NFTs are shifting the game for both sports brands & athletes

Sport and NFTs: a perfect match? If the number of sports brands and athletes entering the game is any indication, NFTs appear to be the hottest thing since the last New Balance sneaker rollout.

The world has changed dramatically, and so has the average customer. The Gen Z audience is driving change in sports by innovating how we interact with our favorite brands, platforms, and one other. According to a recent study of sports fans:

  • Consumers use TV-connected devices for 32% of their TV time, resulting in a tremendous increase in the number of platforms for sport content.
  • Multi-screen viewing activities such as email and online gaming have climbed by 5% in the overall population, but this has more than doubled in Gen Z.
  • 52% of esports fans and 39% of sports fans are aware of crypto tokens, which is much higher than the general population… yet, 24% of these fans have indicated an interest in NFTs.
  • Sport fans have a higher level of trust in influencers, so much so that 26% of fans believe athletes are an excellent way to communicate with brands and sponsors.

If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, NFT stands for non-fungible token. Using the blockchain, an NFT allows you to buy and sell unique digital things while also recording who owns them. They are frequently related with images, videos, audio, and video game things.

They’re also quickly becoming a successful way of engaging with fans, and they’re worth a lot of money. In February 2021, for example, the NBA’s Top Shot earned $219 million. The consumer is the one constant that the sports sector must keep in mind to preserve its long-term viability and growth. So, how are sports businesses utilizing NFTs to place customers at the center of their strategy?

Who are the main players in the NFT conversation?

Before we get into which companies and athletes are winning the NFT game, let’s take a moment to grasp who the important players are in creating interest and conversation. We conducted a report exclusively investigating sport apparel and NFT fans, which provided us with a more accurate image of the average sport and NFT crossover audience.

To date, the viewership is over 90% male and skews very young, with approximately 45% of the audience aged 18 to 24. According to the Nielsen survey, Gen Z is hard at work innovating in the sports industry.

Unsurprisingly, 93% of the audience is enthusiastic about sports, and 60% of them are still based in the United States. This audience self-identifies as’sports’ and ‘fan’ based on their web profiles. It’s also worth noting that many of them have ‘basketball’ in their profile, implying a significant connection between NFTs and that sport.

In this blog, I’ll look at the latest and best in the world of sport NFTs, both apparel and athletes, to see who’s doing it correctly and how they’re efficiently tapping into their fan groups.

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