NFTs and The Sports Industry: The Perfect Pair
Sports was one of the first industries to reap the benefits of NFTs but they are just scratching the surface. Let’s find out what benefits NFTs bring to the sports world and its development.
Most people would associate NFTs with the digital art world as we mostly hear about million-dollar NFT art sales. But NFTs are not only tied up with the art world. They are much more than that.
NFTs can be anything from artwork to game assets and trading cards. Literally any item even physical can become an NFT. And this feature of NFTs opens many doors for different industries.
In fact, NFTs are as revolutionary for the world of sports as they are for the world of art. But why? What’s there so special about NFTs that could be beneficial for the sports industry? How we can call NFTs and sports the perfect pair?
How NFTs Work
NFTs or non-fungible tokens are unique digital assets stored on a blockchain. They work quite similarly to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. There is only one major difference between them: NFTs are non-fungible or non-interchangeable. You can easily exchange one bitcoin for another as they have the same value.
What refers to NFTs, each one has a unique identification number and a unique value. So you can’t exchange one NFT for another. And that’s what makes NFTs so valuable, especially in the art world or any industry where you need to prove the uniqueness of the item.
Creating an NFT is very easy. You just need to create an account on a marketplace and “mint” your unique file or a physical item, which can be an artwork, a trading card or even a ticket. After it’s minted, it becomes available on a blockchain and everyone can see who is the creator of that NFT and who is the owner. Whenever the NFT is resold it would be recorded on the blockchain and every participant will see it.
There is one last important note to make about NFTs. When you buy an NFT you don’t buy the item itself, but the proof of ownership. The NFT just shows that the item is yours, even if someone copies it from somewhere on the Internet. To make NFTs more exclusive many creators send additional files, physical items to buyers or create special events.
NFTs and Sports: How Ther are Connected
You may wonder how NFTs and the sports industry are connected. It’s natural that NFTs work quite well in the art industry, especially in the digital art industry as creators can mint and sell their artworks. NFTs make each artwork unique and valuable.
Don’t forget that there are many unique items in the sports industry as well. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, you will know that all fans dream about having a unique item from their favorite sportsmen. Collectible cards, autographs, photos – they all can be minted as NFTs and sold to fans.
But NFTs can be even more valuable for the sports industry than just selling collectibles. Let’s see what applications NFTs have in the sports industry.
Collectible Cards and Games
The first thing that would come to the minds of the fans would be collectible cards. Physical cards have always been quite popular among fans and digital cards can be no less popular. Though, due to the nature of NFTs both physical and digital cards can be easily minted as NFTs.
One of the most famous platforms of sports-related NFTs is Sorare. This platform is a combination of gaming, sports and NFTs. It’s a football game where players can buy and sell football players to play the game and win. Many famous football clubs such as FC Bayern Munich, Liverpool F.C, Real Madrid C.F are collaborating with Sorare so you can find the payers of these teams on Sorare.
This is a perfect place for true football fans not only to buy cards but also to create their dream team and play the game. And this is not the only place where you can own digital collectibles. On Autograph, created by football quarterback Tom Brady, you can find sports collectible items and collections of famous athletes and celebrities.
Besides, if you explore other NFT marketplaces which offer different collectibles from art to sports, you will more probably find some valuable collection of popular sportsmen.
Photos and Other Personal Files of the Athletes
As mentioned above, NFTs can be anything photos, videos and other files or even physical items. And as fans want to know everything about their beloved players, athletes can perfectly sell their childhood photos or other personal items that are not directly related to the sports. These items would be even more valuable if they weren’t posted ever before.
And it’s not only players who can sell these unique photos and videos. Their friends, teachers or any other person who possesses a unique item of a famous athlete can mint it and sell it as NFT.
These unique items can be minted on any marketplace from exclusively sports marketplaces to those that offer all kinds of NFTs, like OpenSea.
Videos of the Best Moments
One of the most memorable things for sports fans is the special game moments where their favorite player hit the goal or won in a very difficult fight. You get it, the best moments are always stuck in the heads of fans.
Before NFTs, fans could just review these moments on YouTube or another platform, but now they can own these famous moments. And the most popular platform where you can buy this kind of videos is NBA Top Shot. It was created by Dapper Labs, in cooperation with the basketball league NBA. This NFT marketplace offers basketball fans to buy and sell highlight video clips of the best moments of basketball games.
And they are not just some ordinary videos. They are NBA-licensed digital items, which are minted as NFTs and thus become even more unique and one-of-a-kind. Fans are actively buying and selling these unique videos. The platform has received millions of dollars in sales.
Considering the success of this platform, there will probably be more similar marketplaces for other types of sports. SportsIcon is another platform where fans can find and buy the iconic moments of their favorite players.
Fan tokens are unique tokens issued by sports clubs to give VIP rights and exclusive access to fans. They can also let fans have some influence on decisions regarding the team.
The famous football club FC Barcelona issued their fan token $BAR which proved itself quite successful by getting $1.3 million in less than 2 hours after the issue. Another football club A.C.Milan has also issued a fan token of $ACM.
Fan tokens are not just a way to generate income for sports clubs. They are a way to connect fans and the sports club and create a closer bond between them. As fans are able to participate in some of the decisions about their favorite club, they will feel more engaged in the life of their beloved club and become a member of a community.
Tickets, Special Events
It’s not news that physical tickets or even online tickets are frequently faked. And NFTs can solve this problem too. As each NFT is unique and practically can’t be faked or hacked, they can become the ideal secure tickets, and probably more affordable, for all people.
And these tickets can refer not only to sports events, but also other special meetings and events where fans can meet their favorite players and teams and be more close to them. NFTs are a great opportunity to create both online and offline events and can be beneficial for fans, sports clubs and sportsmen.
Another good way to use NFTs in sports is to use them for charity. Sports clubs can create special NFTs and use the income for fundraising. A great example is Ethernity Chain a charity organization based on the Ethereum blockchain. Sportsmen and celebrities can create NFTs on it and sell them for fundraising purposes.
Fans get a unique item from their favorite athlete, sportsmen become more popular and contribute to a good deed, and important social problems get solved. Seems like everyone will benefit from these NFTs.
What NFTs Can Offer to Sprostsmen
Above we mostly talked about how NFTs can be beneficial to fans. But let’s not forget about sportsmen as well. NFTs provide a great opportunity for sportsmen to be close to their fans and offer them more of their exclusive items and the chance to meet them.
Besides, like all people, they also look for alternative ways to generate income and become more popular. So NFTs are beneficial for all sides in the sports industry.
I think you already see why NFTs and sports are the perfect pair. NFTs offer even more ways to buy and sell unique items related to sports. And given the success of NFTs, we will probably see even more new platforms and ways to benefit from sports.
Though it’s still hard to predict how will the NFT market change in the future, we can say for sure that NFTs will stay mainstream for at least a couple of years and especially in the sports industry.
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