Art And Sport In Crypto Assets
Cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFT) make up an economic universe in which more and more celebrities land.
THE RELATIONSHIP between the world of sports and the various applications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has grown stronger in recent years. The timid beginnings, when digital technology was used for some sponsorships and economic exchanges, have given way to the possibilities of today: like a world-class athlete receiving his salary in bitcoin, or sports videos and works of art becoming unique and collectible pieces in the virtual world.
This happens on the NBA basketball courts and even in European soccer. Because crypto assets, which already constitute attractive and valuable market-to-market intellectual works, are also used to manage salaries, sponsorships, and perks through technologies such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain—the latter, an incorruptible accounting record that guarantees the transparency of transactions. —.
What are NFTs?
Non -Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are pieces of code that represent an asset, such as a work of art, a book, an emoji, or a video, that is assigned a digital certificate of authenticity that is unchangeable, meaning that it cannot be changed after and therefore cannot be falsified.
The data that makes up an NFT guarantees that it is authentic and records the name of the author, its value, and the transactions made with it from the moment of its creation.
For this reason, there is already a whole market for collectibles of all kinds that only belongs to the virtual world, but the price in ‘cash’ is real and, often, quite high.
The above found fertile ground in the entertainment industry, today at the forefront thanks to the fact that artists, musicians, celebrities, brands, institutions, and content creators have adopted this way of creating unique assets for their fans and collectors to buy.
It is worth remembering that in the world of sports, sticker albums or cards with the athlete’s image, name and profile have always been of great value. In baseball, trading cards have been popular for many decades and some have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This industry currently moves billions of dollars in the United States, mainly, and that is paper.
Something similar is beginning to happen with these digital assets, with even more surprising results, such as a card in NFT format with the image of former British soccer player David Beckham when he was active, in his last season with Paris Saint-Germain, which was sold for 432,000 dollars (more than 1,700 million pesos).
However, the price paid by the Beckham fan pales compared to what was paid for a screenshot of the last trill of the late former basketball player Kobe Bryant, which was sold for 1.9 million dollars (more than 7,400 million pesos).
But the most expensive NFT to date is a photograph of basketball player LeBron James dunking the ball in the hoop. Sold for $21.6 million!
NBA and NFL, are at the forefront
The market for digital collectibles has especially boomed in the United States, in the basketball and American football leagues (NBA and NFL, respectively).
The NBA can practically be said to have paved the way for crypto assets, turning video highlights from seasonal games into NFT collectibles that have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue through the NBA Top Shot platform, which includes LeBron James’ famous dunk mentioned above.
Collectibles related to arguably the greatest basketball star of all time, Michael Jordan, is also among the highest value in that market. The world of American football is not far behind, both in teams and players. Such is the case of Tom Brady, considered the best player in the entire history of the NFL who, at 44 years old and with 7 titles, announced his retirement after 22 seasons in which he held the position of quarterback.
Now, Brady is determined to become an NFT celebrity thanks to his token market, known as Autograph, a platform that has incorporated the biggest names in sports in that country, as well as influential figures from the union of sports. Hollywood actors, musicians, and entertainers to create and sell one-of-a-kind digital collectibles.
In addition to Brady, among the athletes who have already jumped on the NFT bus are the greatest golfer of all time, Tiger Woods; former athlete and fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt; skateboarding star Tony Hawk; and gymnast and multi-Olympic medalist Simone Biles.
Boxing is also among the sports taking advantage of new platforms. Such is the case of British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, who after beating American Deontay Wilder in October 2021 – in a dramatic fight in which Fury himself went to the canvas twice in the same round – launched his NFT itself, which was auctioned for $987,000.
Not just the real world
The NFT market is not limited to real-world sports celebrities but to those born in the digital, such as the European Sorare, a virtual fantasy football game in which players buy, sell, trade, and manage a team virtual with digital player cards.
In the case of So rare, its market is powered by the Ethereum cryptocurrency, the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, which facilitates the creation and trading of NFTs among virtual football fans, who build a five-man team made up of their digital cards of players who compete in fantasy leagues.
Socios is another of the NFT marketplaces in the European soccer world, with over $250 million worth of NFTs sold in 2021. The platform allows clubs to issue fan tokens on its proprietary Blockchain, for their fans to vote on club decisions, access exclusive content, and get involved in various community activities. We are finally in a new world.
The brands also make their august
Sportswear manufacturer Adidas made its entry into the NFT market in a very unique way: It created a digital token that grants its owners access to digital Adidas items in the metaverse. The brand auctioned 30,000 tokens worth more than 43 million dollars reflected in the Ethereum currency. Its competitor, Nike, was not far behind and acquired one of the largest collections on the Opensea platform, to create its garments with its brand in the metaverse.