What do NFTs bring back to sports fans?

8 min readApr 14, 2022


Many athletes, teams, and their owners are now considering how they can participate in the massive hype surrounding sports NFTs. Following that, we go over how leagues, clubs, and athletes are using or planning to use NFT in sports.

Collectible cards

You can create your own trading platform to mint and sell an exclusive collection of cards in the form of NFTs, whether you’re a league representative, a sports team owner, or just an entrepreneurial enthusiast. You can also make a video game in which all players, clubs, competitions, leagues, and skins are implemented as NFTs, and their owners use them to play against each other or form teams and compete in virtual competitions.

Sorare, a virtual game, is an example. Adrien Montfort and Nicolas Julia launched it in 2018 as an Ethereum-based fantasy football trading card game. Sorare has partnered with nearly 200 teams to date, allowing them to create NFTs with their players and use them in games. There are players from FC Bayern München, Liverpool FC, AC Milan, Real Madrid CF, Valencia CF, and many other well-known football clubs.

The Sorare game is a typical fantasy sports game in which you build teams out of NFT cards of athletes and earn rewards based on the results of a fantasy football league. NFTs can be sold, bought, and traded on the open market. Some are licensed digital collectibles that are limited, rare, super rare and one-of-a-kind.

Highlights Videos and GIFs

When we think of our favorite athlete, we usually think of his highlights or well-known (fun) pre-game rituals, such as LeBron James throwing chalk into the air. All of these priceless moments can be captured on film and turned into NFTs that can be auctioned or given away to the most devoted fans (or contest winners).

The NBA Top Shot is based on this concept. This platform sells NBA video highlights on sports NFTs. Dapper Labs (creators of CryptoKitties) and the NBA collaborated to create the marketplace in 2019. The NBA makes cuts of videos with exciting moments, while Dapper Labs chooses which ones to sell. The price of each moment is determined by the video’s quality, the player’s star level, and the card’s exclusivity.

The Five Most Expensive Sports NFTs on NBA Top Shot

SportsIcon is another NFT platform for selling iconic sporting moments. Former NBA champion Andrew Bogut and Rohamom Garegozlow, CEO of Dapper Labs, led a funding round for the startup in April 2021. The founder and former CEO of YouTube, Chad Hurley, is one of SportsIcon’s investors. The platform intends to collaborate with several well-known athletes to release sports NFTs with iconic moments in their careers.

Athletes and digital artists will create exclusive NFT content for the tokens, according to SportsIcon.

Photographs and other private files

Athletes, teams, and leagues can convert personal photos, videos, and other materials into non-fungible tokens by selecting them from their personal archives that have never been published on the Internet. These can be childhood photos, photos from the first match, training, or an athlete’s award ceremony, or old group photos of teams, event organizers, or first ball kicks, among other things. The most important thing is that the photograph has sentimental or collector value.

Such sports NFTs can be created not only by event participants or their representatives but also by photographers, athletes’ parents, friends, and schools and universities where they studied. In a nutshell, anyone with copyrights and the ability to reproduce photos and videos can perform similar NFTs.

On sites like OpenSea, these types of sports NFTs can be purchased. It’s one of the largest NFT marketplaces, with users able to list rare digital and crypto-collectibles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars. The Statue of LeBron NFT, for example, was sold on this platform for 10,000 ETH (approximately $35 million). Photographer Kimani Okear captured this image in February 2020, and it was later minted in NFT.

Memorabilia of athletes and teams

NFTs can include sports equipment, clothing, shoes, accessories, awards, and other memorabilia from famous athletes. You can create a platform or join one that already exists, upload anything, and share it with athletes’ fans. It’s also possible to re-create and sell digital copies of major sporting events as NFTs.

The NBA’s Golden State Warriors, based in San Francisco, did just that. In the form of NFTs, she released a limited edition digital version of the championship rings and ticket stubs. Warriors Championship Ring cards and commemorative ticket NFT stubs designed by artist Black Madre are part of the NFTs collection. “You watched the games and rejoiced in the victories. “Now you can own a piece of Golden State Warriors history,” the team tweeted.

In addition to selling NFTs, the Golden State Warriors decided to provide an unforgettable experience for their fans. Bidders who bought the first edition of each ring also got the physical call. Those who purchased all six NFT rings and completed the set received a one-of-a-kind banner.

The highest bidder on the NFT stubs was eligible to participate in Warrior-for-a-Day. The winner was given the opportunity to sign a fictitious one-day contract with the team and two tickets to a Warriors home game. A Warriors Historic Moment Showcase NFT picture was given to those who collected all ten ticket stubs. All of the lots were quickly snapped up.

Sports NFTs in the form of 3D models of the Golden State Warriors championship rings

Face-to-face meetings and online events

A true fan’s ultimate dream is to attend M&G or another online or offline event where their favorite athletes will compete. This is an excellent way for a team or athlete to connect with fans and express gratitude for their support and dedication. If you want to hold a meeting with a small number of attendees, you can sell tickets in non-fungible tokens and hold an online auction.

Unlike traditional electronic or paper tickets, NFTs can also be programmed to prevent them from being copied, exchanged, or sold. This prevents scalping and other practices that drive up ticket prices. Integrating with NFT will make such tickets much more accessible to fans who want to meet and take selfies with their heroes (which, by the way, can also be minted in NFT).

The same can be said for traditional sporting events and activities. Teams and event organizers can create tickets using NFTs, making the process cheaper, faster, more transparent, verified, and secure. Athletes’ participation in various events and guest passes can be tokenized and sold through regular trading or auction.

The collection of Rob Gronkowski (aka “Gronk”), which he released in March on OpenSea, is an example of this use of NFT in sports. A Tampa Bay Buccaneers player minted five digital NFT cards commemorating four Super Bowls and career milestones. Each card is a one-of-a-kind item that Gronk has digitally signed and numbered. The NFT (1-of-1) GRONK Career Highlight Card, which entitles the buyer to a personal meeting with Gronk and tickets to the game the following season, is the real gem of this collection. This card sold for 232 ETH (approximately $435k).

(1-of-1) GRONK Career Highlight Card token sold for $435,000

Sports NFTs for charity

Fundraising for charities and causes is another application for NFTs in sports. Teams and athletes can sell a variety of NFTs and donate the proceeds to charity. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved: teams and athletes do good deeds and raise awareness, sports fans can buy the NFTs they want, and society’s most vulnerable members can receive significant assistance.

The best example of a blockchain-based charitable initiative is Ethernity Chain. This Ethereum-based platform’s primary goal is to assist celebrities in issuing limited-edition authenticated NFTs (A-NFTs) or collectible cards, to raise funds for charitable causes. For example, Pele’s officially licensed A-NFT collection was recently released by Ethernity Chain, with proceeds going to the Pelé Foundation. This charity empowers and educates poor children around the world.

Pele’s sports NFTs sold for $750,000, with 90% of the proceeds going to charity. The remaining 10% is transaction costs (5%) and Ethernity Chain platform operating costs (5 percent ).

NFTs Sports now have even more options.

The number of use cases for non-fungible tokens will grow as more athletes join the world of non-fungible tokens. Not only in sports but in related markets and processes as well. Here are a few examples of how this NFT application can be beneficial.

Photos were taken on a computer. As we mentioned above, photographers can tokenize their photos using NFTs, but this isn’t the only way to do so. Athletes can also autograph personalized NFTs for fans, the media, or organizations. These autographs can be kept in one’s memorabilia collection or used as an investment.

Avatars, stickers, and emoticons are all available. Graphic designers can create avatars, emojis, and stickers for sports leagues, teams, and players. They can then be tokenized and put up for auction, where fans and web platforms like Twitch and YouTube can bid for them to use in their services.

Drawings, paintings, and animations are all available. Athletes (or artists) can also use NFTs to create original pictures, graphics, and animations that are somehow related to sports. These items will have a high market value due to their handwork and uniqueness.

Quotes and messages in social networks. If an athlete is famous or bright enough, even their words can become a non-fungible token. Such quotes may be accompanied by a photo, video, or GIF from the athlete’s or team’s personal archive. NFT also accepts submissions of social media posts (post link will be attached).

Tickets and passes are available. This can range from the right to compete in various sports to the right to attend an athlete’s wedding and give a toast. Read more about the benefits of using NFT over traditional ticketing systems.

Combined. Another option is to use combined sputtering to make NFT. It could be something like a collectible card plus a personal meeting, an autograph plus a selfie with an athlete, memorabilia plus an online meeting (or even a date), etc.

The possibilities of NFT in sports are endless, as athletes, teams, leagues, and fans are constantly coming up with new ideas that are embodied in NFT. All we have to do now is wait and see what else they come up with.

TokenStars allows you to purchase one-of-a-kind items and NFTs from athletes with their participation. All of the proceeds will go to charitable organizations. Here you can find unique items from your favorite athletes.

For more information: Follow the project’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, Medium, or take a look at our videos on YouTube.




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