The Sports World Is All-In

GM, this is The Mint, where we give you stacks and stacks of NFT information like Trump gives the FBI stacks and stacks of stolen documents. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ #burn

⚽  🏀  🏈   SPORTS ISSUE   ⚾  🏒  ⛳

America and sports are two peas in the pod. Americans live for anything involving sports and indulge in it however they can. The sports market in America is worth ~ $116 billion as of 2020, which equates to a third of the global sports market.

There are countless ways to enjoy sports today. Fans can interact with players on social media, attend games live, watch highlights of games on YouTube, bet on literally any facet of any game, play sports video games, and more. One of the most recent ploys in this market is sports NFTs. Nearly every league has adopted NFT technology to some extent, and we've documented a great deal of those in prior editions of The Mint.

The sports NFT market doubled in 2022 to $2.6 billion and is expected to grow by a CAGR ( compound annual growth rate) of 36% over the next decade to reach a market cap of $42 billion in 2032. 

Since the fall has put us into "sports mode," we decided to give an update on how sports around the world use NFTs today.

Today's Agenda

  1. NFL All Day 🖼️

  2. FIFA+ Connect 📸

  3. Ballon D'Or NFT 🏆

  4. Tom Brady Autograph.io Collaboration ✒️

  5. NBA Teams Up with Sorare 🎮

The Newest Part of Your Weekly Football Routine

After the NFL season-opener last night, it's officially football season. The LA Rams, defending Super Bowl Champions, took on the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. What better way to get the season started than an away team putting on an offensive showcase and stealing the win and the spotlight?

Austin: So John, did you watch the game last night?

John: I caught about half of it. Is Josh Allen human?

Austin: Maybe half-alien, half-human by the way he can throw the ball. Did you see that 53-yard pass to Stefon Diggs? If I was a Bills fan, I'd want to watch that highlight forever because that was insane.

John: Perhaps you'd want to OWN that highlight, eh?

Austin: Speaking of owning highlights, let's talk about NFL All Day, the newest way to trade and collect your favorite NFL moments.

All Day is a Dapper-made NFT marketplace that opened in August. Just like back in the day, users purchase large packs of tradable "moments" without knowing what's inside. Each card represents a moment in NFL history and has different rarity levels. Moments like a game-winning catch in a super-bowl will be rarer than a field goal to win a regular season game. Once you open your pack, you can sell moments you don't want on the marketplace for cold hard cash. Rare, sought-after moments are extremely limited and often sell for thousands of dollars on the marketplace. 

Austin: What moment would you want to own? It'd probably be this one for me. Gosh, what a moment that was.

John: I don't know if the NFL has gone throwback yet, but 13-year-old John still hasn't recovered from that Randy Moss Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys in 1998.

Austin: Man... '98? You ARE old, John.

John: We've already seen the NBA do this and now the NFL. Does every kid under 16 end up owning all of their favorite sports moments as NFTs?

Austin: I think we are still a ways away from every kid, but I think nostalgia is a powerful thing. I can see this industry catching steam quickly.

John: One thing is for sure - the sports industry is proving to be a great early use case for NFTs.

The Biggest Sports Competition on the Planet Adopts NFTs

Soccer and its governing body, FIFA, aren't about to be left out of the Sports/NFT love fest. Ahead of its biggest event, The World Cup (which is in the fall instead of the summer because it's insanely hot in Qatar), FIFA will be launching its own NFT project called FIFA+ Collect. Can we be done with adding a + behind your brand and calling it innovation?

This NFT will be based on the Algorand blockchain, a smaller alternative chain to Ethereum where most NFTs live.

“This exciting announcement makes FIFA collectibles available to any football fan, democratizing the ability to own a part of the FIFA World Cup.”

 Romy Gai, FIFA's Chief Business Officer

It sounds like FIFA is following the NBA TopShot playbook by turning highlights into NFTs. Nothing new, but still cool for any hardcore soccer (or football depending on where you live) fan.

Soccer's Most Prestigious Award Gives Public Access with NFT

The Ballon D'Or is, without a doubt, the preeminent individual award in soccer. It's a French award, and like everything else that's French, it's bourgeois as hell. The Ballon D'Or ceremony is a private, Parisian, red-carpet event where the biggest sports stars in the world congregate for a night of celebration. 

This year, things will be slightly different. L'Equipe, the association behind the award, is releasing NFTs to the public to make the event more accessible. They are releasing three NFTs that give owners all-inclusive access to the event in Paris. The owners of these NFTs will have travel paid for, stay in the same hotel as the players, walk the red carpet and have access to the cocktail reception. Another set of NFTs will let owners participate in contests surrounding the event and get entered to win exclusive access to the event for 20 years. In addition to the fan experience being improved, L'Equipe is also designing NFTs for the winner of the award that mimics the classic trophy that's been given to winners for the last 50+ years.

We think this signifies a true paradigm shift for sports awards. 

TB12's Autograph.io Collaboration

We can't have a sports issue without talking about the GOAT- Tom Brady.

Looking past his athletic achievements, which is not easy to do, Brady has made quite the name for himself with his off-the-field endeavors. He owns a clothing brand, a wellness company, and an NFT startup called Autograph.io. After looking at Autograph's portfolio, we've determined that it may have the greatest pool of athletes ever assembled (think Biles, Woods, Hawk, Jeter, Gretzky, and more). 

The latest Autograph project is Tom Brady's Season Ticket NFT, an NFT that gives owners access to free Brady apparel, an exclusive monthly chat with Fantasy Football professional Matthew Berry, tickets to games, digital events where you get to talk directly with Brady's inner circle, discounts on TB12 product, an end of season get together with the GOAT himself, and more. 

We looked through the entire roadmap for this NFT and it's pretty crazy. If you're a Tom Brady superfan, this might be the coolest thing to ever come on the market. Not many athletes have brands as complete as Tom Brady, but we are positive that more will launch projects like this in the future. 

NBA 🤝 Sorare 

One of the most popular NFT games right now is Sorare. The best way to describe Sorare is fantasy sports meets Ultimate Team meets trading cards. Currently, the game supports soccer (all the top leagues) and baseball (MLB), but they are adding basketball (NBA) functionality this fall. NBA already has their popular NBA Topshot game, so it will be interesting to see how the NBA differentiates the two. 

At first glance, Sorare seems more like a game than a place to buy collectibles. We think this may be why the NBA is pursuing both models. If you're a fan of building fantasy teams or enjoy Ultimate Team on FIFA or Madden, this would be a great game to try.

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