How sports are putting the “fun” in non-fungible

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We all have a sports memory that sends chills down our spine. A rush of joy, togetherness, championship. Maybe yours was LeBron James’s one-handed slam against the Sacramento Kings in 2019. If so, now you can own it.

Sports media Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs) are leading the way in the sphere of digital memorabilia. Because if anyone loves owning a piece of history, it’s sports fans!

Traditional sports memorabilia—jerseys, game balls, playing cards—makes up an estimated US $15 billion dollar market. Quickly eking itself a corner of that market, sports media generated US $1 billion dollars in 2021. Deloitte predicts that number to double this year.

So how can we play a role in its growth?


Pushing the edges of ownership

The key is: ownership doesn’t only pertain to memories. It can be activated in the present. Enter dynamic NFTs.

The LeBron James NFT we mentioned above is static: it has immutable and permanent traits and data that can never be changed. Dynamic NFTs, however, have mutable data that can change over the course of an event depending on what happens.

For example: The Australian Open recently minted 6,776 Art Ball NFTs that are linked to live match data. Each of the Art Balls corresponds to a 19x19 cm plot of each tennis court surface. If the winning shot from any of the matches lands on the plot registered to the NFT, the owner will receive a series of perks like merchandise, tickets or other future benefits.

There’s massive potential here. By tapping into the energy and buzz of live sporting moments, brands can connect with their customers on a deeper level than ever before. Not only does it bring in the aspect of play, it provides fans with supersized personal engagement.

As Innovation Strategist Shawn Kanungo told us, “Instead of just watching and cheering for your favourite players, NFTs turn fans into owners. Fans naturally become more invested in the future success of their players.”

Tapping into the power of fandom

NFTs can be intimidating, and not the least because they’re still an area of speculation—in every sense of the word. Their immaterial nature means they only really gain value once it’s ascribed. As Chicago business prof Zach Binkley put it to CBS News, NFTs are like the golden chocolate wrapper in Willy Wonka. “The golden token is worthless unless it gives you access to the tour. The access to the tour is what gives it its value.”


Static sports NFTs certainly do introduce the value of scarcity to digital properties that have otherwise been ubiquitous and difficult to license. NBA Top Shots and SoRare are the marketplaces leading the charge here, but there’s plenty of room for other players, and billions of passionate fans to reach.


Dynamic NFTs, on the other hand, open up a whole world of creative opportunities that can tie directly into fleeting moments of greatness.


The time for truly creative and expansive thinking is now. Chances are, there’s a space for your sports brand in the NFT universe. Game on.