Today Manchester City soccer club announced that it’s marking last week’s Premier League football win with the issue of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on MakersPlace next week. Four works of art are being created by Jon Noorlander, with one of them a unique token, The Champions Celebrate. To celebrate the fact that the club is top of the league, the series is called “1”.
By mixing up the number of tokens to be created or ‘dropped’ for each of the four tokens, Manchester City can appeal to a diverse target market. A one-off token is perhaps aimed at the crypto rich. And the tokens with larger numbers can appeal to its broader fan base. There’s certainly some precedent Beeple’s $69 million artwork auction and the sale of the first Tweet for $2.9 million. Also, the vast majority of sporting collectible NFTs, whether its NBA Top Shot, or Topps, are not unique.
An undisclosed portion of the profits from the NFT sales will go to City in the Community charity as part of the club’s Manchester Cityzens Giving for Recovery project. One of the aims is to support mental health issues in young people as a result of COVID-19.
“In a season played largely without fans in the stadium, digital engagement has been more relevant and important than ever before,” said Don Dransfield, Chief Strategy Officer at City Football Group. “That’s why as part of Manchester City’s Premier League title-winning celebrations, we wanted to mark the moment with this unique digital collection to commemorate this season like no other.” The token goes on sale the day after the trophy celebration at the stadium.
Manchester City has two existing blockchain deals. One is for fan tokens with Socios, which does not involve NFTs. However, the deal with games company Animoca is NFT oriented, but that’s part of a game being developed.
When the club signed the deal with Socios, we asked about the two agreements. “The key differences are that Socios is a fungible tradable token, whereas Animoca is a nonfungible collectable,” said Toby Craig, City Football Group Director of Corporate and Commercial Communications. “We are also going to be developing games with Animoca, so that has a slightly different scope.”