NFTs were a major trend in the art world during 2021 and the start of 2022. We are now seeing that trend pass over into the world of sports and particularly Football. But is it a trend that will stick around or another fad that clubs should ignore?
There are so many new and disruptive technologies around, and many coming off the back of web 3.0 and blockchain. The typical cycle we have seen for disruptive technologies has included a phase of extremely high (and sometimes unreasonable) expectations. In this phase, stakeholders capitalize on the momentum behind the technological trend to make major gains from a financial perspective.
However, at a later phase (sometimes not a lot later, and sometimes months or years) the bubble bursts, and the market crashes.
Examples of this cycle include the early days of the internet, social media and now web 3.0. But is web 3.0, and particularly NFTs, going to weather the storm?
Now, in August 2022, we are in a “bear market” phase of NFTs. There are many critics of web 3.0 and NFTs who are arguing that these disruptive technologies are only a “trend” so football teams are left wondering where the real opportunity is. In these times, the true innovators of tomorrow emerge and the football clubs that embrace NFTs now will find they end up ahead of their competitors in the years to come.
NFTS are a tool more than a trend. Viewing NFTs this way allows football clubs to create a clear vision and an exciting future filled with digital transformation.
NFT technology presents an exciting opportunity for innovative football clubs. There is great potential to connect with your fans on a deeper level. We live in a world where audiences have fragmented attention, especially among the younger audiences and maintaining the engagement of fans is becoming harder.
NFTs can be used as a marketing tool to build continued fan engagement on and off the pitch, presenting a bright future for football clubs.
Football teams must think about the “right” utility for NFTs. There is no blanket right answer when it comes to utility. It depends on the use case and your fan base.
You have to ask your fan base “What do you want to do?”. NFTs have great potential and many applications so you have to find the one that will be best received by your fans. This can be a membership program, an offer on team merchandise, access to a specific event, and more.
To decide on the utility of your NFT, your main focus needs to be to engage your fan.
For example, if your fans want to have a shirt signed by your star player, then this is what you need to give them.
Fans could walk into your home stadium or be streaming your game live, and the first 100 fans to scan your QR code get access to an NFT of a signed shirt.
These NFTs will give them something that only those 100 people can have. You will see that a lot of fans will participate to gain access to this exclusive piece of merchandise.
NFTs are a digital resource and while they do take time and budget to create, you can give them for free as they are often low-budget to create. You can organise NFT giveaways like a lottery and this adds gamification which further engages fans.
With your own NFT marketplace, your team has the ability to create and sell NFTs directly from live broadcasted content, allowing their customers to mint NFTs at the exact moment highlights happen. This is likely where we will see the future of NFTs in football.
NFTs are not another passing trend. Smart and forward-thinking football teams are incorporating them into their marketing strategies and using them as a part of a digital transformation that will continue to engage younger fans as we become more digitised.
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