London-based football club Queens Park Rangers will launch a set of limited edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs) licensed by Animoca Brands. The first set of NFTs is expected to be launched later this year.
It is undeniable that we experienced NFT hype. Despite a noticeable decrease in interest from the public, as demonstrated by the decrease in NFT sales, new NFT platforms and deals are announced almost daily.
Beyond the hype, NFTs can add a lot of value to sports teams. Clubs are followed by dedicated fan bases that want to feel like they are part of a community. The pandemic took away part of the ritual that enabled that feeling, such as going to the game or gathering with other fans to watch it on the TV. If properly branded, NFTs have the potential to re-establish a sense of community among fans through the ownership of the club’s collectibles.
It is a way for fans to feel more engaged and connected to a club despite geographical restrictions. It can also become a sustainable stream of revenue through royalty agreements and offer clubs a new line of products to brand and market.
Queens Park Rangers, a founding member of the Premier League, currently plays in the second tier of English Football. It is still a very well known team with a deep history and committed fan base, and the implementation of NFTs in its fan engagement strategy shows the club is keeping up with current trends and looking for innovative ways to keep fans interested and involved with the team.
“We have launched a number of innovative digital products over the course of the last two seasons. We have taken a keen interest in blockchain, NFTs and tokenization, which represent a hugely exciting area for football clubs.” said the club’s commercial director Euan Inglis. “The opportunity to create digital assets that are unique and truly ownable by their holders really is particularly appealing for sports teams.”
Most major football teams have NFT deals with Sorare, a digital football fantasy platform, but not many have standalone NFT collectible deals yet.
Animoca is well known for its games and F1 collectibles. The company has a blockchain game partnership with Manchester City that includes NFTs and its subsidiary Stryking launched digital collectibles with Bayern Munich. nWay, another Animoca subsidiary, has licensed Olympic pin NFTs.
Meanwhile, Animoca seems to also have an NFT deal with Marvel, which recently announced it will launch NFTs with VeVe Digital Collectibles app.