Issue 59: Big leagues make decisions, CR7, monthly stats
Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:
- 🏒 NHL, NHLPA announce NFT partnership with Sweet
- 🤝 Binance lands CR7, EuroLeague announces new NFT projects
- 📊 Monthly stats of the top leagues' NFT platforms
Let's have a closer look! 👀
But before we do so: This is the last issue before we go on a summer break 🏖️ Expect us to be back in August. Have a great time everyone!
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🏒 NHL, NHLPA announce NFT partnership with Sweet
"The National Hockey League Players' Association , the National Hockey League, the NHL Alumni Association and NFT distribution platform Sweet announced a new multiyear partnership naming Sweet the Official NFT Digital Collectibles Marketplace and an Official NFT partner of the NHL, NHLPA and NHLAA. The Sweet-operated NHL marketplace will focus on providing the entire community of NHL fans and collectors with a unique and valuable engagement experience through the opportunity to buy, sell, collect and trade never-before-offered pieces of NHL history. With a planned launch at the start of the 2022-23 NHL season, the stand-alone NHL platform custom-built for this program by Sweet will showcase current and historic moments as well as iconic elements of the game in the form of non-fungible tokens. Also on the roadmap are specialty packs, gamified collection experiences, 3D interactive trophy rooms where users can display their collections, as well as dynamic NFTs designed to change based on current team data, and more."
🤝 Binance lands CR7, EuroLeague announces new NFT projects
"The five-time Ballon D’or winner is joining forces with Binance to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for football fans worldwide, with a series of NFT collections that will launch exclusively on Binance’s official NFT platform. The first collection, slated to launch later this year, will feature iconic designs created in collaboration with Ronaldo."
"During lockdown, the EuroLeague was inundated with approaches from various companies claiming to be able to assist the organisation with its Web 3.0 strategy. But initial experiments failed to yield the desired results and the organisation’s digital and commercial teams decided to “push pause” on their efforts so they could better understand the technological landscape and devise an effective strategy. The EuroLeague worked to create an approach that would allow it to maximise the benefits and revenues of Web 3.0 while mitigating both the risks to itself and its fans. The decision was made to work with multiple partners rather than a single end-to-end vendor, because this would allow it to diversify risk and choose the best partner for each product category.
‘EuroLeague Euroreels’ are video-based digital collectibles based on key moments from the 2021/22 season. Each ‘card’ is minted as an NFT and combines the footage with information and statistics to create a unique collectors’ item that can be traded with other fans. Each item is available in different rarities and will give owners benefits such as early access to game tickets and exclusive merchandise. Euroreels have been created with Canadian blockchain specialist Clancy.
The second major blockchain-based initiative is fantasy basketball. Starting next season, the EuroLeague will become part of Unagi’s ‘Ultimate Champions’ platform, allowing players to buy, collect, and trade officially licensed digital cards of their favourite players and assemble fantasy teams that compete with other players.
The final element of the EuroLeague’s initial forays into Web 3.0 is the metaverse. The EuroLeague wanted to create an immersive environment in which fans could express themselves and exhibit their support for their favourite team. (...) The result was the ‘EuroLeague Land’, a digital environment on mobile devices, PC, and on Oculus Quest headsets created by VRM. Here, fans create digital avatars, interact with each other, play games, and earn coins that unlock special features and money-can’t-buy experiences. On top of this, fans can also earn Turkish Airlines ‘Miles and Smiles’ points for their metaverse achievements"
📊 Monthly stats of the top leagues' NFT platforms
Here's our monthly look at the performance of the big leagues' NFT platforms:
The markets are red all over. From the stock markets to crypto to NFTs. And the sports leagues' marketplaces are no exception to this. It probably doesn't make sense to do a deeper analysis for each platform during these times, so let's stick to some select numbers:
- Candy Digital's sales decreased by 68% and their unique buyers went down by 58%, the biggest losses across the market. A rather expected drop after the big sales event they had late in last month that pumped the numbers.
- UFC Strike had the smallest decline in sales with around 10% and at least managed to increase the amount of transactions in single digits.
- NBA Top Shot saw a 14.1% increase in average sales price, whole dealing with a decrease of 50% in amount of transactions. Seems like buyers only made some select deals in the higher price segment.
Numbers are not good. But a bear market comes with opportunities to build great products and strengthen the relationships with the most loyal fans.
🤓 Wrapping it up
So what have we learned in this week's issue?
- The NHL is doing it differently. While all other major sports leagues in the U.S. go with the giants of Dapper Labs or Candy Digital (Fanatics), the NHL decided to go with Sweet as a partner. The announcement did not mentioned player cards, we're curious if they will be included or if they go with a multi-partner approach. We look forward to test the new marketplace and see if they bring in new elements or just do the "same old".
- It's okay to be wrong. We enjoyed reading the piece on EuroLeague Basketball's new Web3 strategy. Mainly for two reasons: They admitted that some of their earlier projects (see issue 12 from June 2021) did not work out. Secondly, they explicitly stated that they went for a multi-partner approach in order to use the strength of each of them, something that we've been observing and supporting for quit a bit already. Let's see how the planned initiatives work out for them.
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.