Non-fungible tokens, NFTs for short, have the power to change everything, ultimately creating more interactive experiences. The ultimate impact of NFTs on culture and business remains to be seen, but their augmented fan base warrants any curious person to examine the current ecosystem. NFTs are powered by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain; each one has different properties and is undoubtedly scarce. Art, collectibles, and even voting rights can be tokenized.
Ethereum is necessary to enter the world of NFTs because it’s the native cryptocurrency of the blockchain of the same name. There’s a positive correlation between Ethereum price USD and NFT prices, meaning they tend to move in the same direction. Nevertheless, the strength of the correlation varies across NFT categories. Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, so it’s listed on most exchanges. If you’re absolutely new to crypto, don’t fret.
In the sports industry, NFTs have advanced as a new way to engage fans, generate revenue, and create one-of-a-kind experiences. Much has been made of the potential for NFTs and how they’ll create value for sports. A small group of people believe in the novel technology, while others are convinced it’s a hoax. If the first group is too defensive about NFTs’ imperfections, the second one struggles to see any value.
What Are NFTs and How Do They Work?
An NFT is a digital asset that can be bought and sold online with cryptocurrency (it’s recorded on the blockchain). By non-fungible, it’s understood the asset is unique and can’t be replicated. Ethereum is fungible, so you can exchange one Ethereum for another – you’ll have exactly the same thing. NFT creators can limit the number of owners, therefore, creating an element of scarcity that didn’t exist in the digital world before.
NFTs are a bridge between Web3 and the virtual economy; they may provide a structure for the metaverse or a wide array of metaverses. As mentioned earlier, NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain, but other networks have implemented their own versions of NFTs. Bitcoin, for instance, enables the creation of non-fungible assets via an inscription process using the Ordinals protocol. Bitcoin NFTs are possible due to SegWit, Taproot, and other Layer 2 solutions.
Physical or virtual assets are converted into units that can be bought and sold through tokenization. When one of them is tokenized, it becomes distinguishable from others. Tokenization began as a kind of data security measure for businesses handling sensitive information. The tokens act as substitutes for assets, which means they have no inherent use or value. If you want to dispute the ownership of an asset, the blockchain will have a record of transactions associated with the token.
NFTs Are Being Used in Sports To
Create Ways for Fans, Players, And Teams to Engage
NFTs have opened up new ways for fan engagement; many regard them as the natural evolution of loyalty programs. Sports enthusiasts can get access to behind-the-scenes experiences and even interact with their favorite athletes. In recent years, many sports clubs have begun building their own metaverse spaces, essentially virtual 3D worlds. Virtually everything can be transferred to the metaverse, including but not limited to live games, team merchandise, and statistics.
NFTs can be used to enter different locations in the metaverse, serving as access tokens. Fans who are willing to pay more but find it impossible to attend the games can receive access to video content, such as player cams or locker room access. A typical day in the metaverse is much like a day in the world we live in. NFTs are key to the metaverse economy, enabling the authentication of possessions (and even identity); they’re secured cryptographically, so NFTs can’t be deleted, copied, or destroyed.
Sell Limited- Edition Digital Content
Fans love collecting sports memorabilia because they have a deep emotional attachment to a sports team or a specific player, maybe from childhood. You build up a collection because you find interesting, rare, nostalgic, or commemorative items that might increase in value in the future. Sports clubs sell limited edition merchandise such as posters, photos, banners, figures, and more to raise vital funds. Selling NFTs can help make money for the club and advance interest for the team.
NFTs enable sports enthusiasts to own unmatched digital assets linked to their favorite teams or athletes, which can be used as trading cards for the digital world. NBA Top Shot is a good example. Fans can buy, sell, and trade NFTs basketball videos. NBA moments are the highlights sold in the online marketplace. The rarer the clip, the higher its potential as a collectible. For organizations that are serious about digital assets, NFT collectibles are a good opportunity.
NFTs have transformed the world of collecting and memorabilia, rapidly becoming the new standard. Trading cards are largely popular among sports enthusiasts because they enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Collectors search for and acquire cards that complete their collections. The cards represent a specific time in their lives, so they bring back childhood memories. With the rise of blockchain technology, trading cards have moved into the digital space.
Provide Access to Regular-Season Home Games
Sports game spectators come from every walk of life, but they manage to find a common ground through their passion. Nothing can compare to a live sporting event. You escape from daily life, using this experience to cope with social pressure. In other words, you live in the moment. Last-minute goals and surprise comebacks draw many fans to the games. When you’re watching sports, you feel as if you’re in the game, i.e., in the athlete’s shoes.
Sports teams and leagues are experimenting with NFTs to increase the value of tickets and, consequently, to award attendance. Season ticket members, for instance, receive access to special content in the real world or around the stadium. In some instances, the tickets (the NFTs) can be collected or resold. You don’t just buy a ticket and go. NFTs can be a pass to everything from special VIP areas to discounts at concession stands.
Wrapping It Up
NFTs may not change the game itself, but they bring about a significant shift in fan movement and generating income.