How Athletes and Companies Can Use Sports NFTs to Connect to Fans
Whether it’s a new jersey or the latest championship hat, sports fans have always found ways to show support for their favorite athletes and teams. And the latest wave in sports collectibles are non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
NFTs have been called “the future of digital assets in sports” with thousands of sports NFTs now available on global online platforms. While still pretty new to the scene, these digital assets have become the next big thing in collectibles for sports leagues and their millions of fans.
Deloitte predicts the sports market will generate more than $2 billion in NFT sales this year. [source]
In traditional memorabilia, paper ticket stubs are worth a lot for sentimental reasons. A ticket stub from Michael Jordan’s 1984 NBA debut sold for $264,000 in Feb 2022, establishing a record for any vintage sports ticket.
For the next generation in sports collectibles, such expensive memorabilia can be authenticated and ownership tracked via blockchain technology, and the digital ticket stub, can perhaps come tagged with exclusive content or even a photo op.
Currently, many forms of NFTs in sports are available, such as exclusive pictures, trading cards, avatars, or even iconic video play moments. They range from just $5 to $50, to hundreds of dollars or thousands, giving an opportunity for sports fans of all appetites to participate in their fandom.
Dapper Labs created NBA Top Shot, NFL All Day, and UFC Strike, which feature iconic plays as video collectibles called “moments”. You can buy packs of them or trade those moments on Top Shot’s market. Top Shot is the fifth-largest NFT project of all time, having generated $886 million in sales. [source]
Here are some of the most expensive sport NFTs in the market right now:
Picture of LeBron — $21.6 Million OpenSea
Alex Morgan Legendary — $2.129 Million OpenSea
NFTs can bridge a personal connection from fan to athlete, allowing the athlete to launch their own collection and letting fans have a keepsake with a personal touch.
For example, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady launched and sold his own NFT collection on Autograph – an NFT marketplace Brady co-founded. Brady’s collection, which went live in December, grossed $1.3 million in under 10 minutes. [source]
Special season member NFTs, much like season passes, can reward fans for their loyalty with a discount, and drop special edition collectible NFTs for the games they attend. This brings a tangible reward for fans beyond just keepsakes, as NFTs are liquid in the market and can be traded or sold.
Longtime fans can show off their loyalty or be part of important moments in history, such as with Chicago Bull’s officially-licensed Legacy Collection, which feature rare, limited mints of championship rings NFTs from 1991-1998.
Italian soccer club Como 1907 found a way to leverage NFTs that actually provides its supporters with not just digital assets, but a whole experience. Como 1907 auctioned off an NFT that included a pair of lifetime season tickets to watch its home matches, two first-class flights to Como from anywhere in the world, and a three-day trip complete with tours, Michelin-star dining, a theater night and more.
Similarly, NFTs can open up more collaboration opportunities across industries for athletes and companies. Athletes can partner with other prominent NFT sectors such as artists and musicians to launch special collections. Alabama QB Bryce Young is the first college athlete to launch their own NFT project“ Rookie” NFTs. These are designed with art by Arturo Torres, and 3,626 pieces will be available on Aug. 31st.
In line with fostering a personal connection and providing exclusive experience, the NFTs will also serve as tokens, with the potential to earn a video chat with Young, future drop early access, autographs, and apparel.
The Metaverse is one of the hottest spaces right now, as people seek to foster virtual connections for people and experiences they cannot have irl. Whether it’s owning a virtual stadium seat, getting virtual access to a live game, or the virtual sneakers of an NBA star, NFTs represent new forms of interaction and things to do in the metaverse, and many new avenues for companies to provide for it.
The process of setting up a crypto wallet, buying cryptocurrency, then purchasing and collecting NFTs may not be easy for many new users and the average sports fan. Understanding how crypto works, setting up extensions and seed phrases might be a huge deterrence.
Magic is here to help with scaling your platform and onboarding new users with ease, while providing your current users with a smooth and secure user experience that makes them want to continue enjoying your platform. Integrate Magic Connect to your platform to activate a two-click process for signup and wallet creation, and facilitate NFT purchase with familiar payment methods like credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. Find out more.