Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are some of the most powerful blockchain products available online right now. These digital assets offer a great way for creators to interact with fans and make money along the way. NFTs in sports are also a fantastic way to help athletes cash in on their fandom.
What exactly are NFTs? How can you make money out of them, and how can athletes benefit from them? Here’s how athletes can take advantage of this growing market of online collectibles.
What Exactly Are NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are a type of digital asset that sits on the blockchain. As they are non-fungible, they are not divisible and cannot be replicated. Therefore, compared to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, each NFT has a different value compared to the others. The digital ledger also records every owner of the token as well throughout its history.
NFTs can be many different kinds of digital goods, depending on the type of industry and media added to the token. There are at least several types of media that you can expect from NFTs. These include:
- Videos and clips
- Highlight reels
- Trading cards
- In-game items
- Digital fashion
- Game characters
As you can see, there are several media that you can buy as NFT, and almost every industry is finding a different way to capitalize on the hype. The sports industry is among the biggest beneficiary of the NFT push, with some of the most valued tokens coming from this industry.
Why Sports NFTs Are So Valuable
Sports NFTs are a specific sub-type of non-fungible tokens that connects athletes and their fans even closer. These have many forms, depending on the type of NFTs that the athlete wants to sell. These NFTs are so good that even big companies work with NFT creators to create digital goods for their athletes.
For example, the Sorare NFT fantasy football maker secured $680 million in funding due to its connection with more than 100 football clubs worldwide. Another of the biggest NFT marketplaces is NBA Top Shot, which sells NFT highlights for every basketball player they have.
These secure multi-million dollar sales almost every quarter and are lining the pockets of their athletes. Some organizations like the WWE, NFL, and UFC are also looking to ride the hype, aiming to monetize their athletes’ name, image, and likeness (NIL) and create digital assets for it.
How Athletes Benefit From Non-Fungible Tokens
There are several ways that athletes can benefit from NFTs, even if they’re not five-star prospects. The marriage between sports and NFT comes from utilizing the athlete’s NIL rights. With this, athletes can use every specific event in their career and convert those into exclusive tokens.
1. NFTs Help With Personal Brands
NFTs are essential for personal branding as these tokens promote their name and what they can do. With every token sold, this is a way to interact with fans, much like trading cards. This connects the athlete to their fans and helps give joy to those who are loyal to the athlete’s brand.
Sports NFTs can improve fan engagement and let fans keep something about the athlete they like. Athletes need to remember that sports fans are some of the most loyal and rabid fandoms in the world. Many stay lifelong fans and even pass this love to the next generation.
NFT helps you capitalize on the hype around your name. No matter how big or small your fandom is, it’s important to capitalize on them if you’re looking for more fan interaction.
2. NFTs Offer Fantastic Monetization
Much like with any merchandise, athletes who are looking for good monetization can make the most out of any NFT. As most NIL rights are left with the athletes, they can get total value from the tokens they are looking to sell. This makes non-fungible tokens a fantastic way to make money, especially for less-known athletes.
In almost every turn, there are people who are looking to profit off an athlete’s likeness and other intellectual property. However, as NFTs are a different mode of exchange, most contracts don’t cover these products just yet, which means athletes can get the most out of every token paid.
Even if athletic organizations like the NBA and football leagues have rights over in-game highlights, athletes can still offer their own tokens. These can have exclusive images, special videos, or even unique dedications that give superfans good value.
If you’re an athlete who doesn’t have blockchain and crypto payments on their contracts, this is a great way to monetize yourself. It cuts off the middlemen like agents and every person who takes a cut from your merchandise. You can bypass every personality and agent organization and put the cash straight into your pockets with the right tech.
3. NFTs Give A Variety Of Choices
Another advantage that non-fungible tokens give to athletes is the sheer amount of options that NFT provides. As we listed before, different media can be tied to a token. These are not limited to single images or clips from their careers. This creates a more diverse offering for fans and improves their connection with fans.
For starters, athletes can sell specialized video messages to their fans. These are great for those who are looking for a more bespoke product that can use these special greetings and messages.
Another particular type of NFT that athletes can have is the special fan token. These tokens confer various benefits to their fans, including long-term discounts, voting on brand decisions, rewards, merch design, and more. Fan tokens are an excellent value for money option for fans but need to be limited in number.
As tokenization adds rarity to an athlete’s merch, it becomes a great way to monetize digital assets. At the same time, fans can monetize the same tokens and sell them off for better value down the line.
The Bottom Line
Non-fungible tokens are still at a very experimental stage but are a rapidly growing commodity within the sports industry. As athletes learn more about NFT, how to do it, and its benefits to them, they’ll see it as a great option to make some cash off their names. This can help the market grow further, and all parties win.