NFTs: Revolutionising The Sports Industry

Eterlast
5 min readSep 5, 2022

The world of sports is changing, and it’s not just because of the new technology that has been created. The world is changing because of the way we watch sports. We no longer have to be tied to our TVs to see our favourite teams play, or even just watch a game in real time; we can use streaming services like Hulu and Netflix to watch them whenever we want, on our phones or computers.

But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: our love for sports and being able to collect memorabilia from them. Billions of dollars are spent every year on merchandise, tickets, and other items related to sports. However, it is a market that has been limited by its physical nature until now. With the advent of blockchain technology, we can now bring sports fans closer to their favourite teams and players with digital assets and collectibles that are unique and accessible worldwide.

The sports world has embraced NFTs in a big way. This includes everything from fan trading cards for players on your favourite team to investing options for teams themselves (like ownership shares). And it’s not just people who love sports getting involved: big brands like Nike have shown interest in potential ways to use blockchain technology to serve consumers in the athletic footwear, apparel and equipment space. Nike recently partnered with RTFKT, which uses the latest in game engines, NFT, blockchain authentication and augmented reality, combined with manufacturing expertise to create one of a kind sneakers and digital artefacts.

With a fan base of millions, it came as no surprise when the NBA announced their entry into the NFT space with TopShot. TopShot is a joint venture between Dapper Labs and the NBA.

NBA Top Shot gives users the chance to acquire “Moments,” which are tradable NFTs that include a video clip of a particular game highlight along with other useful data, such as statistics about the particular game and the player featured in the clip. Moments essentially act as a digital ticket to future fandom. Buyers can use them to play weekly games and earn rewards. Holding a moment can even unlock a live experience — such as watching an NBA game live.

Top Shot’s digital marketplace is made to be simple to use and accessible for sports fans, trading card collectors, and others who collect sports-related memorabilia. NBA top shot has surpassed $1 Billion in All-Time Sales

It’s not just basketball — other sports are riding the wave as well.

Sorare has partnered with more than 280 officially licensed football clubs from around the world to allow fans to participate in fantasy football with digital collectibles against other players for real money.

Sorare allows avid soccer fans to build their own teams by assembling a squad of their favourite soccer players from multiple leagues. Sorare’s soccer game allows users to collect “cards” of real-life players and earn points when the player performs an action, such as scoring a goal. Users can compete against other managers in tournaments for prizes such as rarer cards or ether.

In Sorare’s case, the cards are NFTs which users own. The NFTs can be sold, bought or traded. That also implies that if a certain player is performing well, the value of the NFT will rise in the market.

Similarly, Eterlast is bringing fans closer to the sport they love with digital assets, collectibles and games that feature real-world athletes. The platform will allow users to own unique moments of their favourite athlete and team. Eterlast will also offer live experiences, such as tickets to live games, meet and greet opportunities. All of this will be followed by a #Play2Earn game where users will be able to compete against each other in sports-style games for rewards. The platform is powered by Immutable X (a layer-2 blockchain that solves the issue of scalability for NFTs on Ethereum) and is set to launch later this year.

Sports Collectibles

Sports collectibles made on non-fungible tokens (NFT) are currently valued at US$1.4 billion and are expected to grow to US$92 billion by 2032. When just memorabilia sales are taken into account, football leads the sports memorabilia sector by US$2.5 billion per sport, according to Market Decipher. Additionally, the trading card industry generates roughly US$2.5 billion in sales for football memorabilia. Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the NBA have all been identified as controlling the majority of the market share.

  • Sorare’s NFT transaction volume surpassed $7 million in the seven days following the announcement of its multi-year relationship with AC Milan. In April 2022, the tradable NFTs from the Sorare fantasy football game were among the top 100 NFT assets in terms of floor cap, or NFTs’ market capitalization. They have a low floor price of 0.018 ETH, making the smallest one worth at least $50 if the price of Ethereum is $2800 or more.
  • NFL All Day, a trading card game created by the NFL and Dapper Labs, was released at the end of the 2021 NFL season. The platform enables fans to purchase and collect NFTs of NFL players and memorable moments. NFL All Day runs on the FLOW blockchain and has a market capitalisation of USD 68.15 million.
  • The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). UFC Strike, like NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day, allows fans to collect virtual trading cards based on famous fighters in the form of NFTs minted on the FLOW blockchain. In March 2022, UFC Strike had a reported market capitalisation of USD 7.9 million.

While the NFT space is still in its infancy, it has already proven to be a lucrative opportunity. With major sports brands such as NBA, MLB and Real Madrid investing in this new technology, there’s no doubt that we will soon see many more companies following suit.

--

--

Eterlast

Eterlast is an NFT studio that partners with world-leading sporting and media organizations to bring their content to web3.