Posted on Jul 6, 2022, 5:20 PMUpdated Jul 6, 2022 at 5:21 PM
On social networks, athletes are followed on their “lifestyle” through their Instagram posts and Twitter announcements, and their exploits on the ground are also followed. Therefore, their audience has become highly desired by brands to associate themselves with their image. The pursuit of influence is led by Web3 companies, to search for headlines to gain visibility and define themselves to the general public.
The latest announcement to date, the partnership between two of the pieces, one from the French team and PSG, the other from French Tech and Web3. Kylian Mbappé has already formalized his role as an ambassador and investor for Sorare, a startup that allows you to purchase digital sports cards in the form of NFTs and participate in online competitions.
“This type of partnership makes it possible to attract a very important fan base in the eyes of Web3 companies because they are often younger and connected, and therefore technologically ready to take a step towards blockchain technologies,” explains Jean de Nicolay, President. From the Federation of NFT in France. As part of this partnership, Unicorn is committed to supporting Kylian Mbappé’s charity, Inspired By KM (IBKM), which develops educational projects and wants to help “disadvantaged young people discover the opportunities offered by Web3 technology”.
And Sorare, like Kylian Mbappé, is not the first to pass between the sports world and the blockchain industry. A few days ago, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo formalized his “exclusive” and “multi-year” partnership with crypto exchange Binance to become an ambassador. The athlete with half a billion followers also announced his intention to create a series of NFT groups.
The NFT market remains unstable and suffers from a lack of legitimacy in the eyes of a part of the public that considers it speculative. When the partnership between Kylian Mbappé and Sorare was announced, some reactions were critical of the athlete’s choice. The partnership with the NFT platform may conflict with his anti-gambling stance, as the footballer refused to partner with sports betting sites. Jean de Nicolay believes that “a view that stems from ignorance of the challenges our ecosystem faces and the business of playing for profit”. Hence the need for this new industry to gain visibility and respect with such personalities, who care meticulously about every aspect of their appearance.
The mass launch of NFT kits and crazy sums exchanged is fueling skepticism and skepticism about this new technological wave. And so there are dozens of athletes among the “Bored Ape Yacht Club,” a private club for NFT collectors who charge more than $200,000 per entry. Launched in April 2021, this set of 10,000 avatars represented by bored-looking monkeys has totaled over $1 billion in transactions within a few months. Wearing one of these avatars amounts to sharing one’s membership in this elite group of wealthy collectors.
For some “influencers”, the launch of the NFT group has also become a way to monetize their audience, by browsing this new trend. But numerous examples have shown that these assets quickly lose value in the secondary market or do not attract the expected income. After earning $1 million thanks to the almost instant purchase of NFT by his fans, singer Shawn Mendes saw his value quadruple in one year.
“Launching a batch of NFTs is a way to supplement their income, especially for those who are not at the front of the stage or practice a lesser known discipline, as in the world of extreme sports where some athletes have started shooting a batch of NFTs. But selling an NFT also allows you to build a community It is a tangible way to get to know and engage with your fan base,” explains Jean de Nicolay.
An opportunity sports clubs seized with the launch of fan tokens. In Europe, dozens of football clubs such as PSG, Manchester City or FC Barcelona have launched their digital tokens. A way to retain their supporters and inflate their ranks. Token holders have advantages (meetings with players, tickets, discounts, etc.) and can have their say in decisions related to the life of the club. During the Covid crisis, the tokens also made it possible to maintain the connection with fans, presence online and less in stadiums, while generating income. A link between the world of sports and Web3 that must continue to weave as this new industry grows.
Research on the impact of blockchain platforms is happening directly in sports stadiums. Crypto.com will be one of the sponsors for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and thus will appear alongside already well-known giants such as Coca Cola, Visa and Germany’s Adidas. The sponsorship process is added to a series of big checks that the Hong Kong-based platform has signed for other players in the sports world.
Home of the Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association, Staples Center has been renamed Crypto.com, as part of a $700 million deal for naming rights to the Los Angeles Lakers. A few months ago, rival FTX announced its deal with the Miami Heat franchise to rename the stadium in a $135 million deal.
In Ligue 1, crypto platform eToro became the main sponsor of AS Monaco and is featured heavily on the red and white jersey and on the bays of Louis 2. Since then Formula 1, UFC or American football have been added to the list of target sports as crypto platforms seek to influence . A win-win partnership, where sports leagues can find new revenue, and platforms benefit from their regular exposure to seek out new customers.