to duplicate or profit from the clips, but he or she does have the right to use, copy, and show their sports NFTs to the world.
So far, sales of NBA Top Shot have totaled over $500 million.
Sorare, a creative mix of elements from the sports world, gaming, and blockchain is another significant platform focussed on offering NFTs.
Sorare is a global fantasy football game in which players can take on the role of manager and trade players for their squad.
Sorare has partnered with over 100 well-known football clubs throughout the world, including FC Bayern Munich, Liverpool F.C., Real Madrid C.F., and players from MLS Players Associations, to bring these players on its NFT platform via licensing agreements.
Recently, it also collaborated with Major League Baseball to launch its online game.
Participants in Sorare can not only buy and sell digital player cards but also create a team and earn rewards based on real-world performance in a soccer fantasy league.
Rario is the first Polygon-based cricket NFT platform with an official license, allowing fans to purchase digital souvenirs of their favorite cricketers.
Outside of Ethereum, Polygon offers the strongest NFT Defi composability of any blockchain.
The company which recently raised a massive $120 M in the funding round, has also teamed with cricketers such as Zaheer Khan of the Indian Cricket team and Faf Du Plesis of the South African cricket team to make NFTs centred on them.
4. NFL and NFLPA
The National Football League (NFL) and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) are reportedly collaborating with Dapper Labs to develop digital video highlights as NFTs for NFL fans soon. Thus, becoming a prominent NFT club member!!
The new digital artefacts will allow NFL fans to collect and own some of the finest and most talked-about in-game moments from prominent players. It would include contemporary superstars and veterans of the game, week after week throughout the season.
Moreover, the NFL draft NFTs were launched in April, with around 52 NFT collectibles dedicated to each team. Thus, fans will now have the opportunity to own and collect some of the greatest plays in NFL history.
NASCAR is yet another sports platform that is looking forward to an adventure in the NFT world!
NASCAR has partnered up with NFT venture Virtually Human Studio in a move to appeal to young fans from the sports world. As ZED Run, a digital horse racing game owned by VHS, will now feature NASCAR-branded horses.
The goal of branding digital horses for NASCAR is to pique the interest of a younger audience in the auto racing league. The average age of NASCAR TV viewers in the United States was 49 in 2006. By 2016, the average age had gone up to 58 years. The exposure of the company through ZED Run is an attempt to engage a younger audience.
Generally, Horse racing is an elite sport and its average price is approximately $76,000, while the cost of entering stake races ranges from $3,000 to $50,000.
Additionally, users can buy, market, breed, and race digital racehorses as NFTs, thanks to the ZED Run ecosystem. Users can invest as much as they wish in developing their digital asset, with race entrance fees ranging from $2 to $15.
Thanks to NFTs, Esports teams are creating all sorts of digital collectibles including- limited signed player cards, digital merchandise, videos from popular players. With all these, esport is competing in the NFT race with other sports from the real world.
In February, the Esports team, 100 Thieves entered the NFT space by giving away over 300,000 free Polygon NFTs in just 24 hours of its launch.
Simplicity Esports are also adopting NFTs with digital “gamer” cards. It is also creating NFTs linked to historic photographs or other images that the esports company owns rights to as well as for purely virtual merchandise.
UFC, which has emerged as one of the most popular sports in the world, was sometime ago considered a low-brow sport!
UFC, which is one of the most heavily taxing sports out there, now has smashed its way into the NFT world with its own digital manoeuvres !
UFC’s NFTs are some of the most exceptional digital collectibles from the digitised sports world. For instance, Panini UFC NFTs are trading cards, which feature UFC’s biggest fights, moments, and milestones.
With Dapper Labs’ UFC Strike, fans can own the most historic fight moments of UFC. These NFT Moments include the best action shots, commentary, and crowd response from actual fights.
Moreover, Crypto.com offers a wide range of sports NFTs like unique fighter collections, fight night artwork, event posters, championship belts, avatars, artist collaborations, mystery boxes, athlete profiles, and more.
In addition to this, Crypto.com also created new Bitcoin Fight Night bonuses for UFC athletes to get an edge over UFC NFT platforms.
These were just a few instances of how NFTs are transforming the sports world. However, NFTs aren’t just about rarity anymore now they are also a potent business model for organizations as well as enthusiasts of the sports world.
As a result, Sports and NFTs are turning into a match made in heaven!
At the onset, the intention of NFTs from the sports world remained fueling the sports enthusiasm amongst fans. However, it definitely is a marketing stratagem to keep the fuss alive! And no one wants to be left behind in the race!!