5 min read

Issue 52: Investments, fashion, stats

Issue 52: Investments, fashion, stats

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

  • ⚽ Investments for The Football Company and Fancurve
  • 💰 Funding round for NFT sports wagering company Stakes
  • 📊 Monthly stats: Top leagues' NFT projects

Let's have a closer look! 👀

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⚽ Investments for The Football Company and Fancurve

"Munich-based football metaverse platform The Football Company has roped in €2.5 million in funding to connect football fans with fantasy gaming in the metaverse. The seed round was led by Dreamcraft and saw the participation of DapperLabs, web3 Studios, BLN Capital, angel investors and professional football players such as Joshua Kimmich and Cesc Fabregas. The startup’s first product, The Football Club (TFC), sells tokens that represent analogue merchandise in the form of a 3D object with which users can equip their avatars. The football metaverse is based on avatars and licensed digital collectibles and competitions. The startup generates revenue by issuing digital collectibles which can be traded on the TFC marketplace. Fans can buy those items, add them to their collection and earn rewards by managing a squad of players in a fast-paced fantasy experience based on real-life sports performances."

Source: The Football Company

"Digital sports fashion startup Fancurve announced the launch of its new platform for NFT sports apparel and collectibles. Fancurve intends to reveal its initial collection of digital products in May. The platform will feature soccer jerseys wearable in the metaverse. By making NFTs wearable in the metaverse instead of just being static images on screens, companies can add additional value for buyers. To fund the launch of its platform, Fancurve has raised a $6.25 million seed round led by blockchain venture capital firm Greenfield One. German soccer players André Schürrle and Mario Götze also participated in the round."

Source: Fancurve

💰 Funding round for NFT sports wagering company Stakes

"Stakes said it raised $5.3 million for NFTs aimed at sports wagering fans. The New York-based company wants to make sports wagering more social by offering a new web 3 experience for fans using NFTs as rewards. The money came from Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, CMS Holdings, LD Capital, Cadenza Ventures, Matrixport Ventures, and Sterling Select Group. Currently in open beta in the Apple App Store, Stakes’ platform is free to users and creatively captures the fun and excitement of sports betting without players risking anything of monetary value. Any player can wager for free in a competition among friends and influencers in a social feed. Stakes NFTs are earned for free by correctly making predictions on the Stakes platform. They become digital bragging rights cemented forever on the blockchain. Stakes has already minted over 8,000 “proof-of-flex” NFTs to over 2,500 users as a reward for sports predictions."

Source: Stakes

📊 Monthly stats: Top league's NFT projects

It's time for our monthly platform check again, in which we look at the performance of the NFT projects by the world's top leagues. And we've got something new for you, as we have incorporated the stats of NFL All Day and UFC Strike into the overview. Here we go!

Let's look at the newcomers first: The NFL and UFC currently rank clearly behind the industry leaders of Top Shot and Sorare when it comes to revenues, but as they are young platforms we should give them the time to grow. However, both platforms reached higher average sale numbers than Top Shot, hinting at a certain willingness amongst their fan base to spend a decent amount of money. While the NFL had a significantly weaker month in April than in March, which is understandable as they are in the off season, the UFC has seen a clear increase in sales and transactions. Interestingly the unique buyer numbers for the NFL go up (always a good sign), while the one's from the UFC stayed pretty much the same.

Top Shot's sales numbers decreased to our surprise, even though the playoffs have kicked off. So we are curious about the May stats when things are getting really hot in the league. Sorare's sales numbers decreased significantly after a steady growth path over the last months. It might be because the seasons of the big leagues are coming to an end and most champions are already crowned. Topps MLB keeps being a rather sad story, with not much activity happen anymore.

🤓 Wrapping it up

So what have we learned in this week's issue?

  • Sports fashion will be big on the blockchain. We've talked about the huge opportunity that digital merch and clothing items are. And the latest funding rounds for The Football Company and Fancurve underline that point. It feels like this race is still very early compared to player cards and highlight clips, so that the potential next giants are not yet defined yet. From a rights holder perspective it seems to be clear that digital fashion will become a major revenue stream in the not so far future. So who's gonna be the go-to marketplace for digital outfits? Let's see if Fanatics will tap into this field as well, as they seem to be primed to do so.
  • NFT platforms still relatively small. Adding NFL All Day and UFC Strike to our monthly overview helps to grasp the size and direction of the top leagues' NFT marketplaces. And it once again shows that it's still niche, if we look at the unique buyers. NBA, NFL, MLB, UFC and Sorare with all the clubs and leagues have a total unique buyers number that is below 100k (in April). Let that sink in for a minute. While the sales numbers in total are still impressive, the question remains if/when a mass adoption takes place and what needs to happen to do so.

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.