Top Sports NFT Use Cases Are Digital Collectibles, Validated Tokenized Passes For Season Ticket Holders & Virtual Access Tokens

2 min read

NFTs and digital assets are among the ten most significant developments in the sports sector, according to the Price Waterhouse Coopers’ (PwC) Sports Outlook 2022 study for North America. The research study outlines three primary use cases for sports NFTs, ranging from changing sports technology infrastructure to increasing fan engagement and involvement, along with their potential to impact the future of sports.

Collectible NFTs are the first use case

Collectible NFTs are assets used to offer collectible, authenticated and limited-edition digital material. This refers to traditional sports memorabilia that can be digitized, minted, and traded on the blockchain. Examples include player trading cards or ticket stubs from historic games. These collectibles might someday be displayed and exchanged with other collectors throughout metaverses, according to the report.

NBA Top Shot from Dapper Labs is the “most well-known” example of a collectible NFT

Launched in October 2020, the NBA Top Shot marketplace tokenizes highlights or “greatest“ plays from NBA history. It recently ranked second in the blockchain gaming sector for the most NFT sales in 2021 with $827 million USD, just behind the Axie Infinity game. A 2022 Beginner’s Guide to collecting NBA Top Shot mentions that it is easier to get started on Top Shot than on many other other NFT marketplaces.

The Second Use Case is NFTs for season ticket holders

Teams’ season ticket members or STMs could also be a significant sports NFT use case. Season ticket holders would benefit from validated tokenized passes, which would enhance their already positive game day experience.

STMs who are accustomed to receiving exclusive content and unique stadium or arena experiences, may also be rewarded with limited-edition collector NFTs for the games they attend. Sponsors may gain as well if the teams they support allow them to ensure that customers who lose their actual tickets do not forfeit any additional benefits.

According To PwC Analysis, NFTs Are "The Future Of Digital Assets In Sports"
According To PwC Analysis, NFTs Are “The Future Of Digital Assets In Sports”

Third Use Case – Virtual Access Tokens

Finally, virtual access tokens are predicted to be in high demand among fans who want to pay for a virtual experience, but may not be able or want to attend games in person. Virtual access tokens, dubbed a “new form of season tickets,” may allow owners worldwide access to more behind-the-scenes sports amenities like player cams, bench cameras, and even virtual locker-room access.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have had success with their fan tokens

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are just two of the major football clubs that have partnered with Socios.com to release their club fan tokens. Fan tokens allow owners to have a say in non-strategic game-day decisions such as walk-up music. Turkish Super League club Gaziantep FK is the most recent football club to release their fan token on the Socios app.

Ticket sales, media rights, and sponsorship are currently the most lucrative revenue streams for teams and leagues, according to the PwC study. It expects tokenized tickets, NFT media rights, and sponsorship of digital or metaverse events to drive the sports industry’s growth, with digital asset sales potentially becoming a “significant” revenue stream as well. However, teams would require technology that combines their new digital sales data with old customer databases, as well as a competent legal team to address regulatory and tax considerations, according to the report.

Manchester City
Manchester City

All of these tendencies are on the rise, especially as the popularity of collaborations between sports NFT marketplaces and sports entities grows. Magic Eden, a Solana NFT marketplace, just unveiled a new NFT collection in conjunction with Overtime, a sports entertainment platform, to boost fan engagement during the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 2022. Also, the RECUR NFTU marketplace for college basketball NFTs is launching this week.

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