Animoca Brands subsidiary nWay signed a licensing agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and announced the launch of Olympic-themed non-fungible token (NFTs) pins and a multiplayer video game. The sale of the NFTs will begin on June 17th on nWay’s platform nWayPlay and the game will become available later in the year.
The Olympic pins were historically used to identify athletes, judges, and other officials in the Games. Throughout the Games’ history, they have become a traditional Olympic feature and are collected by fans worldwide. The digital pins will be part of the Olympic Heritage Collection, one of IOC’s three Global Licensing core programs, and its digital art will reflect iconic features of past Games such as mascots and emblems.
The digitization of such a traditional aspect of the Olympics is an important step towards making the full fan experience accessible to all fans. Broadcasting rights have enabled spectators to follow the Games from almost anywhere in the world. However, physical features such as pin collections are often limited to fans, journalists, and citizens that are physically present at the Games host city. While collecting the pins is still limited to fans with the financial means to do so, its digitization expands its reach. It enables people from across the world to participate in the tradition.
“IOC’s digital strategy (is) to embrace new digital technologies to promote the Olympic values and grow direct relations with our fans,” said Timo Lumme from the IOC marketing subsidiary. “They can now connect with the excitement of the Games in a whole new way and own a piece of Olympic history.”
The pins can be obtained either through the direct purchase of assorted packs on nWayPlay.com or individually bought through nWay’s secondary marketplace from other collectors. When the video games launch, consumers can also earn the NFTs by playing.
The play-to-earn feature of the initiative is a great way to promote the video game. Some believe that most NFTs will be given away in the future. As long as Animoca or other blockchain-based game companies use solutions that control the costs of NFT issuance, the tactic of using them as rewards to market online games can become more prevalent.
Meanwhile, despite the reduction in the NFT hype, digital collectibles initiatives are still on the rise. NFT platform SportsIcon recently completed a round of funding with investments from the NBA Top Shot creator. Fanatics is backing a new NFT platform called Candy which has signed the MLB. And Klaytn just launched an NFT minting service.