Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all the rage right now. In their current existence, NFTs are almost exclusively limited to digital experiences like art and trading card collecting. However, as NFT and blockchain popularity grow, more and more use cases for soccer NFTs will arise.
We’ve put together a few quick examples of how teams, brands, and even players can look to NFTs in the future as creative outlets, revenue sources, and avenues of transparency. But first, what exactly is an NFT?
The NFT basics
What is an NFT?
NFTs are certificates of authenticity for a unique asset.
Non-fungible means a product is unique and one-of-a-kind, so it can’t be replaced. If you own a Carlos Vela trading card NFT, for example, and trade it for a Chicharito trading card NFT, the trade is not like-for-like. Both exist as independent and unique entities.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is fungible, which means trading one bitcoin for another is just a straight swap of the same thing.
What qualifies as an NFT?
Traditionally, NFTs can be digital items like art and music. Recently, however, tangible items are beginning to be paired with their digital counterparts.
Why buy an NFT?
The biggest reason to own an NFT is exclusivity because NFTs cannot be copied. You buy an NFT to be its sole owner. Depending on the use case, additional usage rights like posting online or duplication may exist, but only one person can own the original NFT.
NFT ownership is also available publicly. You can see who owns a certain NFT or who previously owned it if the Carlos Vela digital card was resold. As you’ll read, this is important in our first future use example.
Future uses of NFTs in soccer
In an attempt to curb the high resale value of tickets on the secondary market, soccer teams and leagues may look to sell their tickets as NFTs via the blockchain. Why is this important? It allows teams to control the resale value, limit or eradicate scalpers, and provide actual transparency to interested purchasers. In this model, all minted tickets are traceable.
Other options for teams as they mint NFTs include putting a cap on the resale value or even adding a sell-on percentage where the team, the NFT creator, gets a percentage of all future sell-on transactions.
Imagine a future scenario where MLS All-Star Game tickets are created via the blockchain with a 5 percent sell-on fee for the secondary market with those accrued funds going toward a partner’s community efforts. Not only does MLS benefit from creating and controlling the tickets, but they, in theory, could create added value for one or many of their partners.
Like the tangible ticket stubs of old, these team-minted NFT tickets from memorable games will hold sentimental value for fans because they can prove they were actually in attendance. NFTs clearly show the ownership history in the public domain.
Loyalty programs for fans
Teams who mint NFTs – be it art, clothing, etc. – could create a loyalty or rewards program for their most ardent and spend-happy fans. This already exists via traditional transactional purchases, but the blockchain makes the purchasing process more transparent.
Think about it from the consumer’s perspective. If you can prove you purchased a single item or a series of items and were rewarded for it, wouldn’t that make you want to spend more? That’s an age-old tactic and not rocket science, but in the NFT world, proof of ownership matters.
re-inc, the lifestyle brand started by Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe, Meghan Klingenberg, and Tobin Heath, recently released its first NFT. Imagine if as part of owning the Christen Press collectible you also received a 30-minute video call with Press.
Proof of ownership rewarding you, the fan, with exclusive access to a player, a manager, a stadium, or another team-related item is one way for teams to celebrate their fans and take the digital to the experiential.
Manchester City is one club that has already started doing this thanks to their partnership with blockchain-based engagement platform Socios.com. The pair created $CITY tokens that can be used by fans to access rewards, promotions, and more.
Owning social posts
Think about the most memorable moments involving your favorite team during your time as a soccer fan. If it happened within the past decade, odds are your team celebrated that moment on social media. Imagine being the sole owner of that celebratory social post.
Taco Bell has released GIFs and images of a tacos as an NFTs, but let’s be real – owning a novelty taco GIF is nowhere as exciting as being the sole owner of Alex Morgan’s “…and that’s the tea” tweet after the U.S. Women’s National Teams defeated England in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
If you’re a team, a brand, or even a player, the opportunity to monetize social media posts will exist and, for some lucky fans, provide another opportunity to own a part of something bigger. Social media managers, videos, and memes – the currency of the future.
Tangible and digital merchandise pairings
In 2019, Nike was awarded a patent for CryptoKicks, a process for pairing digital footwear with physical sneakers in an attempt to verify authenticity of ownership. After purchase, the digital versions can be sold, traded, or even stored in a blockchain foot locker, if you will.
Tangible sneaker collecting is big business and we’re already starting to see its virtual cousin begin to make waves. So what’s the soccer connection?
If you’re a brand like PUMA and you’re preparing to launch the newest version of Neymar’s signature cleat, why not pair the cleats with a digital edition? Just like with real cleats, the digital version can be customized and the owner can do with the NFT as they please. Hold on to it as the value increases. Sell it if the market is right.
View this post on Instagram
Whether it’s adidas and Messi, Nike and Cristiano Ronaldo, or PUMA with Neymar, these stars drive value and soccer fans and collectors will race to own something rare and unique.
Categories: Digital Content