Issue 11: Esports joins, dinner with Mayweather and volumetric NFTs
Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:
- 🎮 Animoca partners with Virtus.pro Esports and develops NFT game
- 🥊 The full Floyd Mayweather experience in his legacy collection
- 🏆 Champion drops: Danny Green, Man City & Sorare
👋 Plus: Our Nifty Sports Discord server is live! 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.
🎮 Animoca partners with Virtus.pro Esports and develops NFT game
In case you have been following us since issue no. 1 you might have realised that one big topic has been missing so far: Esports. That changes today as Virtus.pro and Lympo (subsidiary of Animoca Brands) are launching a collection with images of the players from the club's Dota 2 and CS:GO rosters. The NFTs will be available on the Lympo platform. One of the most interesting details was mentioned at the very end of the official announcement: "The owners of Virtus.pro NFTs will be eligible for selling or trading their cards with no restrictions". Let's see which rights exactly come with this, but one of e.g. NBA Top Shot's largest point of criticism is the limited possibilities connected with their NFTs.
Sergey Glamazda, CEO of Virtus.pro says
“The tradition of collecting player cards goes back a hundred years. The idea behind it was simple: to release a card with an image of a baseball player on it. Years later it became popular and spread across a lot of different sports: people started collecting, trading, and bequeathing the cards of their idols, which led to a fully grown ecosystem. Today the price for some of the hundred-year-old cards could reach several million dollars. With the help of blockchain technologies, this ecosystem has now been incorporated into the digital world. It’s great to have this kind of tradition in esports as well and we are happy to be a part of it courtesy of our partners from Lympo.”
And we couldn't agree more. NFTs and Esports is an obvious match as both have their origin in the digital space. Also entry-barriers, e.g. in the usage of cryptocurrencies are expected to be lower within the Esports community. Looking forward to see how this launch unfolds!
But that wasn't the only news from Animoca, the company who recently received a $88m funding round and is very active at the intersection of gaming and NFTs, e.g. in cooperation with Formula 1, MotoGP and Manchester City. The company also announced the development of "the first NFT-based football game that will utilize the intellectual properties of famous football clubs under license to Animoca Brands. The game will feature tradable NFTs that will be backed by HBAR, the native cryptocurrency of the Hedera public network". No further details on who those clubs potentially are were given nor did they communicate a timeline.We'll keep you posted in case of any updates!
🥊 The full Floyd Mayweather experience in his legacy collection
Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather launched his 'Legacy Collection' in collaboration with director and producer David Zennie to celebrate his undefeated 50-0 record. And it's a really interesting mix of items and experiences that come along with the NFTs:
- Physical artwork (a 120 x 240cm "TBE Golden Dollar" painting)
- Signed boxing gloves
- Custom jewellery (14k white and rose gold rings)
- Access to meet, dine and box with Floyd!
And our favorite item of the collection: You even get a personalised NFT celebrating the dinner with Floyd Mayweather :) Very creative! All available now on Rarible and more dropping on June 1. Once again we're very curious about the outcome and will keep you posted!
🏆 Champion drops: Danny Green, Man City & Sorare
The last week revealed a new trend in the NFT sports world: Champion drops! Multiple collections were dropped to celebrate recent or past trophies, and all of them in a different style. Here's the overview:
🏀 Three time NBA champion Danny Green dropped "the world’s first volumetric pro sports memorabilia NFT" with holoportation startup PORTL (in which Green is invested in) on the New Renaissance marketplace. Volumetric means that a virtual 3D object is created (also known as a hologram) that you can look at from all angles. They also threw in a bunch of other cool things, especially for the "Winner takes it all" main item, e.g. an Augmented Reality app that will beam Green’s NBA Championship ring on to people’s hands, the opportunity to play a game of horse with Green in person and a PORTL Epic to display the 2020 Championship Ring (see picture below).
However, it sold for only 2 ETH which is around $5k and clearly below what they have expected. How do we know? Well, there was this sentence in the announcement: "The size of the PORTL presented with Danny Green’s NFT is dependent on the final NFT sales price, with the buyer receiving a tabletop PORTL Mini once the hammer price passes $150K or a 7-foot tall PORTL Epic when the price surges past $300k." Too bad as we think that this was a cool and creative package! Sometimes NFT sales are hard to predict...
⚽ In last weeks issue we already spoke about the NFT drop by Premier League champions Manchester City in order to celebrate their title. Now Olivier Legris, who already analysed the Charlotte Hornets' NFT drop for us in the previous issue, did again some digging and had a look at Man City's collection. Here's his take:
We were impressed with Manchester City's execution. The sales had a lot of different mechanics (open edition, limited edition, auction, raffle, fixed price) and the success was there with $172,072 gross sales. We also noticed some trends:
- More than two thirds of the sales (in number of sales) were made in USD rather than Ether, proving some mainstream appeal of the sales...
- ...even if the big sale (The Champion Celebrate, the 1/1 NFT) was sold in Ether for the equivalent of $27,818
- One mysterious buyer accounted for almost one third of all the Champion Mozaic sales
- Out of the 155 NFT sold, 72 are accepting offers, so 46% of the buyers are seeing if they can flip their purchase in the short term
Thanks again Olivier! So two big questions occurred: Who is that mysterious buyer? And are the NFTs bought as a fan piece or just to make a quick buck with them? Happy to discuss in our Nifty Sports Discord ;)
⚽ Sorare announced the "Champion edition" to celebrate "the heroic efforts of our title-winning club partners with our first ever Champion Edition cards. 1 card for each footballer". For context, eight of this year’s European champions are Sorare club partners.
We think there are two sides to this: One the one hand it's a nice extra for fans to celebrate and remember a great success for their team, on the other hand it somewhat clashes with previous statements that there's only one series per season. We wonder if the champions edition might devalue the "normal" edition in some way. Let's see what the reaction of the fans will be...
🤓 Learnings every week
It felt like a rather slow week with not too many news and happenings in the world of NFTs and Sports, but some interesting ones. And again we've learned a few things:
- Esports is still underrepresented in the NFT space and NFT-based games are a new route to explore
- NFT drops related to championships are the new thing, but it's yet to be seen if fans are into them
- "Phygital" drops continue to be the way of choice, especially for athletes, combining the digital NFTs with physical items and experiences
And that's a wrap for issue 11! On another note: We're pretty excited that every week brings new insights and learnings, exciting times in an exciting new industry!
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.