Irreplaceable tokens, or NFTs, and digital assets are one of the top ten trends in the sports industry, according to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers or North America Sports Forecast 2022. From changing sports technology infrastructure to increasing fan engagement, the report shows three key uses for NFTs and potential to shape the future of sport.
The first use case is collectible NFTs – assets used to sell certified digital content in limited edition. This refers to traditional memories, such as trading cards or tickets to historical matches, which can be digitized, embossed and traded on the blockchain. The report added that these collectibles could eventually be seen and shared across the meta-verses.
The “best known” example of a collectible NFT set is the NBA Top Shot by Dapper Labs. The market tokenizes the highlights or “best” games in NBA history and was recently ranked number two after Axie Infinity in the number of NFT transactions in the blockchain gaming industry of $ 827 million in 2021. Another popular example is the dismissal of a quarterback. in the NFL NFT Autograph by Tom Brady, who recently raised $ 170 million in Series B funding.
Secondly, subscription membership or STM, NFT can be considered as another major utility issue. Giving season card members verified token passes will increase the experience level of already loyal fans. STMs that previously had access to extra special content and stadium experiences can also receive special collectibles for the games they participate in. Sponsors can also benefit from the fact that the teams they sponsor can ensure that customers who lose their physical tickets do not lose any additional benefits.
Finally, it is expected that there will be a demand for virtual access tokens for fans who prefer to pay more for a virtual experience and may not be able to participate in games in person. Described as a new version of season cards, Virtual Access Tokens can give holders access to additional behind-the-scenes benefits such as player cameras, bench cameras or even virtual wardrobe access. Some of the football clubs that have had success so far with their fan icons are Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, which give fans the right to influence non-strategic decisions on match day, such as live music.
PwC explained that ticket sales, media rights and sponsorship are the largest current sources of income for teams and leagues. She expects that price tickets, NFT media rights and sponsorship of digital or metaverse events will fuel the growth of the industry, and notes that the sale of digital assets can also be a “serious” source of income. To do this, the report added, teams will need a technical suite that connects their new digital sales data to existing customer databases, as well as a strong legal team to deal with regulatory and tax implications.
These trends are gaining momentum, especially as partnerships between NFT Markets and sports associations become more popular. Solana NFT Marketplace Magic Eden recently announced an upcoming NFT recruitment in partnership with Overtime, a sports entertainment platform, to increase the turnout during the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.