- Every fan who attends this weekend's Super Bowl will receive a commemorative NFT ticket stub.
- There's a growing market for sports NFTs, but they are still very speculative investments.
Find out why some are calling this year's Super Bowl the "Crypto Bowl."
The biggest sports event of the year will have a distinctly crypto flavor this weekend. Not only is the NFL issuing commemorative non-fungible token (NFT) tickets for every fan who attends the Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, it will also release a series of unique NFTs from past Super Bowls. Plus, well-known cryptocurrency exchanges Crypto.com and FTX will air commercials on the big day.
The NFL already issued over 250,000 NFT tickets during the regular season and will now extend the same strategy to its flagship event. Each virtual commemorative ticket will be unique and include the section, row, and seat. "Collecting ticket stubs has always been something our fans love to do, especially for the season's biggest game," said Bobby Gallo, senior vice president of Club Business Development at the NFL. "Offering customized Super Bowl NFTs allows us to enhance the gameday experience, while also enabling us to further evaluate the NFT space for future ticketing and event engagement opportunities."
Following Sunday's game, attendees will receive a link to view their virtual commemorative ticket. The NFT ticket stubs are being issued in partnership with Ticketmaster.
Special commemorative NFTs
To celebrate the Super Bowl's return to Los Angeles for the first time in almost 30 years, the NFL is also issuing a series of commemorative NFTs. Starting Feb. 6, there'll be a new NFT up for auction every day on the NFL marketplace. The final piece, to be released on Feb. 13, will feature a special NFT of the day's ticket artwork designed by a local Southern California artist.
The first two to be released are:
- Super Bowl I, a virtual commemorative ticket from Jan. 15, 1967.
- Super Bowl VII, a virtual commemorative ticket from Jan. 14, 1973. Bidding started at $500.
The NFL also issued club-specific NFTs for the two finalists -- Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals -- on Feb. 2. At time of writing, these were being sold for between $850 and $9,998 on the NFL marketplace.
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Non-fungible tokens are all the rage right now, but be cautious if you're buying one as an investment. NFTs are a kind of digital collectible -- they can be sporting moments, digital tickets, artwork, music, or in-game items. What makes them special is that the ownership information is coded into the item itself. It's a bit like buying an autographed version or limited edition of a print.
NFTs could transform the way we own digital items. But it isn't yet clear whether individual NFTs will hold their value, and some are changing hands for huge amounts of money. For example, Beeple's work "Everydays -- The First 5000 Days" sold for almost $70 million at auction last year.
If you're a collector or a sports fan, you might want to own an NFT that relates to your passion. Where it gets complicated is when you buy NFTs as an investment in the hope the price will go up. It's a bit like buying art or fashion items -- these are fickle industries, and it takes a lot of knowledge and expertise to profit in the long term. It's one thing to buy an item because you like it and want to own it, and it's another to buy it because you hope to eventually profit from it.
There are also environmental considerations. NFTs minted on the Ethereum (ETH) network can have big carbon footprints. The Super Bowl NFTs use the Polygon (MATIC) network instead. Polygon is a layer 2 blockchain that sits on top of the Ethereum network to improve its performance, and it uses a fraction of the energy per NFT compared to Ethereum.
Digital sports memorabilia could be an important area of revenue for sports teams and athletes in the coming years. Indeed, Deloitte predicts that 4 million to 5 million sports fans will have purchased or been gifted an NFT sports collectible by the end of 2022. It's a good way for teams to enhance their relationships with fans as well as to provide an additional source of revenue.
If you're buying as an investor, rather than a sports fan, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of NFTs before you jump in. It's very early days for the sports NFT industry and these are highly speculative purchases. As such, it's important to only invest money you can afford to lose and make sure you fully understand the risks involved.
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Emma Newbery owns Ethereum and Polygon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bitcoin
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