New York Rangers fan David Arends has never bought an NFT, but when he learned his favorite hockey team was releasing a Set of digital tokens To commemorate the retirement of legendary goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist, he thought it might be a unique addition to his collection of jerseys, packs and other sports memorabilia.
For $ 20 a piece, Arends purchased two NFTs: pictures of tickets to the night dedicated to Lundqvist’s 15-year career with the Rangers, when a banner with the player’s name was on. Raised to top From Madison Square Garden as fans cheered. Arends would later print screenshots of the NFTs and have them framed, hanging them on his wall near a signed photograph of the goalie.
“I will never trade it or anything – as it is mine, and I will keep it,” Arends said Decrypt. “For me, this is more of a sentimental thing.”
The world of sports is becoming more saturated with cryptocurrency AdvertisementsSponsorships, and collaborations every day, and these seem to push more people into the web 3 site.
A recent Seton Hall University Survey Of 1,500 US dollars. It. Adults show an increasing overlap between sports fans and people who have purchased NFTs or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The survey found that 57% of households with an avid sports fan have owned digital assets, more than double the rate of households without one, only 24%.
“Although we are in the early innings of crypto and NFT ownership, sports fans have shown a real closeness to engagement in the markets,” said Daniel Ladik, a Seton Hall marketing professor and survey methodologist.
Celebrities such as Matt Damon What have appeared in commercials promoting cryptocurrency probably have something to do with this. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched TV events of the year, and this year’s game Including spots Of eToro, Crypto.com, and FTX seen at home by more than 100 million US. It. Viewers, according to Nielsen.
Beyond just TV advertising, major crypto companies have also poured money into sponsorships. Crypto.com paid an Estimated $ 700 million For the name due to what was known as the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The exchange too Struck an agreement With the UFC in 2021 to become the Championship’s first action kit partner, with Crypto.com’s Lions-head logo emblazoned on the chest of fighters uniforms along with the center of the Octagon. (Since then, the UFC has also clinched a logo deal with Vechain.)
Non-fangeable tokens-Blockchain-Verified proof of ownership of digital or real things – have created a fresh avenue for companies and sports leagues to connect with fans and turn everything from ticket sales to images of sneakers to Video clips In collectibles.
The tradition of collecting baseball cards began in the late 19th century when paper cards showing baseball players along with stats were stuffed into Packs of cigarettes As a promotional tool. Now, for many fans, collectibles are simply digital.
The Seton Hall poll found that, in general, people who have traded or owned cryptocurrency and NFTs mostly are 18-34 years old (42% of respondents) compared to people 55 or older (only 7%). The survey also found that men (47%) are more likely than women (14%) to have owned or trade cryptocurrency or NFTs.
“If managed effectively,” Ladick said, “NFTs could become a major source of revenue and a new avenue of fan connectivity for sports brands. In a digital age, interactive assets like NFTs can carry a sense of holder equity and belonging – key Attributes for brand success.
D FellNBA and UFC All have ventured into the NFT space, working with Dapper Labs to create NFL all day, NBA Top ShotAnd UFC Strike on top of Dapper’s Flow blockchain.
NBA Top Shot was one of the first NFT projects with the blessing of a major sports league, and recently crossed over $ 1 billion in total sales volume, according to Cryptoslam.
Projects from Dapper Labs are not the only sports-centric collectibles hosted on Flow. The consumer-facing nature of the blockchain was what caused it NFT Genius Founder Jeremy Born to create the Gia market and make it the ecosystem for BallerzA collection of pixelated basketball players that primarily serve as PPPs (profile pictures).
“If you create more friction, which the crypto site has been known for over the last 10 years, it precludes many of the people from coming in,” Born said. Decrypt, Noting some crypto wallets with complicated setup processes may turn off potential users. “It’s very intimidating for the average person to come in and try to find metamask.”
Native emphasized that NFTs boost crypto adoption not only among sports fans, but also the athletes themselves.
Among those who have taken to Appeared NFTs on Twitter are icons like Steph Curry and Von Miller. And Tom Brady did his Own NFT company Called Autograph which is partnered with Draftkings Marketplace.
If the old “flex” was posting photos featuring fancy cars and luxury watches, Born argued that the new status symbol for pro athletes could be a Board copy. It’s only natural that fans want a PFP flex too.