The NBA franchise Golden State Warriors have announced the first-ever drop of responsive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by a sports team.
NFTs are uniquely identifiable, cryptographic assets stored on a blockchain. They can be sold and traded, but not exchanged at equivalency.
Already in April 2021, the basketball team from San Francisco became the first US professional sports team to release their own officially licensed NFTs. Since then, many sports organizations have launched NFT collections in the form of artwork or personalized videos by sports stars as a new means of monetizing their fanbases. What sets the latest collection issued by the Warriors apart is that it is “responsive”. As the team’s run in this year’s NBA playoffs extends, new benefits such as tickets to Warriors games or exclusive merchandise are unlocked for NFT owners.
For fans, NFTs have thus far mainly served as digital assets with collector’s value. However, sports franchises are realizing that, in addition to generating additional income, NFTs are a new channel for engaging fan communities. With responsive NFTs, for fans, the added value of owning an NFT becomes more tangible with the prospect of exclusive offers made by sports teams. For the latter, the benefit of NFTs is that no intermediary parties are involved. Due to the unmediated access to fan communities, it is entirely up to sports clubs to choose the manner of how to engage with fans and of crafting differentiating commercial strategies on that basis.
More insights about the fragmentation of sports channels were discussed in a panel of experts on the subject. Watch the panel discussion here.
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