With the digital era growing rapidly, crypto continues to be a popular currency which has seen the likes of non-fungible tokens (NFT) rise. They feature distinctive identification codes that cement its entire purpose to signify ownership of a virtual asset.
Being bought and traded online using cryptocurrencies, NFT games and collectibles have emerged into the world of sport and become increasingly popular for fans around the globe.
Polarys enables athletes and clubs to launch tradable digital memberships powered by NFT technology to engage with the new generation of fans across the globe.
The platform is for athletes and sports clubs to create digital memberships which allow them to engage with their fans and give back to their community with exclusive rewards. Members can buy, use and trade their membership without any coding or web knowledge needed.
Polarys statement: Everything happens on our platform. Creators (athletes & clubs) can create digital memberships in a few clicks, without any coding or Web experience or expertise needed. Users on the platform can buy (or claim if free) memberships and unlock exclusive rewards (e.g. tickets to games, meet and greets, Q&A sessions, coaching sessions, voting for player of the game or season, tour of the stadium, give the kick-off of a game). The benefit for owners (creators) is to monetise your community in a new and engaging way, moving away from the monopole of often toxic social media.
The platform provides endless opportunities for athletes and clubs to engage with their community, especially with the new generation of fans that is online most of the time and is looking at alternatives to social media to engage with smaller communities.
This is a beneficial provider for clubs as digital presence and fan engagement is extremely important nowadays in sport. The more a club can sell themselves using their online presence the more revenue they can generate which is the ultimate goal of using an organisation such as Polarys to develop digital packages.
One of the most successful NFT companies recently is ‘Sorare’. Sorare produces and markets legally authorised player tokens or ‘cards’ that may be sold or used in online games in collaboration with major sports teams. Although a single Cristiano Ronaldo card sold for almost $100,000, most cards only cost a few dollars, and Sorare’s games provide weekly prize money in cryptocurrency.
Up until the end of 2019, Sorare was invite-only, but as soon as it became accessible to everyone, its user base immediately surged. In the first six months, sales totalled $350,000 and 70 football teams, including European powerhouse Juventus, signed on.
EA Sports, the company behind the FIFA video game franchise and Madden NFL, is the industry leader in digital sports games. With sales of almost $6 billion and a profit of $800 million
Compared to EA’s fanbase, which has 25 million players of FIFA 22 alone, Sorare’s price doesn’t seem outlandish considering its considerably quicker growth.
EA’s FIFA ultimate team or (FUT) can be seen as the original NFT, consumers buying and trading virtual cards which may have led to the inspiration of modern day NFT collectibles companies such as Sorare and Polarys produce.
Implementing NFT in our backyard
With the growth and success of this technology, the A-league could look to implement NFT’s in a bid to grow the game in Australia. A-league Fantasy Football exists, however the popularity of the game never took off compared to the likes of Premier League Fantasy and others. Introducing a set of A-league NFT collectibles may be an option which increases the online interaction between consumers and the league.
Ultimately, the downfall of NFT’s won’t happen anytime soon. With football organisations benefiting from new technology and progressing their club virtually, it seems as though this will stay a relevant as a part of the games off-field advancement.