6 min read

Issue No. 1: Athletes start to sell NFTs, big leagues in conversations

Issue No. 1: Athletes start to sell NFTs, big leagues in conversations

Welcome to our very first issue here at Nifty Sports! πŸ‘ We'll provide you with weekly reviews on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports. This week's topics:

  • 🏈 Gronk's NFT drives $1.8m in sales
  • 🏈 Pat Mahomes' NFT art sells for over $3.7m
  • πŸ›Ή Good old Tony Hawk joins the NFT game!
  • 🏈 NFL, πŸ’ NHL and ⚾ MLB in talks with NFT makers

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πŸ’₯ Let's jump right in!

So far the biggest noise in the NFT Sports world has come from the league level with πŸ€ NBA Top Shot and various top teams joining the ⚽ Sorare platform. Things seem to take the next logical step now with multiple athletes joining the gold rush. This week we already saw the first headlines in that space and we expect many more to come.

🏈 Gronk's NFT drives $1.8m in sales

Rob Gronkowski, Tight End for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has successfully sold his NFT collection, making him the first-ever NFL player to do so (as if he would need another title...). So what exactly did he sell?

  • 4 cards that celebrate each of his 4 Championships, each of them digitally signed and limited to just 87 editions
  • A special 1-of-1 card that shows Gronk in all of his 4 Championship seasons
Gronk's NFT collection - Source: gronkft.com

All cards were sold via OpenSea. The unique card was bought by bidder β€œ9DD7B7” for 229 Ether (ETH), worth about $430,000 at the time. But that was not his/her only purchase:

The buyer was busy throughout the auction, purchasing 160 of Gronkowski’s NFTs, including each of the top five tokens by clearing price β€” with the five collectibles generating a combined price of roughly $650,000.

Seems like that was time well spent for Gronk during the offseason... But also for the buyers it might have been a good investment, as the cards are selling well on OpenSea's secondary market. Definitely a milestone for the Athlete x NFT market!

Source: Cointelegraph

🏈 Pat Mahomes' NFT art sells for over $3.7m

With Gronk's success it was not a surprise that other athletes would follow quickly. And Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs and one of the prime football players on this planet, did not wait long. Here are some facts:

  • His collection is called "The Museum of Mahomes" and consists of six different art pieces. They are not designed in the typical player card style, but show artworks of himself and his career
  • The rarest work came with a 55” digital frame for displaying the art, along with a physical signed Mahomes jersey and jewel-encrusted helmet
Artists: Impossible Brief with Sean Treacy and William Savas

The collection was offered on MakersPlace, a market place for digital art. And he got some "crypto revenge" for the Super Bowl loss against Gronk and the Buccaneers, as sales finished around $3.7m, beating Gronk by about $1.9m.

Mahomes did not break Gronk’s record for a single token sale by an NFL player, though, as the most expensive image of Mahomes sold for $248,688.49 (or 135.69 Ether). Gronk’s top digital card went for $433,000.

While those numbers sounds like peanuts compared to the $503m contract Mahomes signed in 2020 it still has a good side: Part of the proceeds will be donated to his foundation called 15 and the Mahomies and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Missouri. We like the social angle on this!

Sources: Sportico, FanNation

πŸ›Ή Good old Tony Hawk joins the NFT game!

It might come as a surprise at first to hear that 52-year old skateboard icon Tony Hawk will release an NFT. But he's expressed his interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies on various occasions and is holding bitcoin since 2013. Β Some details on what he's up to:

  • In 1989 he first landed a 540-degree β€œOllie”, and on March 18 2021 he said he landed his last. The footage will be minted as an NFT, making this a very special item
  • The NFT will be sold on Ethernity, a platform known for donating a portion of all proceeds to charitable causes. Ethernity has recently been tasked with building a collection of Muhammad Ali NFTs to benefit the Ali Center

Definitely a lot of meaning behind this one, we're curious about the details and of course the price tag.

Source: bitcoin.com

🏈 NFL, πŸ’ NHL and ⚾ MLB in talks with NFT makers

NBA Top Shot has been a massive success, with over $400m in revenue since its launch in October 2020. So it seems to be a no-brainer that - according to Front Office Sports - the NFL, NHL, and MLB are in talks with Dapper Labs (creators of Top Shot) and others in the NFT space to create similar Moments-like marketplaces. And they might even work together in some aspects, quoting Caty Tedman, head of partnerships at Dapper Labs:

There’s a lot of interest in this space right now, and NFTs in general. There’s a huge opportunity to do really fun work across sports. And so we’re talking to a lot of different people about it.

Maybe there will be special editions or packs across all of the major leagues? πŸ€”

One more thing to note: The MLB was the first major league with an NFT platform. But they announced not to continue their MLB Champions project which was run in partnership with game developer Lucid Sight Inc. since 2018. The platform never really took off and the switch to Dapper or a similar platform is an understandable move. Fun fact: The demand for MLB Champions collectibles increased significantly on the secondary market, after the announcement to discontinue with Lucid, sparking some investor's fantasies.

Sources: Front Office Sports, Morning Consult

Fungible news: ManCity joins Socios platform ⚽

Manchester City will launch the $CITY fan token on the Chiliz blockchain by Socios.com. They will join clubs like FC Barcelona, Paris St. Germain, Juventus Turin and many others who are already on the platform.

Source: mancity.com

Stephan Cieplik, Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships Sales, City Football Group, provided some background:

We are excited to launch the new Manchester City Fan Token, which will provide another opportunity for our fans all over the world to get even closer to the Club they love. Fans will have access to fantastic competitions and VIP experiences and be able to vote on Club initiatives.

As our headline already indicates: The fan token on Socios.com are fungible ones, meaning that they are interchangeable and do not represent a unique digital item (unlike the moments on Top Shot or the trading cards on Sorare). This is not a bad thing, as interchangeability is not needed in the current offering on the platform with votings, games, etc. ManCity recently announced an NFT-based partnership in place with Animoca Brands who is currently developing an initial product. We're only wondering if ManCity will join Sorare at some point...

Source: ManCity

🐝 Busy bees

As this week's issue of Nifty Sports showed: The major sport leagues in the U.S. are in talks to launch NFT platforms and some of the top athletes already minted their first NFTs independently, with great success. We can only imagine how busy things are behind closed curtains and what a wave of launches is ahead of us. Exciting times. We have fastened our seatbelts and are up for a ride!

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