Non-fungible tokens or NFTs as they are commonly abbreviated can be considered a quantum leap in the field of blockchain with technology.
They have brought the virtue of unique identifiability which was one of the biggest disadvantages plaguing the digital world. This opened up a plethora of opportunities in the field of collectibles, art, authenticity modification, real estate ownership, and a lot of domains. One of the most interesting use cases that have been observed of late is the importance of NFTs in the world of sports and games.
OK… But what are NFTs?
To understand NFTs, you will need to understand the concept of fungibility. And as it can be considered functional if it can be broken down into smaller components or replaced with another identical asset without any change in value. The best example of a fungible is the dollar bill. If you were to change a $10 bill with another $10 bill, you will not see any difference. It can also be broken down into smaller components and you would not have a problem engaging in such a transaction.
A non-fungible asset, on the other hand, is unique and irreplaceable. If your friend were to borrow your card and return a different card even if it was of the same model and same color, you would not be fine with it!
The Olympics that happened in the year 2020/21 was one of the most interesting and distinct Olympics in the history of these games that happen every four years. Unlike any other Olympics in history, the games happened in the middle of a pandemic. This meant that people could not enjoy the experience of watching the games like they usually do. A lot of fans living in different corners of the world could not make it to Tokyo because of the traveler’s restrictions.
Luckily, this moment of crisis also coincided with the NFT revolution. It will not be an exaggeration to say that while NFTs have been in existence as a concept since 2012, they found their well-deserved importance and prominence only in the first three months of the year 2021.
The International Olympic Committee capitalized on this new wave of technology and created a series of exclusive Olympic pins and circulated them as NFTs in a dedicated marketplace. This gives the Olympic fans an opportunity and an experience that can consider closest to collecting the actual Olympic pins. What made them special was the fact that they were uniquely identifiable because of the blockchain technology and it made the experience of collecting these memorabilia for the collectors quite similar to connecting the actual and physical Olympic pins.
The British Olympic team created its own NFT, satisfying the connection that the fans crave during the day of the Olympics season.
Outside the Olympics
If a single game season can attract this intensity of involvement from fans, it opens up a lot of opportunities for different games that are famous in different corners of the world.
We have already seen NFTs for basketball, the NBA Top Shot that allows fans to own some of the iconic moments in NBA history. We have also seen Sorare capitalized on the NFT revolution with respect to football/soccer. It has gained the trust and the partnership of some of the most renowned clubs like Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Real Madrid. It is to be noted that the NBA Top Shot has received around $500 million in sales until now.
The opportunities that lie ahead
Looking at what has happened until now, it can easily conclude that NFT for sport holds huge potential when it comes to patronage and profitability. A few possibilities in this space are:
- Sports platform for digital collectibles
- Game tokens and engagement
- Virtual real estate
- Iconic sporting moments
NFT sports platform for digital collectibles
Until recently, and definitely until the last Olympic games, fans of different games could go to the Olympic venue and collect Olympic pins, and could even be lucky enough to get the jerseys of their favorite players. This, in most cases, was outside the official regulation of both the organizing body and the spotting team. However, with NFT, it has now made it possible to own a unique digital copy of the jersey or the shoe or anything for that matter! The best part is that this happens within the control of the team and the organizing body.
In all of this, the user still gets to experience the joy of owning something unique which no other person on the planet has because of the uniqueness of NFTs. NFTs can revolutionize the way in which collectibles are looking at. There is even a possibility to remotely engage with fans who might not have the capacity to present themselves at the venue. A big fan of the Chicago Bulls who lives in Indonesia still has an opportunity to digitally own the jersey of its star players.
Another attribute of NFTs is the limitation in numbers. Since each ticket is unique, and each ticket carries a certain amount of information that can establish the authenticity of the ticket, NFTs can use it for sports ticketing. The user does not any longer have to carry a physical ticket. A simple QR code on their phone is more than enough to inform the officials about the ticket, the seating, the type of seating place, and the privileges that come along with the ticket.
Similar ticketing can also use for virtual events, enabling a better fan experience.
Gaming tokens and engagement
NFTs can also represent game tokens which help foster engagement among sons. Sporting cards that fans can play with among each other can enable through NFTs. Certain game tokens can make them unique, making them a collector’s item. The best part is that these game tokens, just like any other collectible, can exchange and trade on NFT marketplaces.
Game tokens are ideal ways to engage with people who might have a minor inclination towards the game. There have been instances where gaming tokens have been the starting point of engagement of many sporting fans.
Virtual real estate NFT
We have already seen how digital replicas of our planet have been created and helped people buy coveted properties like the pyramids of Egypt, the Piccadilly Circus, and even downtown Manhattan. When it comes to sports, however, certain sporting arenas and grounds are coveted and respected by friends.
By introducing NFTs common sense can exercise ownership over the virtual equivalent of those sporting stadiums and venues. The concert authority can even go ahead and name certain sections of seating after the fans who have purchased the virtual real estate NFT. There is no bigger pride for some fans than owning their favorite teams’ home ground, at least virtually.
Iconic sporting moments
No one, even today, will be able to forget the defining homerun hits by Babe Ruth and the air walking of Michael Jordan when he dunked the basketball into the basket. How good would it be for any person to exercise ownership over the video or photographs of these iconic sporting moments? This is an amazing possibility for the sporting organization to monetize what has been circulating as a stray image on the Internet. Also, it might not stop the copying of images, it will still give the pride of owning an image to one person. How tampering would it be for that person to say “ I own the wallpaper that you have on your phone!”
Sports has just stepped into the world of NFTs, and there is a long way for both. A good example would be India where cricket has a bigger fan following than any other game and than any other country. It is the right moment for any entrepreneur to tap into the frenzy that people have over sports, sporting stars, and sporting teams.
If you would like to be that entrepreneur, all that is left for you to do is to get in touch with the company that specializes in NFT development for sports. The company will take care to understand your requirement and present you with perfect solutions.