NFT 101: UEFA Euro Meets Crypto And NFTs - Here Is What You Need To Know About The NFT Craze
The crypto and NFT craze is finally coming to the world of Football. AntChain, the blockchain division of Ant Group which also operates AliPay, has agreed to a five-year global partnership with UEFA for bringing innovations to the world of football with blockchain technology. Ant Group is already three years into an eight-year sponsorship with UEFA.
AntChain is a Chinese digital company that became the official blockchain partner of the EURO 2020 championships which got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The UEFA and AntChain will mutually study the prospects of blockchain technology for UEFA's properties and other technologies under the conditions of the agreement.
This partnership likely focuses on developing NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), a unit of data kept on the blockchain that certifies a digital asset as unique and immutable. NFTs can represent images, movies, audio, and other sorts of digital files, and they can be easily traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.
The goal of this collaboration is to encourage and accelerate digital transformation in the football industry. The Alipay NFT trophy for the golden boot winner at the Euros is the first significant milestone in this partnership. Additionally, the records of the top scorers will be permanently stored on the blockchain ledger to establish a legacy.
Best Goal Scorer Will Get an NFT Trophy
A unique NFT trophy will be given to the player who scores the best goal at Europe's international soccer tournament this summer. The NFT trophy will symbolize a unique artwork created at the fan zone in Saint Petersburg by a well-known Russian artist.
The UEFA 2020 championship will be held in various cities across Europe, and Russia's second-largest city will host seven of the overall 51 matches. Last year, the competition was postponed owing to the Covid-19 crisis, although it kept its original name.
The physical artwork would be destroyed, but a fragment of it will be retained and given to the winner of the ‘best goal’ trophy. After the tournament, the winner of the NFT trophy will be invited to UEFA headquarters in Switzerland to receive the digital reward. Because this is the first time UEFA has given an NFT award to the top goal scorer in a championship, the body is still deciding on the exact criteria it will use to evaluate all the contenders.
Football Clubs Adopting NFT And Fan Tokens
The French Football Federation has partnered with Sorare, a digital trading card company, to develop NFTs for fantasy football. Subscribers can use the cards to participate in a blockchain-based fantasy football platform. It appears that football associations and clubs are looking to take some profit from the NFT fever by reaching a larger fanbase digitally.
Sorare has previously focused on club-based cards that can be purchased and sold using cryptocurrency and utilized in online fantasy football contests for cash prizes. This is the first-of-many moves the company plans to make to broaden its presence inside national team fan bases.
Socios, a company that sells fan tokens, are now being used by blue-chip teams like Manchester City, AC Milan, and Juventus to engage their followers. When it came to decorating the team bus, Juventus delegated the decision to the holders of their Socios fan tokens. Fan tokens have been utilized to help the teams in deciding on things like alternate logos, song playlists for player warmups, and limited edition T-shirts.
In October, the club Apollon FC allowed its fan token holders to pick up the team's starting lineup and formation. Even though this was for an exhibition match with very little at stake, it establishes an exciting precedent where it allows supporters to exert genuine influence over the squad, thanks to blockchain technology.
The NFT craze isn’t just limited to the football clubs. Fantastec SWAP and Dapper Labs have teamed together to offer collectibles associated with major football clubs like Arsenal and Real Madrid. The new Fantastec SWAP series has Erling Haaland's signature as well as Gareth Bale's goal in the Champions League Final.
Over the last few years, the relationship between blockchain and the sports business has resulted in lucrative and innovative use-cases. The adoption of blockchain can be observed in various industries, but nowhere is it more rapid than in the sports industry, especially football.
While numerous factors have contributed to the rise of blockchain in sports, the introduction of NFTs and fan tokens is now propelling the industry forward by reaching a larger fanbase digitally around the globe.
The large amount of money that has flooded into the NFT market has resulted in several NFT projects in professional sports leagues and companies, including the MLB, NBA, MLS, UFC, and WWE.
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