Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:
- 💰 Candy Digital and GreenPark Sports with investment rounds
- 🏈 Fan Controlled Football connects team ownership and NFTs
- 🏀 Miami Heat give NFTs to visitors, Snoop x Harlem Globetrotters Sitcom
Let's have a closer look! 👀
💰 Candy Digital and GreenPark Sports with investment rounds
The influx of money into the sports NFT space doesn't seem to stop. Last week saw two more big investment rounds.
Candy Digital secures a $100m Series A at a $1.5b valuation. Congratulations to the unicorn status! The announcement says that "The newly raised capital will be used to fund Candy’s continued expansion of its NFT offerings across the global sports landscape for both current and emerging partners. The funding round was co-led by leading global private equity and venture capital firms Insight Partners and Softbank Vision Fund 2". This comes along with their new website and upcoming marketplace on which Candy's products can be traded.
And Candy immediately used that money and announced a partnership with NASCAR Cup Race Teams, allowing them "to develop unique digital collectibles and one-of-a-kind experiences, connecting with fans and bringing them closer to the sport".
The next investment news came from GreenPark Sports, securing a $31m Series B round led by Terraform Capital with additional investments from existing investors. GreenPark is a publisher and developer of digital experiences and mobile games. Within the app, fans can visit and play in multiple fan universes, including the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), LaLiga and the National Basketball Association (NBA). An interesting one to watch! Especially as their first NFT drop will be released in the coming weeks.
🏈 Fan Controlled Football connects team ownership and NFTs
And then there's yet another innovative initiative from the Fan Controlled Football League who is about to start into its second season. They have announced the BallerzCollective, an exclusive, all-access club that will manage two real football teams in the Fan Controlled Football League. The two new teams (Team KOD and Team 80KI) will be owned and controlled by the holders of an upcoming NFT mint. Those holders will "work together to name their team, design the logo and uniforms, draft the players, call the plays in real-time, and much more. In addition, thousands of Ballerz will have additional IRL utility and benefits, including VIP seating at games, access to practices and team meetings, behind the scenes content, film review, and enhanced voting power."
The 10,000 ballerz will be "created from more than 150 possible traits and gear. Eyes, nose, mouth, hair, and skin are permanent, non-customizable traits that comprise the “base level” baller. Limited edition, customizable gear items include helmet, jersey, shoulder pads, shoes, gloves, belt, kneepads, ball, and backgrounds. Some of these items will be provided during the initial mint, while others will be available by winning, earning, buying, selling and trading with other members of the community. Some gear items will also provide additional utility and benefits.
Our take: That is a very tempting mix between collectibles, gaming and real world utility, definitely a great move by FCFL! Can't wait to see how this plays out.
🏀 Miami Heat give NFTs to visitors, Snoop x Harlem Globetrotters Sitcom
The season opening game of the Miami Heat in the newly renamed FTX Arena came with a surprise for the visitors: They all got a free "You in, Miami?" T-Shirt. And by scanning the QR code on the back, they’ll unlock a free, limited edition FTX Arena NFT. We think this is a nice idea that potentially brings the Heat's audience closer to crypto and NFTs and is most likely just one of many steps in their partnership with FTX. What better way is there to start with a free gift?
And here's an interesting one: Snoop Dogg partnered with the Harlem Globetrotters to create the "first-ever sitcom that will be auctioned as an NFT". The sitcom, which is still in development, will be available on the crypto promotion site VAST.com. Let's see how that will work out :)
🤓 Wrapping it up
So what have we learned in this issue?
- Money keeps pouring into the promising NFT projects. While Candy Digital's unicorn valuation is not a surprise at this point, we do like that GreenPark Sports managed to secure a big Series B round before they even dropped a single NFT. Why is that? Because GreenPark is targeting one of the most promising areas of the so called Web 3: The Metaverse. We can't wait to see the virtual worlds they come up with and the game mechanics that they implement within them. But also here it is important to secure the right partners and licenses, which now should be a bit easier with the recent round
- Utility, utility, utility. We won't get tired of saying how important that is. And we do like solutions which come up with new, innovative ideas in this area. Fan Controlled Football League is one of those cases and it's one that perfectly fits to their existing approach: NFT holders are team owners and can influence decisions in and around the game. We expect that the mint alone will flush a decent amount of money into FCFL's pockets, but future monetisation opportunities, for example through secondary sales, are obvious. This should give them more flexibility than with the existing ownership model they have established
- Fans still need to get used to NFTs. And a great way to test those new waters is by receiving a free NFT to play around with. This is exactly what the Miami Heat and FTX did. It allows both parties to experiment on this new playing field and take the next steps accordingly. In our opinion this is a much better way than trying to make a quick buck and potentially burning bridges.
And 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! 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.