The price of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) linked to the Australian Open’s Metaverse event, such as Rafael Nadal’s winning shot, are surging higher.
The tennis tournament made history as the first Grand Slam event to enter the metaverse, so it was very popular with sports fans and NFT Collectors alike. The tournament’s organizer, Tennis Australia teamed up with Decentraland to stage the large-scale fusion of physical and digital events.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2022
Tennis fans who attended the matches in the metaverse had the opportunity to purchase an AO Art Ball. Each one represented a tiny section of the championship court. It’s already a collectible in its own right, because it features exquisite art and patterns by an impressive line-up of artists. However, the real innovation lies in the fact that if a winning point lands in your plot, you’ll receive footage of the play along with exclusive virtual and physical merchandise.
Now, let’s look at how the Australian Open NFTs are doing in the marketplace.
Marketplace: Rafael Nadal’s NFTs and More!
The event released 6,776 AO Art Ball NFTs for 0.067 – a very reasonable price considering the big names such as Decentraland backing the project. After the finish of each match, the AO metaverse team collected data on where the winning shot in each real-world contest landed—then assigned the area to a unique NFT.
The partners were pleasantly surprised with the performance and demand for the NFTs. Ridley Plummer, metaverse and NFT project manager for Tennis Australia, said:
“At no point did we anticipate we’d sell out the public drop in three minutes. As a result, we’ve set the bar extremely high for what NFTs can become in the future.”
As of this writing, AO ArtBall NFTs have recorded 1700 ETH ($4.5 Million) in trading volume. Since entry to the AO metaverse was free, the NFTs provided a way to mark a visit. Now that the tournament is over, fans are scrambling to see who has the NFT of the winning points from the big matches. This model brings the concept of rarity into the NFTs, which is crucial for the next part: AUCTIONS.
By winning the women’s singles title, 25-year-old Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian to win the home Australian Open in 44 years. Following her victory, the AO metaverse shared visualization of the data linking to the AO Art ball NFT on Twitter. This dramatically pushed up the value of the asset. As of this writing, the highest bid is 1.3 ETH ($3,457) which is 1940% above the floor price! Based on Etherscan, the original NFT holder sold the piece for 0.298 ETH, then worth about $780.
— AOmetaverse (@AOmetaverse) January 28, 2022
Meanwhile, the NFT representing the men’s singles match-winning shot of Nadal which landed him his 21st Grand Slam final victory is exploding in value. The original NFT owner is HODLing the AO ArtBall. Its expected value has gone from around $700 to $8,438 in ETH. The latest offer is worth 3.2 ETH, which is almost 4,168% above the floor price.
The success of this project sets a precedent for other live sporting events. It proves that tournaments can be genuinely interactive, immersive and co-created thanks to NFTs and Web3. It’s just a matter of time before we see another sports event with a metaverse connection.