Here's your weekly review on what happened at the intersection of NFTs and Sports:
- 🥊 DAZN launches NFT project in Boxing
- 📊 Monthly comparison: Sorare, Topps MLB and NBA Topshot
- 👾 Serie A, Alphonso Davies and DeVonta Smith get involved
🥊 DAZN launches NFT project in Boxing
Sports video streaming service DAZN has entered the NFT game as one of the first media companies. And they're starting the journey in boxing as one of the biggest fights of the year is set for May 8: WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine champion Canelo Alvarez, meets Billy Joe Saunders, the holder of the WBO belt, in a battle for super middleweight supremacy. The NFTs commemorate the fight and most of them include special items and experiences. The collection is available on OpenSea and comes in four categories:
- Tale of the Tape: a 1-of-1 Gold Edition plus 50 Silver Editions for each fighter. The winner of the unique items will receive signed physical fight gloves and a one-year DAZN subscription
- Knockout: For each fighter, the collection offers 1-of-1 3D personalised gloves digitally signed by the fighter. The winning bid will receive 2 tickets for the next Canelo/Saunders fight, signed physical fight gloves and a personalised video
- Prediction: For each of the 13 rounds there are 1-of-1 gold NFTs and 100 bronze NFTs (for 0.2 ETH) which count as predictions for when one thinks the fight will end. If the prediction is correct one will get 2 tickets to the next Canelo fight (gold) or and annual DAZN subscription (bronze)
- Post-Fight Highlights: Will be published after the fight and consists of a 1-of-1 winning moment NFT and clips from the winner's and loser's ring walk.
Our take: A very interesting approach! Why? DAZN combines a few aspects that have been working well in previous NFT launches:
- Connecting the NFTs to the real world: Most of the items come with with either great physical items (signed gloves) or cool experiences (tickets to next fights), creating an additional reason to own the NFTs. That worked well for the Golden State Warriors' NFTs collection already
- Gamification: The prediction game (in which round will the fight end?) adds and interesting layer and potential excitement. Let's see if fans jump on it
- Post-event highlights: Dropping video clips from the fight has been working well for Triller/Jake Paul already, potentially catching fans in an emotional state.
We'll let you know how things worked out for DAZN in our next issue.
📊 Monthly comparison: Sorare, Topps MLB and NBA Topshot
At the beginning of each month we look at the performance of the top NFT platforms in sports. While in last month that included Sorare and NBA Top Shot we can now welcome a third platform with the newly launched Topps MLB project (see our coverage in last week's issue). Here are the numbers:
- Topps MLB's debut has been a success. Having only launched on April 20 it still managed to take over Sorare as the number 2 platform in the market. Next step: Keeping up the momentum!
- Overall the sentiment does not seem so great, as both Sorare and Top Shot have taken big hits in their sales numbers going down 47.8% and 60.5% respectively.
- Numbers for Top Shot are still much higher than on both other platforms (also if you extrapolate MLB's numbers). Especially when it comes to unique buyers, which are still relatively low on Sorare and Topps MLB
So the big question is: Can the market manage a turnaround? The football season is coming to an end, that should make it trickier for Sorare to push things into the right direction. The NBA however is getting closer to the Playoffs which looks like the perfect time to get attention and to build up a momentum. And the MLB is still early in the season so there seems to be room and time for more sales. We'll keep you posted!
Source: Own calculations, Cryptoslam
👾 Serie A, Alphonso Davies and DeVonta Smith get involved
And then we've seen some new entries from the world of football, both the American and European version (aka soccer). Here's a quick overview:
🇮🇹 Serie A and Crypto.com announced a partnership for the 2021 Coppa Italia Final between Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus Turin and Atalanta Bergamo but is also expected to extend long into the future. A special NFT collection will be made available including the official trophy, match highlights and more.
Luigi De Siervo, CEO of Lega Serie A: "We are the first football league in the world to sign an agreement in this new market which is extremely innovative and relevant not only for sports fans, where other world-class leagues such as the NBA have been operating in recent months. In this way Lega Serie A aims to expand its target audience and continues the international growth of the brand, always looking to the future and innovation."
🇨🇦 Bayern Munich's Canadian shooting star Alphonso Davies will launch an art-based NFT collection in June, including a real-life experience with Davies for one "golden ticket winner". The collection features three designs created by illustrator Jack Perkins. Through social media fans will have an influence on the designs as well.
Alphonso Davies: “It’s been crazy to see the way crypto has grown over the years to the point where I feel now it’s changing the game through NFTs and providing another opportunity for genuine engagement with fans. Away from football I am always looking into new technological changes to help engage with people across the world, and this is just another layer to my digital presence. It gives fans the opportunity to decide what the final piece will look like and to work together with them is so cool and the whole experience is really positive for me.
🇺🇸 NFL first round pick DeVonta Smith from the Philadelphia Eagles launches an NFT collection and a "Smitty Coin" token in partnership with Fyooz. He collaborated with four artists for the collection that contains profound moments in Smith’s life, a bobblehead action figure, a replica Heisman Trophy, recreations of highlights from his college days and artworks presented in a trading cards style. A portion of the proceeds will be donated.
DeVonta Smith: “Just giving the fans the ability to buy my coin to unlock different experiences with me whether it’s playing video games, facetime, dinner, watch party, things like that. It’s something different that not many people are doing. So just me being different from everybody else is going my own separate way.”
The experiments continue... We wonder what the actual designs of the Serie A will look like and if the sheer presence of CR7 is an influential factor on the sales. For athletes there is a clear preference of collaborating with artists they know and respect. Davies' approach of involving fans will be an interesting angle to watch and as we know by now the involvement of real life experiences is typically a good move. Regarding Smith's approach however we're a bit sceptical and would be surprised if sales go well. But maybe him being one of the top rookies in the NFL is already reason enough for some fans to open their digital wallets?
🤔 Hype cycle thoughts
Especially when looking at the sales numbers of the big league's NFT platforms it seems like the stage of inflated expectations is behind us and the questions is when the trough of disillusionment will be reached before the slope of enlightenment kicks in and "more instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallise and become more widely understood" (see hype cycle on Wikipedia). However, it is important to experiment in order to learn and gain knowledge. To us it seems like DAZN has observed the market well and has put it some good ingredients into their first NFT projects. Let's if if fans (and potentially investors) are convinced by the meal they're cooking this Saturday!
One more thing: In last week's issue we wrote about the Warrior's NFT launch, stating that we like the setup they chose to go for. Here's the outcome: Their 329 items were sold for 677 ETH, which as of today (May 7) is about two million euros. Well played GSW!
And as always: Feel free to reach out for feedback and to discuss all things NFT and sports! And to stay up to date: Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for stats, drop announcements and more.