To celebrate the beginning of this year’s tennis competition, the Australian Open (AO) is launching a non-fungible token (NFT) collection with Sweet’s NFT platform based on iconic moments of the event throughout the decades. Starting today, the NFT releases will be split according to decade, from the seventies until the 2020’s, and will take place every two days until almost the end of the AO.
There are a total of six collections, one for each decade, and over 40 NFTs to collect. If fans complete a collection for a specific decade, they will be awarded a prize NFT of a 3D poster of that period. And the first 50 collectors who complete all six collections will be awarded an exclusive AO NFT Trophy.
In addition to the first come, first serve digital items, Sweet is also minting a single edition NFT, which will be auctioned separately. This NFT is a ticket to the 2023 AO, including an all-expenses paid trip to the competition next year.
Last week, the AO announced plans for a celebratory NFT collection, Art Balls, with 6,776 unique digital tennis balls where fans and creators could submit a design for the NFT. Ownership of an NFT grants access to a digital tennis court in Decentraland’s Metaverse, where historical highlights of the competition are streamed. Another innovative feature is that each NFT corresponds to a specific section of the physical court and owners of the section where the ball of the winning shot lands will receive exclusive data on the game.
The metaverse and art component of Art Balls may also indicate that the AO was looking to attract a younger and tech savvy audience to the event. In contrast, the Decades collection is likely targeted at more traditional tennis and AO fans because its content relates to iconic aspects of the game.
“We love this idea of turning IP into digital memorabilia and tying that memorabilia back to an experience,” said Sweet’s CEO Tom Mizzone “The idea that the AO designed an umpire chair that had never been seen before and now tennis fans can own and display that umpire chair as an NFT is just amazing – it’s truly a new level of access.”