When NFTs first emerged, skeptics claimed it was a fad and would die out in less than a year. Yet this explosive industry continues to trap its critics. Reports revealed that the value of the NFT market reached US$41 billion by the end of 2021, approaching the total size of the global fine art market.
This new blockchain-based digital content is having substantial impacts across various industries such as gaming, arts, entertainment, music, and the multi-billion dollar sports industry. NFTs in sports have been hailed as “the future of digital assets in sports” with thousands of sports NFTs available on global online platforms. While there’s still a long way to go, sports fans everywhere have a lot to look forward to.
Improve sports entertainment experience
NFTs have garnered attention in major sports categories like basketball, including NBA Top Shot, and football in the case of Sorare. They are used as souvenirs, trading cards, sports kits, digital collectibles, and even ticketing.
Now winter sports seem to be the new direction. The widespread growth in the popularity of winter sports offers a golden opportunity for the NFT industry to gain visibility with the sporting public. A successful transition of NFTs into this sector will further demonstrate how the technology will flow into the hands of snowboarding, skiing, and figure skating enthusiasts, to name a few. nWay, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, one of the biggest disruptors in the GameFi and digital entertainment industries, is pioneering a new dimension of NFTs in winter sports.
Sports collectibles are more than meets the eye
Beyond games, NFTs encapsulate in themselves the very essence of owning and trading collectibles. “They offer tangible ways to celebrate world-class athletes, whether in the form of music videos, digital player cards or signed autographs. NFTs offer technological innovation to provide new ways to bond long-term emotional relationships between athletes and fans. NFTs, which can represent any piece of digital content and metadata, improve how those special moments are held and shared as digital sports memories,” said Taehoon Kim, co-founder and CEO of nWay.
NFT sports collections such as Apex Athletes usher in a new dimension of digital collectibles specifically aimed at the sports market. This exclusive NFT collectible celebrates top winter sports athletes including Ayumu Hirano, Shaun White, Nathan Chen, Chloe Kim, Alysa Liu, Vincent Zhou, Lindsey Vonn and dozens more.
Each NFT in this collection includes a photo and video from the athletes’ personal collection, with some having exclusive signed versions. Given the resounding success of NFT collectibles over the past two years, one can only imagine how millions of fans can enjoy new ways to own, trade and don their prized sports collectibles. .
However, NFTs become much more interesting when their usefulness extends to the metaverse. With the recently announced partnership between The Sandbox and Apex Athletes, avatars of star athletes including Shaun White, Nathan Chen, Chloe Kim, Lindsey Vonn and Ayumu Hirano will be playable in The Sandbox. Owners of these select Apex athletes will be able to unlock exclusive avatar skins on one of the most popular metaverse platforms in the world. This injects even more utility for the NFT collection, in addition to additional hours of fun gameplay.
Given the growing base of winter sports fans, the integration of NFTs into this industry has the potential to expose hundreds of millions of fans to the burgeoning digital market.
NFTs have more room for innovation
The integration of NFTs with star athletes provides sports fans with a golden opportunity to celebrate some of the biggest sports celebrities in the world. More than just digital memorabilia, these new classes of NFT sports collectibles also serve as a form of fan club membership, where owners can access and interact with star athletes in new and unique ways, and receive more collectibles or virtual game items. .
“The impact of NFTs over the years has been huge, to say the least. We are excited to see the same positive impact for winter sports, starting with the NFTs of athletes who can be collected, traded, and earned,” says Taehoon Kim. The way forward for NFTs in the sports industry is full of optimism, and the same is true for the NFT industry as a whole.
The Human & Machine podcast is dedicated to informing and demystifying the crypto, DeFi, GameFi, NFT and blockchain industries for the average person.
Tlahui is a man in love with words and the blockchain. His storytelling and passion for communication led him to co-host The Human & Machine, a podcast and YouTube channel. Where he aptly plays the role of an average-minded human trying to understand and explain in layman’s terms, the jargon and complexities thrown at him by The Machine, his heartless but brilliant co-host.
Hikaru is a blockchain lover with a weakness for cooking. His exceptional understanding and experience with blockchain technologies, as well as his inhumane work ethic earned him the nickname The Machine. In the show, he plays the role of an all-knowing hybrid robot who goes out of his way to explain blockchain concepts to The Human while trying not to lose faith in humanity.
Kenny Au, aka The Brain, is a #Web3.0 #FutureofWork #DistributedOrganizations Outerspace OG. His brain works in space-time. Additionally, his innate visions and strategies in Web 3.0 have earned him the nickname The Brain.
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