Sports NFTs have become one of the most popular sub-sector within the non-fungible token markets. Read on to learn what sports NFTs are, what types of sports NFTs you can collect, and where you can find them.
What Are Sports NFTs?
Sports NFTs are non-replicable digital assets built on blockchains to represent different sports-related times. Some of these things may include sports memorabilia, trading cards, sports brands merchandise, merchandise from sports players, match tickets, and more.
Like all NFTs, sports NFTs are all minted on a blockchain, have a value or utility, and cannot be replicated.
The primarily goals of sports NFTs is to bring fans closer to their favorite teams and athletes while creating a new way for sports brands to generate revenue.
NFT Use Cases in Sports
Since the creation of sports NFTs, they have been used in many settings. Let’s take a look at some of the most common sports NFT use cases.
The first, and most common use of sports NFTs is as collectibles. Here, the NFTs represent different players, teams, or memorable sports moments that sports fans can then collect. In the past, we have seen players like Tom Brady, a famous American football player, launching an NFT collection called ‘The Tom Brady Ruby.’ This collection features cards with Tom Brady’s autographs. He also recently launched a sports NFT company called Autograph, which we will highlight later.
Other top-performing NFTs are two fashioned after LeBron James, a highly ranked US basketball player. The first one is a portrait that was fashioned after the player and was sold at an initial price of $26 million USD. While the second is a video clip memorabilia of a slam dunk by LeBron, which fetched around $208,000 on Top Shot – an NBA Sports NFT marketplace.
Sports NFTs can work well as collectibles since there is a culture of buying and selling physical trading cards representing different players and teams.
Another way in which sports NFTs are currently in use is in gaming. For example, games like Sorare let people purchase and use NFT-based virtual trading cards to play fantasy football. In this way, such gaming companies have tapped into the fantasy football work, which has been active in the past.
Ticketing and Virtual passes
Since NFTs are non-replicable, they provide an opportunity in digital sports ticketing. An event organizer can issue tickets and passes as NFTs, which cannot be easily forged. Then, they can scan each ticket as the spectators enter the stadiums or anywhere a competition is held.
Next, we look at some sports NFTs brands bringing these use cases to life.
Top Sports NFT Brands
The sports NFTs brands in this list have proven that NFTs have numerous applications in the sporting world.
Sorare is an online football fantasy game that uses NFTs during gameplay. The game’s objective is to build a fantasy football team using trading cards representing different football players. Each Sorare user collects, buys, and sells different players depending on their performances in real life. They then participate in regular tournaments where they compete against other Sorare teams.
One of the interesting aspects of Sorare as a fantasy football game is that the performance of players in a real-life league affects the value of the cards held by Sorare users.
NBA Top Shot
NBA Top Shot is a collectible NFTs collaboration between the NBA and Dapper Labs, which features memorabilia from the NBA. These memorabilia include video snippets of key moments in the NBA. Each ‘moment’ is then sold in the Top Shot marketplace.
Autograph is an NFT platform featuring top sportspersons and stars. The company was created by Tom Brady, one of the most famous American Football players, and Dillon Rosenblatt, an avid sports memorabilia collector.
Through Autograph, people can buy signed sports memorabilia and can also access NFTs from other celebrities in different industries.
NFL All Day
Dapper Labs also collaborated with the NFL to create NFL All Day. In NFL All Day, fans can access and buy NFTs representing top moments in the NFL. These NFTs can be resold on the same platform.
Where to Buy Sports NFTs
Other than the brands listed above, there are other places where you can buy sports NFTs.
The first is OpenSea, which has quickly become the most popular NFT marketplace in the world. You can access any sports NFTs by typing in the name of the sports NFTs you would like to purchase or the word ‘sports’ in the site’s search bar.
Another marketplace where you can buy sports NFTs is Rarible. Rarible is also an NFTs marketplace featuring several categories of NFTs from music to art and sports. Here, you will be able to access sports NFTs posted by different brands and those on sale by fellow collectors.
Nifty Gateway also features sports NFTs as part of the collections and individual images they sell on their marketplace.
Should You Collect Sports NFTs?
NFTs saw a massive boom in 2021. However, in 2022, the prices of NFTs fell significantly across the board, in line with the crypto markets. Therefore, when it comes to whether or not you should collect sports NFTs, it is more about being aware of the risks and opportunities involved.
For one, sports NFTs are a fun way to engage with your favorite sports teams and players. However, NFT prices are highly volatile, meaning that the value of your NFT can drop at any time. To be safe, you should only ever spend as much on an NFT as you can afford to lose, in case your tokenized sports NFT does drop in value.
Why Do People Buy Sports NFTs?
People buy sports NFTs for different reasons. Some include for the love of the sport or an athlete, to play a game such as Sorare, and in some cases, to invest in sports NFT for a profit.
How Do You Start a Sports NFT?
You can start a sports NFT brand by minting non-fungible tokens on a platform like OpenSea or Rarible. But if you plan to relate your tokens to an existing sports brand or athlete, you need to make sure you are not infringing any copyright laws before you do.
Will NFTs Replace Sports Cards?
The NFT industry is relatively new but has shown a lot of potential in being used in different settings. However, when it comes to sports cards, NFTs will take a long time to replace them since that industry has been around for many years. Having said that, younger generations will likely prefer digital over physical collectibles, so it’s entirely possible that virtual collectible cards will eventually overtake physical collectible cards.