Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:
- ⚽ Barça creates photo and video NFTs, MARCA drops cover NFT
- 🏟️ Footium creates NFT football strategy game
- ♟️ FIDE launches Chess NFT marketplace, Warrington drops rugby NFTs
Let's have a closer look! 👀
⚽ Barça creates photo and video NFTs, MARCA drops cover NFT
A newly signed partnership between FC Barcelona and Ownix allows fans and collectors to "acquire and own digital assets that will reproduce unforgettable blaugrana moments throughout the Club’s almost 122 year history via various auctions taking place throughout the season". No further details were revealed. The Ownix marketplace is currently in beta and the first drop with Barça will happen on November 24.
Our take: As the world is aware of the critical financial situation of FC Barcelona it is not a surprise that the clubs tries to create additional revenue streams with this NFT collaboration. Choosing Tel Aviv based Ownix as a partner however is an interesting move as the platform had no connection to sports so far.
And to stay within the sports/soccer scene in Spain: MARCA, the daily sports newspaper, has created an NFT from the 2010 cover that shows the Spanish national team celebrating the world cup victory. The design was developed with renowned Spanish crypto artist Javier Arres and the NFT will drop on November 19 via MakersPlace.
🏟️ Footium creates NFT football strategy game
Footium has created a new kind of football manager game. Here's how they describe themselves: "Footium is an MMO Football Strategy game where you manage a team to victory. Entry to higher divisions promises greater prizes, greater fan engagement, and greater glory! Footium Clubs are your pass to the game and participation in competitions to win prizes.". In order to participate in the game you have to buy one of the 3060 clubs that are currently being sold. Besides the game access this gives you:
- A unique, 3D stadium associated with your club
- Generative club badges will be randomly created with different levels of rarity
- AI Lore for each club, including info on the fanbase, history and more
- Club kit and colours for your team and players
Of course you also need to buy and sell players on the transfer market, so that your team ideally performs well in the simulated games. The Footium universe goes even deeper with an academy system, a fan bases, a token system and much more.
Our take: Even though there is a lot to understand and part of it can be fairly complex, we do like the approach of owning virtual teams and adding gaming elements. Definitely one to watch!
♟️ FIDE launches Chess NFT marketplace, Warrington drops rugby NFTs
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has partnered with TON Labs to launch ChessNFT.com, making it the first-ever global sports federation to launch its own NFT marketplace. According to the announcement ChessNFT will "welcome new crypto demographic, bringing utility to both chess players and fans through the digitalization and gamification of iconic match moments, unique collectables, chess-related art and many more exciting opportunities. The platform’s interface will accommodate the bid on and purchase of chess NFTs that live on-chain through the use of both fiat and cryptocurrencies." Signups for early access to ChessNFT.com are open now. Great move by FIDE that shows that comparably smaller sports can be front runners as well!
Rugby club Warrington Wolves are connecting the launch of their new home and away kits with their first NFT collection, making them the first in global Rugby League to drop NFTs.
The seven collectable pieces features marquee half-back George Williams alongside an animated signature. According to the announcement "Shirts 1-6 will be launched as fixed price listings with Williams’ number 7 shirt being offered via auction. Each asset will also have what is known as ‘Unlockable Content’ which is only available for the lucky collectors who manage to purchase the NFT or win the auction. Furthermore, each purchaser will receive a personalised video message from Williams for shirts 1-6 and then some of the (funny) outtakes that were captured when filming to be included in shirt 7. The owners of the NFTs will also be sent a physical shirt that will be signed by Williams himself and framed."
Our take: A great first launch by the Wolves that includes interesting details that should be appreciated by fans and collectors.
🤓 Wrapping it up
So what have we learned in this issue?
- Using archive material for NFT creation is a rich resource. Barça is obviously using it to bring some much needed cash into their accounts and we expect many others to follow this example. While we do think this makes sense in general we also believe that this needs to be done with great care, as you can/should sell your archive material only once, otherwise that could lead to some disappointment amongst the fan base after having purchased "unique items". Also the choice of the respective partner and blockchain is a decision that should be taken with great care in order to ensure compatibility with future use cases.
- NFTs are more than just pictures and video clips. That has been clear for a while now and we expect to be surprised by all the ways in which NFTs will be used in the future. Footium is another creative example of what can be tied to owning an NFT, in their case a virtual football club ownership that connects with game play features a variety of interesting elements. We might be surprised by the value that some NFTs will have at some point and which rights will be connected with them.
- NFTs are not just for the rich ones. We've seen many great and creative NFT drops by comparably smaller associations, leagues and teams. FIDE and the Warrington Wolves are the latest examples for that. Why is that possible? Well, this lies within the beauty on the blockchain, which is basically a free-to-use solution that is not owned by anyone (in most cases at least), making it available for everyone. Creating an NFT is not a particularly tricky endeavour from a tech perspective. It's mostly about creating a compelling offering for the fan/collector/investor bases.
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.