The National Football League (NFL) has partnered with Ticketmaster to mint tickets of select NFL games as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Fans who purchase a ticket will receive a complimentary NFT version of it through the Ticketmaster NFT marketplace, which is also selling a limited number of commemorative NFTs for all 32 clubs in the league.
For the commemorative NFTs, only 125 assets were minted for each team. Considering each club has millions of followers on social media and fills home stadiums with tens of thousands of seats, it is likely that there will be a lot of competition for the collectibles. The Seahawks team stated that each NFT for its team would sell for $10. However, the NFL’s NFT website shows the collectibles selling for over $3000. From the available NFTs, the cheapest one is Chicago Bear’s, selling for $300.
The NFL has been particularly rigorous in monitoring team commercial deals. It was one of the last leagues to enter the NFT space, likely because it was waiting to see the result of other league’s initiatives. When it was developing its digital strategy, it banned all teams in the league from signing individual crypto and NFT related contracts. It eventually signed a deal with Dapper Labs for the minting of game highlight NFTs, similar to NBA’s Top Shot moments.
Despite the ban, last week the New England Patriots announced a deal with cryptocurrency platform Socios. However, other than referencing rewards, details of the offering were not shared. Socios also has deals with 24 NBA teams.
Other sports leagues have entered into crypto sponsorship agreements, such as the MLB’s deal with FTX.
NBA was an early mover with Top Shot, and basketball teams have more flexibility. For example, Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks has launched a ticketing NFT project similar to the one launched by the NFL, except it applies for all home games of the season as opposed to select ones.
Meanwhile, NFT platform SportsIcon launched with documentary-style collectibles. Real Madrid launched smart tickets as NFTs on Flow blockchain, and Sorare auctioned a Cristiano Ronaldo collectible at Bonhams.