Earlier this year non-fungible token (NFT) initiative SportsIcon completed a round of funding with participation from leading figures in the sports digital assets arena, including Dapper Labs’ CEO Roham Gharegozlou. Today its fan engagement platform dedicated to connecting fans with athletes has officially launched.
While the platform and the products it offers are still in the early stages, it seems that SportsIcon is making an effort to differentiate its NFTs from traditional collectibles and other NFTs. For its initial drop, 27 video-based NFTs of each athlete will be released in nine different levels of scarcity in an auction sale, with initial prices starting between $10 and $999. The content of the NFTs covers important moments within the sports career of the partner athletes and the scarcity is related to the progress in the athlete’s journey.
The 27 NFTs follow a documentary-like style featuring different episodes of athletes’ highs and lows, motivations, and athletic skills. In addition, the platform will support athletes and teams in promoting and commercializing their own NFT collections.
Besides partnering with athletes, SportsIcon is also looking to work with sporting brands. As of now, it has deals with Mexican wrestling company Lucha Libre and soccer club Pumas. On the athlete side, it has partnered with popular Belgian soccer player Romelu Lukaku and former NFL athlete Mike Vick.
SportsIcon is differentiating itself from other collectible offers by emphasizing the story of the athlete in its product. It is something that will likely target an athlete’s fan base as opposed to the sports audience as a whole. The 27 NFTs showcase a journey adding to the digital assets’ collectible nature and resemble more of a real collection than an aggregation of random NFT highlights. This can become an advantage for SportsIcon as it will help establish loyal and repeat consumers.
In line with loyalty, SportsIcon managed a successful NFT project titled the Lion Club before the launch. SportsIcon minted 9,000 character lions which can be used as profile pictures in a similar way to CryptoPunks. Like another profile picture collection, Bored Ape Yacht Club, consumers who purchased a Lion are part of the club. That comes with exclusive benefits such as Zoom chats with sports people, access to VIP sporting events, and a private discord community channel, among other things. The NFTs sold out in 14 hours and SportsIcon raised $1.4 million in revenue.
In terms of future plans, SportsIcon aims to build an immersive NFT metaverse for sports fans.
Meanwhile, GreenPark Sports is looking to use NFTs in a new social gaming offering and it raised $31 million to develop games for the NBA and LaLiga. New platform RECUR has partnered with American college associations to bring NFTs to collegiate sports, and Sorare will auction a Ronaldo digital card with auction house Bonhams for expectedly over $1 million.