Wednesday November 29, 2023

MLB Goes All In On NFTs

  • The NFT market has cooled off since the start of the year, but now new players, including MLB are getting in on the action.
  • The Premier League is also considering launching NFTs.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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While the NFT-mania has come and gone, the market for non-fungible tokens has proven robust, and some major players are just now getting into the game.

Major League Baseball agreed on Tuesday to a licensing deal with tech company Candy Digital to create an NFT marketplace along the lines of NBA Top Shot.

Philadelphia 76ers minority owner Michael Rubin is among Candy Digital’s founders. His licensed sports merchandise giant, Fanatics — which received a $12.8 billion valuation in March — is the majority owner.

Combining the game’s long history with this new medium, MLB will release an NFT commemorating Lou Gehrig’s 1939 “Luckiest Man” speech over the Fourth of July weekend.

Other leagues and teams are also looking to leverage the blockchain-based tokens.

  • Soccer team Club Nicaxa of Mexico’s Liga MX will auction off an NFT that comes with 1% ownership in the club. Bidding starts at $1.3 million.
  • The Premier League is looking into NFTs as a source of revenue after losing around $2.8 billion in ticket sales to the pandemic.

As for NBA Top Shot, it recently signed up its 1 millionth user and has 150,000 to 250,000 unique users per day

Top Shot sales have cooled off substantially after a surge that saw $462 million change hands over February and March. The platform had $92.5 million in April sales, and around $40 million last month.

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