6 min read

Issue 10: Active soccer scene, digital horse power, hornets get stung

Issue 10: Active soccer scene, digital horse power, hornets get stung

Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:

  • ⚽ MLS enters the game + Man City, Éder & Fonte drop collections
  • 🐎 Preakness & ZED show how it's done
  • 👾 A look at the NJ Devils and the Charlotte Hornets

👋 Plus: Our Nifty Sports Discord server launched a week ago! Join us to discuss the latest news and insights about NFTs in sports.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for the latest news.

⚽ MLS enters the game + Man City, Éder & Fonte drop collections

It was a week full of soccer related NFT news. One from a league, one from a club and one from two players, what a nice distribution :) Here's what happened:

🇺🇸 The MLS is testing the NFT waters for the first time! During the upcoming games Portland-LA and Seattle-Atlanta an unlimited amount of limited-edition posters (yes, that's how they phrased it) will be available. So you need to get them while the matches are on as this will be the only chance. The posters itself are designed in a street art-themed style in cooperation with Secret Walls and available via Bitski.

Source: MLS, Secret Walls, Bitski

There's one thing you might be wondering about: Isn't the MLS already on Sorare? Not entirely! Sorare has a contract with the MLS Players Association (MLSPA) in place, which allows them to use the images of the players while not showing any team logo nor the jerseys (instead they use the MLSPA logo). This is why those player cards look a bit odd compared to the others on Sorare.

Source: Sorare

🇬🇧 Man City is celebrating their Premier League title with the launch of a series of commemorative digital artwork, the ‘1’ collection, which will drop on MakersPlace on Monday 24th May, the day after City lift the Premier League trophy at the Etihad Stadium. The collection is designed in collaboration with artist Jon Noorlander.

Don Dransfield, Chief Strategy Officer at City Football Group said:

“In a season played largely without fans in the stadium, digital engagement has been more relevant and important than ever before. That’s why as part of Manchester City’s Premier League title-winning celebrations, we wanted to mark the moment with this unique digital collection to commemorate this season like no other. Jon Noorlander is an incredible artist, renowned for his fluid and technical style – much like the beautiful football which Pep Guardiola’s team is famous for. Producing these art works as an NFT creates an opportunity not just to observe the incredible creativity of the pieces, but also to own a part of this historic moment in this historic season.”
Source: Manchester City

🇵🇹 Éder Lopes and José Fonte remind the world of who won the UEFA Euro 2016, right before the "2020" tournament kicks off. The Portuguese champions launched their collections on OpenSea (Éder / Fonte). The Highlight: a "masterpiece" of Éder's boot that also includes the real boot he used to score the winning goal in the final! Let's see if this will really happen as the current interest does not seem very high...

Source: OpenSea

🐎 Preakness & ZED show how it's done

One thing upfront: Make sure to have a look at ZED Run in case you haven't seen it yet. It's on of the coolest NFT platforms in sports and describes itself as "a provably fair digital horse racing game built on blockchain technology". It lets you create a virtual stable, breed and trade digital horses and have them participate in races that reward the winners in cryptocurrencies. Horse drops are really crowded and typically get sold out within minutes.

Now Preakness, the American thoroughbred horse race, joined forces with ZED Run and commemorated its 146 year legacy with a collection of 17 unique NFTs with official full race clips from some of the most historic races in Preakness history. All NFTs come with a Genesis Z10 digital racehorse and exclusive Preakness race-coat-skin within the game while the Special Edition Preakness X Nakamoto Montage NFT comes with a Z1 Nakamoto horse with the exclusive Preakness race-coat skin (see picture below).

Source: Preakness, ZED

The outcome? All the items of the Preakness x ZED collection were sold via OpenSea, with a total trading amount of 206 ETH which as of today (May 21) equals about € 420,000. Well played and the result of a cooperation that can be seen as a leading example of a traditional institution that shows an open mind towards going new ways and choosing the right partner for it.

👾 A look at the NJ Devils and the Charlotte Hornets

The New Jersey Devils have become first NHL team to launch an NFT collection, available on their marketplace with Fanaply. The items will feature "imagery inspired by iconic moments in Devils history, the team's vibrant fanbase and the team's recent "Made in Jersey" brand campaign; providing true digital ownership and engagement for fans at both premium and accessible prices" according to the official announcement.

Source: NJ Devils, Fanaply

Grant Dexter, co-founder and CEO of Fanaply said

"Bringing limited-edition digital assets to the fans of an incredible, storied franchise in the New Jersey Devils is central to Fanaply's belief that NFTs are the future of fan and consumer engagement. They allow fans to commemorate amazing moments, milestones and experiences of the teams, games, venues and communities they love through ownership in a unique digital collectible. Our NFTs are inclusive, environmentally friendly and can seamlessly integrate into a team's existing sales, marketing and promotional strategies to create incremental revenue, real fan engagement and unlock digital and real-world rewards."

And then there was the first NFT sale of the Charlotte Hornets about which we already spoke in last week's issue. How it went? We let our friend Olivier Legris explain it... :)

Thanks for shedding some light on this! Wondering about the Discord server he was speaking about? Here you go ;)

🧐 Cautiousness all around

During these early days of the (sports) NFT market it seems like we've reached a phase of cautiousness. The MLS, Man City and the NJ Devils drop small and well curated collections, probably to test what their fans' reaction is. Those experiments can bring valuable insights and from a fans perspective it is a chance to secure one of the earliest NFTs their teams will ever have created. The right execution is important though, as the cases of Preakness x ZED and the Charlotte Hornets show in different ways. Preakness chose the perfect partner for their drop and created great collectibles while the Hornets were clearly not ready from a technological standpoint and clearly did not excite their fans too much.

All of the above hopefully helps to develop the right mechanics behind this exciting, new market and to create NFTs that provide long-lasting and great experiences. On to the next week!

And as always: Feel free to reach out for feedback and to discuss all things NFT and sports! And to stay up to date: Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for stats, drop announcements and more. And join us on our Discord server to discuss the latest news and insights about NFTs in sports.