Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:
- ⚽ Socios enters NFT game with AC Milan drop
- 👾 SportsIcon with athlete content, OlySport raises money for horse NFTs
- 📊 Monthly comparison of the big leagues, Topps MLB with new collection
Let's have a closer look! 👀
⚽ Socios enters NFT game with AC Milan drop
This was an expected one: Socios is launching their first NFTs, in partnership with Italian soccer giants AC Milan. While Socios is known for a huge amount of partnerships with pro sports team all around the world with regards to their (fungible) Fan Token, the move into the NFT space is new. Their CEO has been very open about the NFT plans for a while now, so this doesn't come as a surprise.
So how exactly does the cooperation with AC Milan look like? 100 limited edition NFTs were minted to commemorate the biggest AC Milan moment from their game with AS Roma and dropped to $ACM Fan Token holders. To be eligible to receive the NFT, fans needed to have at least 10 $ACM Fan Tokens in their Socios.com wallet and had to predict the outcome of Sunday's game with AS Roma using the predictor feature in the Socios.com app.
According to the announcement the AC Milan NFT launch "will be the first of many similar launches to be held with the Club, increasing the opportunities for Fan Token holders to be rewarded through the app and fully integrating NFTs as part of the Socios.com offering".
Our take: It makes a lot of sense for Socios to utilise their audience and the range of partnerships they anyways have in place. Offering official NFTs can be a significant source of revenue (if they are perceived as valuable by the fans/investors), and including the need to use socios tokens as well as game mechanics is a smart move.
👾 SportsIcon with athlete content, OlySport raises money for horse NFTs
Two other projects caught our interest this week.
1) SportsIcon, the company who has been dropping various athlete related NTFs (i.e. Romelu Lukaku, Mike Vick) and creators of the SportsIcon Lion Club, have announce the launch of a NFT related content platform. The collaboration with various athletes will "involve the creation of 27 NFTs for each artist featured divided into 9 chapters (to commemorate specific, historical moments in their sporting careers) with increasing rarity as the athlete journey progresses. SportsIcon will film each episode with top cinematic quality that will focus on the highs, lows and motivation behind featured athletes careers. It will also showcase the athletes’ physical skills in their sports. Each NFT art will be auctioned off, and NFT collectors will be able to purchase them from $10 to $999. Some NFT packs will also include real-world prizes like signed memorabilia or box seats at a game."
Our take: We like when NFTs come with a little extra that adds value to the fan or collector. Content or real-world prizes seem to be a good way to go.
2) Oly Sports, "metaverse platform combining horse racing, NFTs, blockchain, and real estate, has raised $2 million in its strategic sales round. Oly Sport looks to elevate horse racing and ownership with its metaverse, where it will recreate the experience of owning, grooming, and caring for a racehorse at a small fraction of the cost of owning a real one. Furthermore, Oly Sport has no gambling feature because it is not ethically, culturally, and legally accepted in many countries."
"Players can also run their own business by organising and hosting virtual races in the metaverse. The game is set to launch early December. Players can also own virtual NFT land, which is backed by real estate with real value."
Our take: This is an interesting mix which sounds similar to what Zed offers, even though Oly Sports claims that they don't have a gambling angle. The play-to-earn feature we discussed in previous issues already, seemingly a good way to attract and retain customers. The real world land ownership angle is new, but also adds some complexity to the concept. We're a bit unsure if this is gonna be a winner.
📊 Monthly comparison of the big leagues, Topps MLB with new collection
And here's our monthly look at the top platforms of sports leagues.
Sorare stays on the high level that they managed to establish over the last couple of month from a sales and transaction side. However, a very pleasant number to look at is the unique buyers one, which grew over 26% compared to last month. Potentially a first sign for mass adaption.
NBA Top Shot had a monster month, probably connected to the start of the new season. They managed to increase total sales by over 100% with increasing transactions and average sales prices significantly. And, similar, to Sorare, the unique buyers number went up by a lot, close to 40% in this case.
MLB Topps keeps worrying us, in fact the numbers go down even more, but as expected the two partners will try to utilise their cooperation until they part ways in a few years. So it's not a surprise that they announced a World Series NFT drop, including some items that are only available to championship game attendees.
🤓 Wrapping it up
So what have we learned in this issue?
- Socios might break into the circle of big NFT players. The smart and expected move of the Fan Token company into NFTs will utilise their massive portfolio of partnerships and reward the holders of Fan Tokens. A clever way to establish a positive loop. However, in some cases they are probably going to clash with other NFT companies like Dapper and Sorare, as they already have NFT partnerships in place with Socios' fungible token partners. Will be interesting to see how this one plays out. One way to go would be to follow Candy Digital's approach and style of NFTs, which wouldn't necessarily be player cards or highlight clips
- New approaches keep popping up. This week we shared some insights on SportsIcon, with an interesting approach of building a different kind of community with a profile picture collection and content creation, and Oly Sport who go the Zed way but try to exclude the gambling angle but include metaverse and real life land aspects. What a world we live in... :)
- The big leagues' platforms are on an upswing. Well, MLB Topps not really, but Sorare and NBA Top Shot are doing really well these days. New seasons are in full swing and mass media as well as customers slowly get used to the fact that NFTs are here to stay and can not just be "right clicked and saved". We believe that this is still just the (very) beginning.
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.