NFTs are catching on like wildfire in professional sports. Most recently, the NFL has caught NFT fever. Through a partnership with Ticketmaster, the NFL has launched Virtual Commemorative Tickets that it will distribute to fans attending select games on a complimentary basis. NFL NFTs are being created on the Polygon network, which is an Ethereum-based scaling solution that is backed by billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban.
The NFL ticket promotion kicks off on Thanksgiving day, when the Chicago Bears take on the Detroit Lions, and it will continue until the end of the 2021 season. The NFL appears to be testing the digital collectible waters with its fanbase. It has also tipped its hand to potential player NFTs, starting with Odell Beckham Jr.
— NFL (@NFL) November 12, 2021
NFL fans who do not attend live games will also be able to purchase NFTs of their favorite team in a marketplace, which they can proceed to hold, trade or sell. The Arizona Cardinals is already displaying its NFT on social media, as are other teams.
A limited number of Cardinals’ digital collectible NFTs are available for purchase now.
Get yours before they’re gone!
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) November 18, 2021
If the NFL collectible tickets are a hit, it could raise Polygon’s profile for NFTs even more. As it stands, Google Trend searches for NFTs have already reached record levels, particularly in Asia. With sports leagues like the NFL validating the already white-hot market, there is no telling how high it can go.
The NFL appears to be taking a page out of the book of another professional sports league, the NBA. Pro basketball is already on the NFT bandwagon and has launched Top Shot, giving fans the opportunity to collect and trade moments in the form of non-fungible tokens.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has provided a model that the NFL appears to be emulating. The team is providing free NFTs to fans who attend Dallas Mavericks games, similar to the NFL’s digital ticket approach.
The next wave of NFTs could come from sports brands. So far, Adidas has made its metaverse debut with an NFT launch.