6 min read

Issue No. 3: NFT tickets, more athletes joining & an arm as ad space

Issue No. 3: NFT tickets, more athletes joining & an arm as ad space

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

  • 🏀 Marc Cuban and the Mavs plan NFT-based tickets
  • 👾 Ngannou, Edelman and Rapp launch NFTs
  • 🎾 Tennis player Oliynykova sells ad space on her arm as NFT

Expect the most relevant news and insights, so that you never miss a thing. Consider subscribing to our newsletter so that all the good stuff gets delivered right into your inbox, and make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for stats, drop announcements and more.

🏀 Marc Cuban and the Mavs plan NFT-based tickets

It is well known that Marc Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, always tries to be at the forefront of things. And he is also into blockchain and cryptocurrencies, owning bitcoin, ether and other digital coins. In early March the Mavericks announced that they'll accept Dogecoin for tickets and merchandise purchases. Bitcoin and other cryptos have been an accepted payment method for over two years now. So it doesn't come as a surprise that Cuban and the Mavs are now thinking about NFT-based tickets. Here are some details:

  • Cuban is an investor in NFT platform Mintable and recently launched the Instagram channel @NFT
  • Selling NFT-based tickets would give the Mavs the opportunity to earn royalties on every secondary market sale via smart contract

Cuban explains his thinking:

In a traditional season, out of 41 home games before playoffs we may have, there’s one or two high-demand games and there’s a lot of season ticket holders that will sell those one or two games to try to pay for their whole season ticket package. So, how do we balance those things to maximize our revenue and maximize the value for season ticket holders? Those types of market analysis and business process optimization is exactly what I’m focused on right now.

NFT-based tickets would ensure that fans always know that the tickets they buy on the secondary market are real. And the issuer benefiting from every sale appears to be a fair deal. Very convincing concept.

But Cuban also has the athletes in mind, opening another are of NFT usage:

"I’m trying to get Luka to sit down for lunch with me because we already got it set up to do an auction for a non-game NFT that he could do - just him smiling or we got some that are drawings of him. Who knows how much people are going to bid for that if it’s a Luka-authored original NFT? It could be on Top Shot, if there’s a program there for players to do that, or it could be off of Top Shot. So, we’ll see what players do; [that] will have a big impact."

Also this seems to be obvious playing fields for NFTs. Let's see how soon both topics will move from idea to execution so that we can cover them on here.

Sources: CNBC, BasketballNews

👾 Ngannou, Edelman and Rapp launch NFTs

In our last issue we covered some of the first athletes who experimented with NFTs and predicted that there would be more to come (no need to be a genius to see this). And the new week brought indeed more launches, all pretty much with the same concept as the ones before, so we'll stick to the key points.

Sources: MakersPlace, OpenSea

UFC fighter Francis Ngannou created conditional NFTs that would only be released if he wins his UFC260 title fight against Stipe Miocic. The collection consists of a limited edition called Crowned and a unique piece called Crowned King that also comes with a pair of signed Ngannou gloves and tickets to his next fight. The collection was designed in cooperation with the artist Bosslogic and sold for $580,000 in total ($283,500 from the unique one) on MakersPlace. In fact this was more money than his guaranteed fight purse of $500,000.

New England Patriots star Julian Edelman has launched different NFT collections, combining different moments from his playing career. The Cryptomon set is inspired by Japanese trading cards like Pokemon. There are 30 editions of each card and three unique holographic versions. The Incredelman books are inspired by key moments of his career. There are 30 comic book covers and three unique Super Bowl editions. The collections are still up for sale on OpenSea when this article gets released. 10% of the Cryptomon sales will go to Stop AAPI Hate and 10% of the Incredelman sales will go to Maccabi USA and to support the Israeli national baseball team.

LA Rams safety Taylor Rapp launched six NFT collections to help fight anti-Asian hate by donating “a large chunk” of the proceeds to the #StopAsianHate GoFundMe campaign. The collections are still up for sale on OpenSea when this article gets released. The first five collections combine for 87 editions. And (of course) there is one unique edition with a Taylor Rapp-Change The World digital painting, featuring his favorite Chinese proverb and an Ox tattoo his grandpa hand-painted. It comes with a meet and greet, tickets to a game, a signed jersey, signed game worn gloves, signed game worn cleats, and a signed football.

A few things on the releases:

  • We really like the "conditional angle" that Francis Ngannou brought in, using one of the options that comes with blockchain technology
  • Including a social element seems to be established by now, maybe as a learning from the DeChambeau case from the last issue
  • One more pitfall appeared: Taylor Rapp stated that he would donate "a large chunk" to a good cause. Being vague earned him some negative comments

Let's see what athletes will come up within the next week ;)

Sources: Decrypt, FoxBusiness, RamsWire

🎾 Tennis player Oliynykova sells ad space on her arm as NFT

Well, this is something new... Croatian tennis player Oleksandra Oliynykova has sold a very unique NFT that comes with the life-time exclusive right for a space on her right arm & shoulder. The facts:

  • The size of the patch is 15x8 cm / 6-inch-by-3-inch
  • The owner can place any object in the form of a tattoo or body art on it, excluding “extremism” or gambling or betting-related content
  • The owner can use it for a temporarily "cleanable" body art, Oliynykova charges a fee of 1 ETH for every "clean-and-paint" cycle
  • The owner can also leave it blank and/or later sell it at a higher price
Source: OpenSea

That is definitely a new concept! The NFT was sold on OpenSea for 3 Ether, which at the time of purchase was worth around $5,000. And this is what Oliynykova thinks about it:

"This is the first NFT of its kind ever created [and] sold. It is actually a part of sports history, not as a tattoo, but as a successful attempt of an individual athlete to directly interact with their fan base. In several years, independent athletes will extensively use NFTs [and] career tokens, but I will always be the first who did it"

Oliynykova is only 20 years old only and currently the #30 in the ITF World Tour Ranking and #649 in the WTA Ranking, so there is definitely room to climb the ranks. A very interesting (and bold) move from both the player and the buyer!

Sources: Sportico, OpenSea

📜 History in the making

It is a special moment in time. NFTs are still new and clubs, leagues, federations, brands etc. are probably debating heavily how to tackle this market. This naturally takes time as a lot of things have to be considered, including legal aspects. In the meantime a few brave (and partly opportunistic) athletes are throwing themselves out there independently to test the waters, using their speed advantage.

It will take a while until standards are established. One thing seems to be certain though: We'll see a range of new and innovative concepts with great outcomes, but also failed attempts that might end badly. Especially the early days are an interesting time to watch and learn, and maybe act as well.

To stay up to date: Consider subscribing to our newsletter to get our reviews delivered right into your inbox, and make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for stats, drop announcements and more.