NFL Metaverse Partnership With The Sandbox Or Decentraland Next After NFT Super Bowl LVI Release?

2 min read

The National Football League announced recently that for the first time in the league’s history, it would give fans attending the upcoming Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, a free, virtual commemorative ticket in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) to celebrate the event.

Every fan attending Super Bowl LVI will receive a complimentary, customized NFT featuring their unique section, row, and seat number serving as a digital keepsake from their Super Bowl experience.

"We first began offering virtual commemorative ticket NFTs to fans during the regular season. We witnessed great success with this one-of-a-kind fan experience, which provided the momentum to continue this program throughout the postseason and ultimately at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles," said Bobby Gallo, SVP, Club Business Development, NFL in the league’s official statement. "Collecting ticket stubs has always been something our fans love to do, especially for the season's biggest game, and offering customized Super Bowl NFTs allows us to enhance the gameday experience, while also enabling us to further evaluate the NFT space for future ticketing and event engagement opportunities."

The NFL it seems is taking a multi-faceted approach as it tries to block (pun intended) its way into the blockchain space. Last month the league posted a job listing on LinkedIn for a Senior Manager, Content Partnership position. Two key points listed under the “responsibilities” section stood out in particular:

  • Act as marketing lead with strategic partners in key growth verticals (Gaming, NFTs, etc.)
  • Identify opportunities in emerging technology sectors including, but not limited to, NFT and crypto projects and AR/VR strategy and development

In addition to ticket NFTs, the NFL is looking to expand its gaming offerings, which could pave the way for a potential metaverse-based partnership with the one of the largest cryptocurrency gaming companies such as The Sandbox, Decentraland, or Enjin Network. That seems likely since the job description specifically calls out augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) expertise for the new hire.

Meanwhile, the NFL also announced that it’s releasing a series of seven historic moment commemorative NFTs for sale leading up to this weekend’s Super Bowl game. These historic NFTs are available to anyone. A new NFT is being released every day, which started on Sunday, and it concludes on February 13th with the release of an NFT featuring the current Super Bowl LVI ticket artwork.

Given the high-profile nature of the Super Bowl, the NFL made conservative NFT play calls during the regular season. During an NFL beta test, fans who attended select games during the 2021 regular season were eligible to receive complimentary virtual commemorative tickets in the form of an NFT. According to the NFL, more than 250,000 complimentary NFTs were delivered to fans. A limited number of additional NFTs were made available for purchase. Expect to see a lot more marketing muscle and aggressive play calling from the NFL as it runs its way into crypto in the coming months.

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