Sports Leagues such as NBA & NFL have millions of fans and followers not only in the real world but as well in the digital space. Looking always for new ways to create engagement with there fans, they are highly interested in doing so. Panini (https://www.paniniamerica.net/blockchain.html) which is well known as a traditional player in the industry, started to issue blockchain-based cards for major sports leagues such as the NFL, MLB and NBA beside various soccer teams.
Room for Growth
As a ton of digital natives have been growing up with Panini sticker albums and most of them are now online, there is no doubt that this could unlock additional revenue streams. Looking only into numbers of existing social media channels of the NBA one can guess the estimate of potential buyers of those blockchain-based player cards.
Beside Panini other companies help sports clubs as well to tokenize their top Players. One such recent event is Juventus Player Cristiano Ronaldo getting his own ethereum token with a partnership of French fantasy football company Sorare. The card is issued in 3 different categories where each player will have one unique card, ten super rare cards and 100 rare cards which brings the cards issued per player only to 111cards in total. Further European football clubs are aligned to do so as well. Sorare supports the cards to be used on their own platform and for sure the cards will be traded as well on secondary markets as regular “paper” issued trading cards do.
First Big Successes
Kobe Bryant’s (hopefully rests well in heaven) Blockchain-based player card which is issued by Panini sold for over 60.000 USD. SWAP (https://fantastec-swap.io/) has as well just recently closed deals with major names in the Football industry such as Real Madrid, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund. Panini thought as well further and announced it would release officially licensed blockchain trading cards with a 1:1 representation of a physical version of the card.
As we can see, there is a lot of movement in the market, and first Pilot projects are done. Blockchain is a useful technology for making collectables more secure and bringing them into the digital space.