Issue No. 2: More athletes experiment with NFTs, Zlatan has arrived
Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports.
- ⚽ AC Milan is now on Sorare
- ⚾ NY Mets' Taijuan Walker sells NFT
- 🏌️ Bryson DeChambeau launches NFT collection
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⚽ AC Milan is now on Sorare
Seven-times Champions League winner and iconic Italian club AC Milan is not new to the blockchain world as their fungible (interchangeable) token are already available on Socios.com. However, the cooperation with Sorare marks the start of their non-fungible journey, offering the by now typical trading cards.
As always on Sorare the cards come in three levels of scarcity: unique (1 per season), super rare (10 per season), and rare (100 per season), with each having its own serial number. Though the question occurs: Can there even be more than one Zlatan?! 😱😱😱 Let's see for how much the unique card will be sold...
⚾ NY Mets' Taijuan Walker sells NFT
Seems like 2021 is a special year for pitcher Taijuan Walker. First he signed a two-year $20m deal with the NY Mets, then he became the first-ever MLB player to create and sell an NFT. We wonder which of the two he was more happy about... The setup:
- He issued just one unique card with his digital signature and sold it on OpenSea
- The inspiration came from Rob Gronkowski selling his NFT collection for over $1.8m (see Nifty Sports Issue 1)
The card was sold for a little over $4,000, all of which will be donated to the Amazin’ Mets Foundation. A great example of how NFTs can be used to do something good! On the flip side: Not every NFT launch by an athlete will automatically reel in millions.
🏌️ Bryson DeChambeau launches NFT collection
Bryson DeChambeau has sold a set of limited-edition trading cards, making him the first professional golfer to ever do so. Here are the details:
- The collection was offered on OpenSea and holds four versions named “American Champion,” “Swing,” “Red” and “White”, each of them consisting of 18 editions
- And then there's the unique "The Distance" card, which comes with a meet-and-greet with Bryson at a U.S. golf event, an autographed U.S. Open flag, a custom set of Cobra golf clubs, a $1,000 Bose gift card and six dozen Bridgestone balls. That is quite a package!
The result was quite interesting. The auction, which was set up to be open for 24 hours, ended with only 10 of 73 NFTs being sold. The total amount was a bit over $60,000, with the "The Distance" card accounting for over $40,000 of it. As of today it's still possible to bid on DeChambeau's unsold NFTs, so more sales are possible.
Brett Falkoff, Agent of DeChambeau:
Whether he made $2,000 or $20 million, he had no idea how this was going to play out. What it shows [by the total] is that golf is still a niche sport.
The auction caused quite a discussion on two ends: DeChambeu's team said that the OpenSea platform was not working correctly from a technical angle, while fans/investors where unhappy that it was not communicated what the money would be used for. They would've liked to see it going into a foundation or a charitable outlet. Sounds like not all NFT drops are success stories...
Source: Golf.com, GolfDigest
1️⃣ 'Firsts' don't guarantee success
Gronk was the first in football to create an NFT, Walker in baseball, DeChambeu in golf, and more will follow in other sports. But even though this short, small window of opportunity comes with the attention of the media, it doesn't automatically guarantee high sales and/or good press.
While it (as always) seems easier if you are a big name in a big league (Gronk), this issue of Nifty Sports teaches us that it's much harder in "niche" sports (DeChambeau) or if you are a less known athlete (Walker). When not executed right, an NFT launch can create some unpleasant discussions. We've also learnt that dealing with the expectations of followers is of high importance. It might even develop into a given that some of the proceeds from NFT sales should be reserved for charitable causes (something that e.g. Ethernity is build on). A young industry comes with opportunities and risks 🤓
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