Issue 24: US Open go POAP, race track NFTs, soccer plans, NFTs not dead
Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:
- 🏟️ US Open with NFTs and POAPs, Kobe Bryant NFT art collection
- ⚽ OneFootball with NFT plans, LaLiga joins Sorare
- 🏎️ Speedway Motorsport creates marketplace, Monza with first NFTs
Let's have a closer look! 👀
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🏟️ US Open with NFTs and POAPs, Kobe Bryant NFT art collection
The US Open have released their first NFT collection, with three different categories:
- Championship Cards with historic moments
- Attendee exclusive NFTs (we'll get to that in a second)
- US Open collectibles, featuring trophies and artwork
The most interesting ones from our perspective are the attendee exclusive NFTs, so called POAPs, which stands for Proof of Attendance Protocol. Those NFTs are only purchasable for people who attended the 2021 US Open and proof that someone was at the event. A great tool for event organisers that lets them distribute badges to their audience who then can keep track of their life experiences. More details on POAPs can be found on poap.xyz,
Staying within US Sports: The KB24 NFT collection is "creating a new space for Kobe Bryant fans to memorialize the legend, while also contributing to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which was created by the Bryant family to honor Kobe and his daughter Gianna". 100% of the proceeds go to the foundation. The interesting part though is that the website seems to be set up from fans, not by anyone from Kobe's family. The website kb24.com was once his personal page, got taken over and was recently acquired by whoever is now behind this initiative. No names can be found on the website. Let's hope this is not just a scam on the back of Kobe's name.
⚽ OneFootball's NFT plans, LaLiga joins Sorare
We found an interesting NFT-related job posting on the OneFootball website. For starters: OneFootball is one of THE most popular football platforms, with over 85m monthly active users. Amongst the shareholders are some of the biggest football clubs in the world, who also use the platform to publish content: Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Olympique de Marseille, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur. The "Project Coordinator" role contains "participation in the creation of the OneFootball NFT Ecosystem" and the opportunity is described as follows:
We are curious what this new venture will be all about, especially with regards to the strong competitors Sorare and Dapper Labs, and how the shareholding clubs will be embedded into the platform. Could be a soccer NFT giant in the making, especially with a big audience like that.
Related to that: La Liga, who recently announced a partnership with Dapper Labs, has now also signed an agreement with Sorare. This allows fans to trade and play with digital cards of players from the top two tiers of Spanish soccer. It's a great deal for Sorare as this is the first big league they're signing, aside from all the cooperations with big clubs that they already have in place.
🏎️ Speedway Motorsport creates marketplace, Monza with first NFTs
And we go racing: Speedway Motorsports, who owns seven tracks that host NASCAR races, announced a partnership with GigLabs to create RaceDayNFT.com which will sell NASCAR themed NFTs. They will offer commemorative tickets (which don't grant admission) and additional artwork which they offer partly for free. There will also be an At The Track NFT that can be claimed by fans on property during race weekends, sounding similar to the POAPs offered by the US Open.
Our take: An interesting approach to offer NASCAR-related NFTs without actually being a rights holder. We wonder what NASCAR itself thinks about it.
And there seems to be a trend to monetise sports venues, as also the Monza racing track is offering its first NFT collection. Monza partnered with Stargraph, giving everyone who registered on the platform last weekend a reproduction of the trophy that the winners of the race receive. More items were and will be offered on the marketplace for sale, with the first round of items already being sold out.
👾 Monthly stats: NBA Top Shot, Sorare, Topps MLB
Here's our monthly check of the most well-known NFT platforms in sports.
And finally there's hope! After the space has been struggling for about 6 months, numbers are going up again, at least for Sorare and NBA TopShot who's revenues went up over 80% and 70% respectively. And we're also happy to see that the unique buyer numbers went up significantly.
After the Fanatics deal it's clear that Topps MLB will not be continued, so we probably need to remove it from our monthly analysis. The other two platforms are thriving on the back of the second NFT boom, best to be seen via OpenSea's stats for August, that show over $3b in revenue, which is almost a 10x multiple of the platform’s July trading volume of $325 million. Much of that growth was fueled by well-known NFT collections like Cryptopunks and Bored Ape Yacht club, a trend that also some of the world's top athletes couldn't resist.
🤓 Wrapping it up
So what have we learned in this issue?
- POAPs might be the hot new thing in the (sports) NFT world, giving fans the ability to show off which events they have attended. Should definitely be something for every event organiser to look into. And btw: those POAP NFTs can be traded as well.
- We see a consolidation when it comes to the NFT partners for the big sports league, as it seems to be clear that all paths lead to Dapper Labs for highlight clips and to Sorare and Fanatics for player cards. We're just really curious what OneFootball is building there...
- NFT sales numbers are finally going up again and what a month it has been in August! We might have left the hype cycle's "Trough of Disillusionment" behind us and are steering into a bright NFT 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.