Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:
- ⚽ DFL partners with Sorare, includes highlight clips
- 🎮 Athlete NFTs: Clix, Boggs, Karthik, Woods
- 🥊 Everlast joins NFT game
Let's have a closer look! 👀
⚽ DFL partners with Sorare, includes highlight clips
That's a big one! Bundesliga International, a subsidiary of DFL, has announced a partnership with Sorare. While the partnership itself isn't a surprise, with many pro teams already on the platform, it is the following statement that made it so interesting:
Next year, Sorare will also publish NFT-based videos from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, known as “Moments”, which can likewise be collected and played in the fantasy football game.
This means that Sorare is stepping into Dapper Labs' territory for the first time by going into the highlight clip segment. This shortly follows after Dapper Labs has signed an agreement with La Liga, their first move into the soccer market, which is the core market for Sorare. Thanks to their recent funding rounds (see issue 26) both companies are now equipped with the necessary cash to close partnerships. The race is on!
🎮 Athlete NFTs: Clix, Boggs, Karthik, Woods
Clix, one of Fortnite's top streamers on Twitch launches an NFT collection on new direct to fan platform Dropper. They plan to release some of Clix's most memorable moments over the last few years as well as a few surprises from his gaming career. Some of the highlights are his appearance at the Fortnite World Cup Finals and the win at the Twitch Rivals LAN competition. Our take: We like that highlight clips are also arriving in esports and that Clix throws in some of his special memories.
Hall of Fame baseball legend Wade Boggs is partnering with NFT company Firma Pro to develop unique NFT memorabilia of sports and entertainment celebrities. They call their items "Asset Backed NFTs™", meaning that they're backed by real, tangible, items like an athlete's memorabilia. Firma Pro's first NFT memorabilia drop will feature items from Boggs' personal collection. Boggs will also serve as an advisor to the company. David Austin, co-founder and President of Firma Pro, says:
"Imagine owning a piece of digital sports history, curated and cared for by the person to which it means the most," said Austin. "We want our celebrities to share a personal part of themselves. Show the world what means the world to them. Full sentimental value, nothing less."
The idea is a good one, as this should add some extra value to the NFT. However, we were wondering if the physical item would also change possession or if it remains in the hands of the athlete while the NFT is just tied to it.
Dinesh Karthik’s famous last-ball six from the March 2018 Nidahas Trophy final in which India faced Bangladesh is turned into an NFT. The art, created in collaboration with his brother-in-law and squash player Saurav Ghoshal, is an animation of that fateful last ball and the celebration afterwards. It features a voice-over by Karthik narrating his thoughts and emotions while facing up to the last ball and hitting the winning runs. The NFT will go on auction from October 12 on Rarible. We like that Karthik seems to have put a lot of effort into turning this special moment into an NFT, especially the part of him talking us through the happenings of that day. Nice one.
And we also wanted to highlight this one: A rare Tiger Woods collectible called 'Ruby' has scored a record high $70.000 sale on the Autograph platform. Seems like fans and collectors are accepting the marketplace well.
🥊 Everlast joins NFT game
Everlast announced the release of its first NFT in collaboration with world renowned fighter Deontay Wilder. The NFT will be a replica of the custom Everlast gloves Wilder wore in his fight against Tyson Fury on October 9th. The design was inspired by player card collectibles. Everlast released 41 NFTs of the glove on fight day, representing the 41 knockouts that Deontay has had in his career. The drop is done in cooperation with Blockparty, on whose platform the NFTs are listed. As of now there are still some of the items available for $100 each.
Our take: It looks like Everlast is running their first NFT experiment here, probably to get a feel for the market.
🤓 Wrapping it up
So what have we learned in this issue?
- The player card and highlight clip market is heating up and Dapper Labs and Sorare are clearly leading the race. Recent developments made them step into each others territories for the first time, we now expect this to be a head-to-head race for new partnerships in which they'll probably have to spend a lot of money. We don't expect this to be a winner-takes-it-all market, but rather the establishment of a few leaders between which the rights holders can choose. One important question will be if/when Sorare is gonna add another sport besides soccer to their portfolio. We're also curious if/when Dapper is adding more utility (e.g. a Fantasy Game) to their offering. And the elephant in the room for both seems to be the betting industry. An exciting space to watch!
- Athlete NFTs are (hopefully) growing up. While we have seen a lot of uninspiring drops by athletes over the year, there are now some more promising endeavours with higher efforts: Clix introduces esports moments and adds special surprises, Boggs ties NFT to his personal memorabilia collection and Karthik is working with family and friends and adds an extra layer to his NFT through a narrative experience. While probably not all of these are successful, we do like the direction that this is taking.
- Brands experiment. And that is good. Everlast's NFT sale wasn't run in a big scale fashion, with only 41 items available, each at $100. While this won't create much revenue for them, the experiences and insights of this test will help them down the road. This is much better than running any of the cash grabs our aiming too high right away. Why is that important? Well, the internet does not forget as they say, and that's especially true for the blockchain where everything is stored on-chain for eternity. So we encourage small tests and experiments like the Everlast one.
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.