NBA, NFL and MLB looking to score a slam dunk, touchdown and home run with Crypto CollectiblesTHE big three major sporting leagues in the US are all investing virtual collectibles as they look for new ways to engage with their fanbases and enhance the fan experience.
This is not a new concept for those familiar with blockchain technology and the Etherum platform which enables companies to build marketplaces for trading unique digital items and crypto collectables.The concept of memorabilia and collectibles has long existed among mainstream sports in the US and across the globe.It is no surprise they would note the success of the likes of Dapper Labs CryptoKitties and see how the sale of non-physical items like digitalised kittens could crossover.
So much so that the NBA have joined forces with Dapper Labs to release a new crypto collectibles game early next year.Top Shot will be a roster-building competitive game based on crypto collectibles which allows fans to gather live footage of NBA games that can be used to build a competing roster for the game or simply be owned and traded as a collectible, like player cards in the real world.Dapper Labs marketing executive Caty Tedman revealed that more rare collectibles, such as Kawhi Leonards game winning shot in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals will be sold at an auction, while more common moments will have a fixed price. It is understood fans will also be able to access a secondary marketplace where they can buy used collectibles or sell their existing ones.
Major League Baseball has already stepped into the Ethereum arena through a partnership with Lucid Sight to bring fans MLB Champions.This allows fan to draft players, build teams and earn caps, the in-game currency, based on live game performances. The caps can then be exchanged to buy more player cards. In the first version of the game fans had to own some kind of ether already and transfer it to a web plug-in called MetaMask. Despite that block to easy-entry, MLB Champions still had more than $1.1m worth of figure sales in its first year with more than 270,000 transactions. Full team rosters sold for $18,900, while individual players went for as much as $7,500.
The NFL Players Association have a deal with California-based firm Hashletes to produce 25,000 NFL tokens for each player, which are already available exclusively on the companys app.Digital tokens, which are based on blockchain technology, can be bought and sold, and contain exclusive player content. They can also be used in mobile-based fantasy games in which users assemble teams using their player tokens.The NFLPA also has a minority stake in SportsCastr, a live streaming platform that allows players to be commentators.