5 min read

Issue 14: Dapper goes soccer, McLaren expands, equity hurdles

Issue 14: Dapper goes soccer, McLaren expands, equity hurdles

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

  • ⚽ Dapper Labs partners with Fantastec for soccer NFTs
  • 🏎️ McLaren launches NFT platform based on Tezos
  • ⚽ Sorare introduces national teams, Necaxa moves away from OpenSea

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⚽ Dapper Labs partners with Fantastec for soccer NFTs

So this was interesting news: Dapper Labs, well-known maker of NBA Top Shot, partners with Fantastec SWAP, a platform for digital soccer collectibles. The announcement said that it is actually a relaunch of Fantastec's existing offering with millions of NFTs that will be ported over onto Dapper's flow blockchain. This is how they explained the move:

Fantastec SWAP users will now be able to sell or buy NFTs on a peer-to-peer basis with functionality that compliments SWAP’s existing primary market where users can buy NFT collector packs of varying scarcity and swap their NFTs with other collectors.

And this makes sense to us: Dapper gets a foot into the soccer industry, benefiting from Fantastec's high-profile licences including Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal men’s and women’s teams. On the other hand Fantastec adds the secondary market functionality which is of high importance. And they can benefit from the attention that every new project of Dapper gets, potentially positioning them as an alternative to Sorare. Fantastec also brings in an existing app, something that Dapper has not launched yet, so let's see how the integration around this topic will move forward. An interesting one to watch!

Source: Fantastec

🏎️ McLaren launches NFT platform based on Tezos

After having launched their own fan token via Bitci earlier this year McLaren now takes the next step in the world of blockchain. The organisation announced to build an NFT experience platform for fans together with Tezos, an open source, energy-efficient and upgradeable blockchain for assets and applications. The NFTs will cover McLaren's illustrious racing heritage and renowned driver line-ups. And they are going all-in, as the multi-year technical partnership covers various teams, as Lindsey Eckhouse, Director, Licensing, ecommerce and esports, explains:

“Tezos and McLaren Racing uniting to create a unique fan-focused NFT platform is an innovative step in an exciting and rapidly developing industry. At McLaren we are known for putting fans at the heart of everything we do, and this is another partnership which allows us to enter a space where fans can own key pieces of our team. We are looking forward to launching the platform with Tezos to create bespoke NFTs with our Formula 1, INDYCAR and esports teams.”

We like the approach that McLaren is taking here. It is a bold but potentially beneficial move to work directly with Tezos Foundation, and not relying on any partner. Then the integration of various racing series' into one offering is something we have not seen before, as there is typically a tendency to stay within a specific sport or series. But a big brand like McLaren might be powerful enough to pull this off. Super curious to see how this will develop!

Source: McLaren

⚽ Sorare introduces national teams, Necaxa moves away from OpenSea

The last part in this issue is an update on content we previously wrote about. But an interesting one! With the Euros and the Copa America in full swing it is once again all about soccer.

So in last week's issue we wrote about the German Football Association launching player card collections, mentioning that they seem to be the only team at the UEFA Euro 2020 to have NFTs in place, also highlighting the decision to go with the new Fanzone platform instead of choosing the market leader Sorare. Well, just a few days later it was indeed Sorare who announced their first deal with a national team. And for a Paris-based company it did not come as a surprise that this was with the French Football Federation (FFF). All the French players are now available on Sorare's platform as digital trading cards.

Our take: A very understandable move from the FFF as it utilises a well-running platform and existing user base. Let's see how the 'French way' compares to the 'German way' and if/how other teams will react.

Source: Sorare

And there was another update from the world of soccer. Remember us writing about Mexican team Necaxa selling 1% of equity via an NFT? We mentioned being sceptical about the high valuation and also the risk of running the process on OpenSea which neglects any background checks and allows to transfer the rights with just a few clicks on the secondary market. What happened now is that Necaxa walked away from OpenSea, for exactly the reasons we mentioned. Interested parties now had to register and fulfil certain baseline standards. And the Mexican Football Federation entered the scene by saying that any changes to team control would still require league approval. We guess that is what's called learning-by-doing ;) However, Necaxa shared that over 400 people from at least 11 countries have registered their interest in purchasing the NFT. We hope they will communicate the outcome of the auction!

UPDATE: The 1% ownership sold for $1.5m. However, it sounds like the NFT was more like an add-on that symbolises the deal :)

Source: Necaxa

🤓 Wrapping it up

So what have we learned in this week's issue?

  • It does not come as a surprise that Dapper Labs tries to expand its ecosystem by adding new partners. The collaboration with Fantastec however is the first approach where we see the onboarding/relaunch of an existing platform
  • McLaren racing seems to be the first example of a sports organisation working directly with a blockchain institution (in this case Tezos foundation) to build an independent platform across all of its assets
  • And then we were especially interested in the Necaxa case. We appreciate the open-minded approach of the club with offering 1% equity as an NFT. However, we learned that some details can make it tricky to bring sth onto the blockchain, despite the technology being ready for it. But we're sure there will be applications built for this in the future

That's it for this weeks issue! 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.