NFL Draft Goes NFT: Football League Releases New Collection on Polygon
The National Football League (NFL) announced that its official NFT platform is still in its “test and learn” phase, but has seen promising results since launching in November.
“It’s still early, but we are encouraged by the response from fans and collectors,” said Seth Palansky, NFL vice president of communications.
The NFL has released several collections of digital trading cards on the Ethereum blockchain through its partnership with Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot.
The NFL launched a series of card-themed collectibles NFTs tied to its much-anticipated player draft scheduled for Thursday. The most recent collection, NFL Draft Picks, features one card for each player selected in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.
The cards can be used to play games or traded on secondary markets. Fans can also use them to unlock exclusive content, such as highlights and behind-the-scenes footage.
The latest collection is already live on the NFL’s Polygon-based marketplace, which was unveiled in November 2021. The NFL is the latest in a string of major sports leagues to enter the world of NFTs. Earlier this year, the NBA launched its own NFT platform, Top Shot, and Major League Baseball followed suit with an NFT partnership with Lucid Sight.
The NFTs from this latest collection will be given out to members of this year’s “Inner Circle” club, which includes fans selected to represent each team on draft night. The inner circle members will have the chance to bid on and own some of the most iconic moments from NFL Draft history, including the first pick in the inaugural 1936 NFL Draft, when future Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh was selected by the Washington Redskins.
Thirteen National Football League teams have announced their partnerships with fan token platform Socios, following the in the path of the New England Patriots team. The NFL teams that have partnered with Socios are the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Socios will help these teams to launch their own fan tokens called ‘$TEAM’. These tokens will be based on the Chiliz token ($CHZ) and will be tradeable on the Socios platform. The fan tokens will give fans voting rights and other benefits.
The NFL teams have been quick to join the blockchain bandwagon.
Socios’ social token model has a heavy presence in the world of European football, as the company signed a partnership deal with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in February. Socios platform already has deals with some of the largest football clubs in the world, including FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, AS Roma, Atletico Madrid, and Manchester City.
Launching the Polygon-based marketplace is just one of many metaverse geared developments the league has unveiled this year. The league also announced a partnership with NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs to create NFL All Day. Both Top Shot and All Day NFTs are built on the Flow blockchain.
The NFL’s interest in NFTs was first made public in March when the league began publicly exploring the technology. The move comes as traditional sports organizations have begun to experiment with crypto and blockchain technology. The league’s official blockchain partnerships policy remains a work in progress, but has seen movement in the realms of fan tokens and crypto endorsements in recent weeks.