NFT Sports

NFTs and Injuries, Lamelo Ball Wins Rookie of the Year

They say “Pikachu can’t tear his ACL.” It is what separates non-sports assets and sports assets. When investing in the sports NFT world, you are banking on a player’s health. 

You look at the last week in the NBA and the playoffs have been decimated by injuries to some of the league’s biggest stars. 

Predicting injuries is impossible. But factoring in this concept of, “what if this player tore their ACL? How would it impact their career?” can be incredibly important in deciding where you want to invest your money in the NFT landscape.

With the Kawhi Leonard news, it’s incredibly disappointing, but most likely, it won’t impact his career arc. Can this be said for some of the younger players who have yet to establish that tenure in the league. 

Even the rookie of the year, Lamelo Ball was dinged up for a small portion of the season. It almost cost him the rookie of the year. 

Speaking of Lamelo, the youngest Ball brother dropped an NFT collection a few weeks ago. And with him winning the prized accolade, it will be included in his NFT series.

Investing in players’ whose careers are already somewhat established can keep you safe from the always possible threat of injuries. 

And if you want to completely avoid the threat of injuries, you can always look to non-sports related NFTs. 

Whether it be a meme, digital art, and digital horses. 

There are risks in other NFTs. An artist can be canceled for things they say. Artist’s careers are not guaranteed either. Decentraland could become the preferred landscape of the metaverse over Sandbox. All of these could impact the value of a non-sports NFT.

I’m not saying that there is necessarily a better NFT group to be invested in. I just want people to understand the importance of weighing all of these different factors that go into it. 

NFT Sports

PFL and Fanaply Team Up on First MMA Organization NFTs

Numerous sports and other industries have gotten in on the NFT hype in the past few months, but today, the PFL became the first MMA organization to launch its own line of digital tokens. Hot off last night’s incredible fight between Claressa Shields and Brittney Elkin, the organization has launched a series of tokens which will each be available for 7 days following their corresponding events. The NFTs will consist of one-of-a-kind moments in two separate NFT products: first, “debut moments” which represent the first time a PFL fighter competed for the PFL (which launched today for Clarissa Shields), and second, “championship moments” which present the winner of each weight class in the 2021 PFL Season.

Each NFT is made up of 30 seconds of video, plus a signed pair of PFL MMA gloves with a personalized inscription.

The first PFL “debut moment” NFT is Claressa Shields’ MMA debut from last night’s fight. Shields’ appearance was arguably the most highly anticipated MMA debut in history and her NFT is available right now at Fanaply.

The second “debut moment” token will correspond with Rory MacDonald’s next fight, dropping three days prior to his next Regular Season fight on June 17. The Rory MacDonald NFT will feature his PFL debut fight on April 29, 2021, which was a first-round submission win.

The third and final “debut moment” NFT features PFL rising superstar Kayla Harrison. The Harrison NFT will showcase moments from her victorious PFL fight debut on June 21, 2018 and will drop three days prior to her June 25, 2021 matchup.
PFL x Fanaply

As a newer league in the space, PFL has already made it very clear that they are prioritizing innovation as a fighting organization. In the org’s press release, CEO Peter Murray said: “PFL is all about innovation for MMA‘s 550 million global fans, and today, we mark another first in the sport with our NFT launches,“ adding: “Claressa, Rory and Kayla have achieved tremendous success throughout their careers and three lucky collectors will now be able to make history of their own when the debut PFL NFTs drop this month.”

For more info on this drop, check out PFL on their social channels and view the NFTs themselves on Fanaply.

NFT Sports

NFTs Are NOT Dead, According to Jack Settleman

I Promise… NFT’s Are Not Dead

I’m not sure people understand how early on we are in this NFT movement. 

The total Top Shot market cap is at 605 million dollars. 

At one point, it was over a billion dollars, so naturally, people are showing concern.

Did I mention that we are early?

Clearly, the public perception is that NFT’s are dead. But I am here to tell you they are not. We are seeing a pullback. We are seeing similar reactions to the era, where 99 percent of websites failed. But the one percent that survived (Amazon, Google) became monsters. 

Quick reminder, we are early. 

What is important is that NFT’s, celebrity cash grabs are gone… which we’ve been saying. But the tech of NFT’s is going to be the thing of the next decade. As of now, all people know are the youtube clips they are watching. But we are still so early, people don’t understand what this wave can be.

The general idea from Top Shot fans is that it re-engaged them with the NBA. Who captures your attention? That is what matters. The MLB does a terrible job with it. The UFC is making a Dapper Labs product… and is asking you to pay for the viewing experience and give them your time. With the NFL, they own Sunday and Monday… but even our generation watches RedZone. Once again, the tech and utility of NFT’s are an attention and engagement capture. 

Over the next decade, the competition will be over people’s time and attention. 

To finalize things, we are super early in this. It could be five years before we see the fruits of NFT technology.

NFT Sports

The Olympics Officially Enter the World of NFTs

Sports organizations and recognizable athletes have jumped into the NFT fray in recent months. The NBA has gone all-in with its Top Shot initiative, while notable NFL pros Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Rob Gronkowski have made efforts to represent the iconic football league in the NFT realm. Now one of the most respected sports organizations in the world is making a play at representing its legacy through minting digital sports collectibles on the blockchain.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has entered into a fruitful partnership with game developer nWay to put forward two intriguing efforts – an upcoming launch of Olympic-themed NFTs modeled after real-world Olympic pins and brand new gaming efforts. Once Thursday, June 17th rolls around, will begin to distribute and sell the following NFT Olympic Pins:

1. Athens 1896 – the first modern Olympic Games

2. Paris 1924 – the first city to host the Olympic Games twice

3. Chamonix 1924 – the first Olympic Winter Games

4. Lake Placid 1932 – the first Olympic Winter Games in America

5. Tokyo 1964 – the first Olympic Games in Asia

6. Munich 1972 – the first Olympic Games with an official mascot

If you’re looking to obtain one or even all of those officially licensed NFT Olympic Pins, you can do so through three different methods – by purchasing assorted packs via, by purchasing specific pins directly from other collectors through the nWayPlay Marketplace, and by earning them for free by playing a real-time Olympic-themed competitive video game connected to nWayPlay. It’s worth noting that the aforementioned game will be launched in the lead up to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. And for those that don’t know what nWayPlay entails, it’s a platform for competitive multiplayer games with play-to-earn functionality that allows users to claim NFTs as prizes. Collectors and gamers can also buy, sell, and earn various NFTs with officially licensed IPs through the official website’s decentralized marketplace.

Both parties are certainly excited about this NFT and gaming collaboration. “Olympic pins started as a way to identify athletes, judges and officials, but over the past 125 years it has become an Olympic Games tradition, where everyone from athletes to event staff, journalists and spectators all take part to collect and trade pins in the Olympic Village and beyond,” said Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services. “Today’s [June 3, 2021] announcement is a natural evolution of this tradition, in line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and the IOC’s digital strategy to embrace new digital technologies to promote the Olympic values and grow direct relations with our fans. They can now connect with the excitement of the Games in a whole new way and own a piece of Olympic history.”

“We are honoured to collaborate with the IOC to bring the NFT Olympic Pins Collection to the nWayPlay Marketplace for the first time,” said Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay.  “We used our experience as game developers to incorporate high-quality 3D models with animation and visual effects to create truly premium NFTs.” Fingers crossed that we get an NFT modeled after a couple of the best Olympic mascots. It’d be pretty sweet if collectors could obtain Izzy (the official mascot for the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics), Quatchi & Miga (the official mascots for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics), and Powder, Copper, & Coal (the official mascots for the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics).

NFT Sports

LaMelo Ball Announces Dynamic NFT Project Tied to His NBA Accomplishments

If you watched the Charlotte Hornets at all this year, you know LaMelo Ball is going to be around for the long haul. The electrifying newcomer to the NBA is one of the finalists for Rookie of the Year; couple that with his family’s already prominent position in NBA culture and it’s clear that Ball will be a mainstay of the basketball landscape for years to come.

With numerous artists and athletes getting into the NFT game over the past few months, creators have to be thoughtful about how they can create a project that builds community and will continue to evolve, rather than just being a one-off event. LaMelo is doing just that; he announced his project today, but the actual drop won’t occur until next Friday, June 4th. As of now, Ball and his team are building a community in the player’s discord channel so that, by the time of the drop, there’s already an involved community surrounding his foray into the space.

Let’s get into the actual project. Ball’s first NFT capsule was created by Playground, in partnership with Ether Cards and Chainlink. What makes it so cool is how dynamic the NFTs are and the means by which each asset can evolve depending on what happens in the young player’s career. LaMelo is launching a collection of 10,000 NFTs, consisting of 9,500 Standard NFTs with three classes of rarity, as well as 500 Evolve Edition NFTs. Each of these NFTs will contain unique artwork, attributes and perks, such as special artist renditions, exciting highlight-reels, random fan rewards, and opportunities to interact with LaMelo himself.

The Evolve tokens are so sick. Powered by Chainlink’s VRF and Oracle Network technology, holders of the Evolve Edition NFTs will be entered into verifiably random lotteries for highly-curated memorabilia—including in-game shoes, custom arm-sleeves, and his high school championship ring. As far as the token evolution goes, if LaMelo Ball is selected as the NBA Rookie of the Year, for example, the Evolve Edition token will update itself to reflect the accomplishment.

This drop separates itself from other similar drops because of how the evolution component gamifies one’s ownership of their NFT. We spoke with Sher Chaudhary, co-founder of Playground Studios, who said of the drop: “Ultimately, this lets fans place a blockchain-based bet on LaMelo’s potential awards. Those who guess correctly receive an ultra-scarce digital asset worth money; but if you’re wrong, you’ve still earned a highly-coveted spot in LaMelo’s community — with direct access to Melo himself.” Sergey Nazarov, the co-founder of Chainlink, echoed the sentiment, saying: “The linking of what LaMelo does on the court back to his on-chain NFT enables an entirely new relationship between him and his many fans.”

That’s precisely what makes this drop so cool. You don’t just buy the NFT and watch it sit in your wallet; everything that happens in LaMelo’s career will be reflected in the token. This is such a cool evolution for the NFT space generally and it’s coming from one of the most promising players in the game. Personally, I can’t wait to follow along. Hop in the discord here to get excited for next week.

NFT Sports

Major League Soccer Launches Battle Series NFT Project

The NFT game is hot and the number of sports that have introduced themselves into the virtual realm continues to rise as of late.

Major League Soccer is one of the newest ones to make the leap as the United States’ premier futbol association teams up with Secret Walls and Bitski to release its first NFT collection in an effort to promote this weekend’s huge matchups around the league.

The 2021 MLS season has kicked off to a fast start and this weekend will continue the excitement as the Portland Timbers take on the LA Galaxy Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET on ABC followed by the Seattle Sounders meeting Atlanta United on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX,

MLS’ NFT initiative aims to combine soccer and street art culture as fans have the opportunity to watch a number of talented artists showcase their skills against one another ahead of this weekend’s games.

Major League Soccer

Fans can tune in on Friday, May 21 at 6 p.m. ET via to watch artists representing each of the four clubs compete over the course of 60 minutes to create a digital masterpiece that will be auctioned off.

Once completed, the pieces will be available at auction for 48 hours on Bitski’s website. A portion of the proceeds from the NFT launch will go to, which will help offset carbon emissions.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Major League Soccer and Secret Walls to bring this unique experience that intersects sports, art, and technology,” said Donnie Dinch, CEO of Bitski. “We love it when we’re able to use NFTs to bring communities together.”

Secret Walls, one of the leading underground battle art experts, has summoned Mighty Short (Portland Timbers), Aaron Kai (LA Galaxy), Kyler Martz (Seattle Sounders) and Paper Frank (Atlanta United) to compete in the competition.

MLS’ unique gameday experience over the weekend will also feature limited edition matchday posters that fans can purchase during the 90 minutes in which their team’s games are being played on Saturday or Sunday.

Major League Soccer

Each artist has helped create an original NFT gameday poster for the respective team they’re representing and the posters will be unlimited throughout the length of each match.

MLS hopes this can be a starting point for its entry into the NFT space and will be looking at more opportunities to create these types of projects in the future.

“The special NFT art collection is the latest evolution of Major League Soccer’s commitment to celebrating the creativity in our sport and the permission to connect soccer with progressive and exciting art experiences,” said Chris Schlosser, MLS SVP of Media. “The live art battle, plus the modern take on a matchup poster, helps create a cultural moment that celebrates our League, and the two great MLS matches this weekend.”

NFT Sports

NFL Legend Tim Brown Releases Official NFT Collection

NFL legend Tim Brown is one of the greatest players to ever grace the football field. A supremely talented wide receiver who played seventeen seasons (majority of whom were spent with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders), eventually joining the elite H2H in 2015 when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (only nine other players in NFL history have a won the coveted Heisman and been inducted into the Hall). With NFTs taking over the game, many prominent figures have decided to throw their names into the hats with personalized collections, and Brown is one of the latest.

Getty Images
Tim Brown

Joining forces with Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company, H2H, and content studio and marketing company Dolphin Entertainment, Brown is now set to release his first official collection, Brown is now set to release his first official collection. Ahead of the announcement, we spoke with Brown about his jump into the NFT space, if this is something he could have seen himself doing five years ago, and the development process behind building this collection.

ONE37pm: NFT’s have been around for a while, but we have really seen the NFT game explode over these past couple of months. What made you decide to start your own collection?

Brown: No—I probably found out about NFTs around the same time you guys did! Obviously when Patrick Mahomes and Gronk released theirs it got a lot of attention, and it looked like a good opportunity to showcase your memorabilia. You know you can only go to so many autograph sessions, so I looked at it as something that may be different than normal, but you can finally have something to offer—this could follow an art collection.

ONE37pm: What has the process been like for you in terms of preparation?

Brown: You know it’s kind of funny, you hear the word process, and it’s sort of synonymous with work, and it hasn’t been that. I’ve been having different conversations with the artist, but it’s been simple! It’s not like you have to spend two months of your life working on it, and I think when more athletes realize how easy it is, they’ll get it on it too.

Getty Images
Tim Brown

ONE37pm: Was there a learning curve for you as far as NFTs go?

Brown: Well, I haven’t seen anyone else’s NFTs. I’ve been working on mine, and it’s been great, but if it’s somebody else’s, it may be more difficult to understand. With mine, I’m pretty happy with it!

ONE37pm: Obviously, you are an NFL Legend and one of the GOATs. Your NFT collection is a reflection of your storied career. Is this something that you could have ever imagined maybe five years ago? 

Brown: I’m sort of ‘out there’ when it comes to my thinking. You know sometimes with opportunities things can become a bit stale and boring. So if someone had told me this five years ago, I definitely would have had my hand raised because I would have been open to hearing about something new.

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Tim Brown

ONE37pm: We’ve sort of mentioned it, but what can fans expect from the collection? They have a chance to have a special one-on-one phone call with you right?

Brown: Oh yeah! It’s going to be the Zoom call of a lifetime without a doubt! You know I’ve gotten really good at this Zoom thing over the last year! We’re going to walk through the house, take a look at some memorabilia—it’s going to be fun! You know this, I would imagine it’s not going to be a one-time deal with whoever buys it. We’ll have a connection because the buyer is going to be a huge Tim Brown fan, so I’m looking forward to it.

ONE37pm: Is the NFT space something you envision yourself operating in the long term?

Brown: Without a doubt. Obviously I don’t know what this is going to look like years down the road—I don’t think anyone knows. We are happy with the collection, and if it can be updated in the future, we’ll make it happen!

ONE37pm: Last but not least, do you have a favorite item in your collection?

Brown: The Heisman and the Gold Jacket. Those two things are special, and there are only nine other players who can say they have both of those, so it’s definitely special.

NFT Sports

Looking at the NBA Top Shot Market Before the Playoffs, with Jack Settleman

With the NBA Playoffs right around the corner, I think this is a good time to look at the NBA Top Shot market. 

Finally, it appears that the market has stabilized. 

Obviously, it came out guns blazing. But then a market correction did happen. It feels like this is the first time where we are seeing some stability. This doesn’t mean that the prices won’t drop, but it does mean that the days of a 10 percent decrease a day are most likely over. 

Since the market was crashing, what have we seen?

  1. Users have now seen access to withdrawals, which was an early that we addressed in the first couple of Top Shot blogs. 
  1. Dappers also made a lot of new hires, some coming from the NFL. The emphasis seems to be on building out the business with high level marketing members and having a strategic focus. 
  1. Top Shot has done a good job of responding to feedback. Whether it be the requirements on pack drops or removing bots from the release pool. Listening to the community will be massive for Dapper and even though it is early in their career span, they’ve seem to be receptive to feedback. 
  1. A new “King” has come forth in the NBA sphere. “Dingaling” has quickly become one of the more invested consumers of the Top Shot community. In the last few weeks, he has risen to the top ten most valued moment ranks. The “King” came in and purchased these moments “off-market” which factored into his large investment. 

I also have some thoughts/predictions about the market as the playoffs roll through… so let’s take a glance into the crystal ball.

Buy the rumors, sell the news.

Let’s say you think the Bucks will have a great playoffs. And you decide to invest in Giannis, Middleton, and Holiday…

BE PREPARED TO SELL. I do think the market will react to player performances so don’t be afraid to sell just a pinch earlier than you think.

Don’t overthink about who matters.

Don’t get fancy with Joe Harris. Stick to the basics. Buy Durant. Buy Harden. Buy Irving. The odds of a non-superstar becoming the face of a team are remarkably unlikely. Andre Iguodala winning the finals MVP is HIGHLY unlikely and shouldn’t be your model.

Avoid FOMO.

While the playoffs are the most electric time of the year… you don’t need to “FOMO” in. There will undoubtedly be a market dip during the off-season, and the NFL will ramp up. Again, this is no different than the sports card market. Keeping that cash in hand for a few months from now is not a bad idea. Once the season ends, I expect a market dip. 

NFT Sports

DJ Skee Teams up with Collectable to Launch BR3: A Babe Ruth Card and NFT

DJ Skee is well-known for bringing a lot of now-world famous artists to the limelight by playing their music on his show, Dash Radio. He’s also an active entrepreneur, always on the lookout for the next opportunity. Thus, naturally, he’s getting into the NFT game, teaming up with sports collectible brand, Collectable to launch a trading card collection coupled with some sick NFTs. The project is available exclusively on eBay, and the auction for the final card ends today at 8:45pm ET. 

The first part of the release featured a red foil version of the card, inspired by Skee’s P70 Blueprint and the greatest baseball player of all time, and sold out in minutes on The true-blue version, however, is a one of one and the auction is still live. It’s a gorgeous, hyper-futuristic styled card that comes with an accompanying NFT. The card itself is printed on 130 PT UV coated stock and comes with a special one-touch magnetic case. Ownership of the card comes with full ownership of the digital version, including numerous special 3D renderings and animations of the image. You can take a look at its eBay auction here.

By coupling a trading card release with an NFT component, Skee and Collectable are marrying two of the hottest collectible markets in the game right now. Skee noted: “I’m excited to utilize this moment to help showcase how NFT technology can be used in a different way,” going on to add, “Instead of just creating a digital art piece, this BR3 drop is ushering in a new use case to attribute and verify a physical card and its history using blockchain technology—something I believe will become standardized with many items in the future.” The idea of coupling trading card drops with NFT tech is definitely something we may see more and more of in the future, as its another way to verify ownership other than through a physical asset. 

NFT Sports

DAZN’s Face the Fearless: Gamification and Collectibles Combine

Global sports streaming service DAZN teamed up with Canelo Alvarez, Billy Joe Saunders and Matchroom Boxing to launch the first NFT collection around a world championship boxing fight, complete with memorabilia and gamification. This unique NFT experience combines the technology and gamification to create a series of digital collectibles that—coupled with the result of the fight—lead an owner to winning a slew of rewards that include signed gloves from Canelo, personalized videos for their camps, annual subscriptions to the networks service and tickets to a future fight.

The First NFT Drop Tied to a World Championship Fight

Through their ‘prediction’ NFTs, collectors can purchase a collectible that represents a single round of the main event. If the fight ends in that round, there are rewards to be collected. Deploying a unique mechanic like this in a space that is constantly evolving seems to be an attempt to garner interest in DAZN’s project by staying one step ahead of the game. As far as I can tell, this is the first time that anyone has combined NFTs directly into a live event’s results.

Part of what I think will make this drop successful is the all-in from the Canelo camp. Alvarez is signing his award gloves, he’ll be recording the personalized video himself and the winner of one reward can cash in for a pair of tickets to one of his future fights. Providing more access to athletes through NFTs is just a glimpse into the future use case of the technology. Much like VeeFriends, the value in these NFTs is not only tied to the amazing art, but the utility it provides.

Make sure to check out the NFT experience and follow along Saturday night for the results. Personally, I think I’ll be watching the secondary market on OpenSea throughout the entire fight to see how collectors react as the fight goes on… unless we see a KO in round one. Wouldn’t that be something?

The pre-fight auction is currently live and available for bidding until Canelo & Billy Joe make their way to the ring on Saturday night, around 10pm ET. The second pre-fight collection, consisting of two fixed-price, gamified series, went on sale today, Friday, May 7, at 3pm ET as the fighters weigh-in and face off one final time before the fight. The post-fight drop will include highlights & moments from the fight itself, with auctions going live on Monday, May 10.

For full details, check out the Face the Fearless collection page on OpenSea and see for more information and reward redemption info.

Disclosure: I was consulted on the strategy of this drop and am invested in its success. With that said, I believe the project and the team at DAZN speak for themselves on this one, and I know that if this project is successful, their brand can bring a lot to the table.