NFTs has been on a winning streak lately, and it seems inevitable that sports and NFTs are a match. Here, we dive into some of the top NFT sports platform.
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Why Are NFTs and Sports a Match?
The average sports fan justifies the passion they have for an athlete, a sports organization, or a team by rehashing the same excuse: It's more than just sports. And while there is some truth to this, it is hard to convey the logic behind such a statement to non-sports individuals. Diehard fans can fondly remember a time of amassing and trading sports cards, all to build a collection of the rarest players. With the emergence of NFT sports implementation, every avid sports follower has one more argument to back up their love for one or more franchises, athletes and teams. Why is this so?
How Does Non-fungible Tokens and Crypto Play a Part?
NFT unlocks a new level of fandom where fans are provided with more tools to partake in a highly immersive sporting world and, at the same time, are rewarded for their passion. NFTs are unique and not replicable, which is precisely the case for limited edition sports collectibles. The scarcity and uniqueness that blockchain offers are increasingly being viewed as a way for sports teams to increase fan engagement and create a more vibrant economy that comes with it.
With the tokenization of sports moments or trading cards, fans all over the world can have access to their favorite athletes and support their teams. Now more than ever, fans can explore new earning potentials by monetizing their knowledge of the sport and their commitments to franchises.
Cryptocurrencies allow fans to transact on sports NFT platforms with ease and have their proof-of-ownership irrefutably recorded on the blockchain. This allows fans to truly own the digital sports collectibles in their wallet address. Besides sports collections, other popular platforms like fantasy sports or sports betting are also enabled through blockchain technology.
More Than Just Sports Memorabilia
While this is a given, some solutions have taken things up a notch by creating active economies that trail fan sentiments and the performance of sports franchises. Below I have listed some of these platforms and discussed the features that make them unique.
Most Popular Sports NFT Platforms
Fantasy Football on Ethereum — Sorare
Sorare has created a collection of NFT football trading cards that players can use to build their fantasy team and compete in order to unlock more NFT cards and win Ether. At the time of writing, Sorare is officially licensed with over 150 football teams, including household names like Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Juventus.
You will find 2 categories of digital trading cards on Sorare. The first is what Sorare calls Commons, which are given to you at the beginning of your playing career to build a team. The second sets are tokenized cards with capped supplies. Tokenized cards earn you points when you compete in the platform’s fantasy football tournament.
With this, you can assemble a five-player team using the digital trading cards in your deck, and generate revenue based on the performances of the players in real life. In essence, the real-time stats of featured players in football matches will automatically reflect on the card and determine the number of points you win. You earn points for the on-field performance of players on your roaster. The good thing about this is that you own the NFT cards you have collected. Hence, you can sell them to other players on NFT marketplaces. Note that Sorare’s NFT cards are priced based on their rareness.
On Sept. 9, 2021, La Liga, the domestic Spanish league and one of the biggest in the world, announced a partnership with Sorare. This is a major milestone, as it opens up to fans on Sorare the chance to trade digital trading cards of La Liga players, which consists of renowned clubs like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid and many more. Sorare plans to partner with all of the top 20 leagues in the world by the end of 2022.
Formula One Collectibles — F1 Delta Time
F1 Delta Time has created a blockchain ecosystem where Formula One fans can collect NFT cars, race tracks, drivers and tires. Like Sorare, F1 Delta Time players are not just collecting these digital collectibles for the fun of it. The ultimate goal is to compete in tournaments using NFT assets.
As we have come to expect of NFT platforms, the value of F1 Delta Time’s collectibles lies in the limited supply of individual digital items. Also, the rarity of these items is tiered. Therefore, the price that each will fetch on secondary markets varies. You can use the platform’s native utility token, Revv, to purchase these NFT collectibles.
NBA Highlights Collectibles — NBA Top Shot
NFL Moments and Heroes — NFL Dapper Labs
Senior Vice President of Consumer Products at the NFL, Joe Ruggiero said:
"We believe blockchain technology has great potential to enhance the NFL fan experience in the future and we are excited to have Dapper Labs as one of our first collaborators in exploring this emerging space."
Beside Moments of the current season, the league's 300 million fans globally can collect the video clips of the greatest plays in NFL history, and sports card of NFL heroes of current and legendary NFL players.
Dapper labs is behind the aforementioned NBA Top Shot, and other popular NFT projects like CryptoKitties, Cheeze Wizards and have Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) collectibles on their roadmap. Dapper Labs also provide products such as Dapper — a gateway for collectors to buy and store their digital assets, and Flow — a blockchain focused on decentralized apps (DApps), games and digital assets.
Korean Baseball Collection —Dugout
Dugout is an NFT marketplace for the Korean baseball league. Like NBA Top Shots, you collect limited editions of NFT-based baseball cards of the Korean league highlights which you can resell to generate potential profits. To collect cards, you can either buy packs of cards – and hope that you find valuable NFT moments in the collection – or buy your favorite moments on the platform’s marketplace. Whichever way you choose to go about this, the fact remains that collected cards are 100% yours.
Sports Fan Tokens — Socios
In particular, football teams have begun to acknowledge the level of fan engagements that this solution provides. Therefore, it is no more surprising that teams like Manchester City, Juventus, and Barcelona are delegating more decision-making responsibilities to their fan token-holders. Note that the more fan tokens you own, the more your vote counts.
Socios also launched a partnership with UFC – the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization, with more than 625 million fans worldwide. This partnership brings UFC fans together through more engagement, offers and rewards.