The US Tennis Association announced today that the Open would be launching its first-ever NFT collection, intended to manifest a whole new world of fan engagement for the sport. From art projects to celebrity-backed collections, NFTs in 2021 have offered a unique world of community engagement never seen before. For the world of sports, these tokens foster a more dynamic and ongoing relationship between fans and their beloved athletes; the US Open’s tokens are available now.
âEnabling fans worldwide to engage with the US Open in the NFT space is an exciting step, because it offers a number of accessible, modern and in some cases extraordinary ways to interact with the event and its champions in an increasingly popular digital realm,â said Kirsten Corio, Managing Director, Ticketing and Digital Strategy, USTA.
The tokens available in the coming days will fall into a level system, providing collectors of all investment levels an opportunity to get involved.
- The first level is comprised of an unlimited amount of tokens, featuring key US Open artwork. While mints are unlimited, the tokens will only be available during the main draw from August 30-September 12. There will then be another level of token available exclusively to in-person attendees of the 2021 US Open â a creative âvirtual ticket stubâ â claimable for free on USOpen.org the day following their attendance.
- There will also be an exclusive level of âChampionâ tokens, which will be limited in quantity and will feature trading cards of legendary US Open champions: Billie Jean King, Andy Roddick, Stan Smith, Venus Williams and Bob and Mike Bryan. For each of the Champions, there will be only 20 numbered âLegendaryâ trading cards and one âGolden Aceâ available for bid with both U.S. dollars and Ethereum.
- Finally, the highest-level âGolden Aceâ card will provide some crazy utility. Limited to one per Champion, this exclusive NFT will come with several once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the winning bidder, including: an opportunity to play tennis inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, a meet-and-greet with a tennis star at the US Open, their name engraved on the US Open grounds, courtside tickets to the 2022 US Open menâs or womenâs singles championship, autographed memorabilia and a limited-edition US Open merchandise pack. Talk about bonuses.
NFTs are opening up a whole new world of opportunity for relationships between fans and their beloved sport. The US Open’s first NFT initiative is masterfully building on the growing trendâincorporating elements of sports card culture and the accessibility elements built in to many recent NFT dropsâto bring the fans closer to the court.