NFT's in College Sports (And The Impact They Have on NIL)
The future provides plenty of opportunities for athletes with NFT's and NIL.
2021 feels very futuristic.
In college sports, NIL went live and has provided awesome monetization opportunities for athletes.
While all that was taking place, the world saw the rise of crypto, NFT’s, web 3.0, and the metaverse.
The sports industry likes to stay on top of hot trends and offer an early glimpse of the future.
Let’s take a look at how NFT’s and NIL have collided (and how you can profit from it).
What is a NFT?
We could spend all day discussing NFT’s and what they really are so I’ll just sum it up for you.
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique digital asset that represents ownership of real-world items like art, video clips, music, and more.
NFTs use the same blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies, but they're not a currency. Think of it like an authentic digital baseball card or ticket.
We first saw the rise of NFT’s with NBA TopShots and it has now trickled down to college & high school sports.
Evan Mobley declared for the NBA draft by releasing his own NFT that also included two signed jerseys and two tickets to a game with a meet and greet - it sold for 2.1 ether.
When the transaction happened in April it was equivalent to $2,163. Now it’s worth over $8,000. Volatility is evident in crypto and also NFTs.
NFT’s and NIL in College Sports
Oregon defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux, who is projected to go #1 in the NFL Draft, recently released his own NFT.
He was the first college athlete to utilize NFT’s and NIL.
We can expect to see more of these in the future.
In September, NFT platform RECUR announced a $50 million Series A round of funding. They also revealed the launch of NFTU, a digital marketplace for collegiate sports collectibles.
Players will able to sell digital assets and have a locker-room of their collectibles.
I’m anticipating athletes auctioning off their highlights, jerseys, signed cards, and other rare-digital tokens.
I get it - this topic is very new and can be confusing. But stick with me because this is where technology is going and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.
Main Functionalities of NFT’s in College Sports
Non-fungible tokens can be considered modern-day collectibles. They're bought and sold online, and represent a digital proof of ownership of any given item.
An NFT is a digital asset such as:
Non-fungible tokens are super customizable, and anything that you see on your computer or phone can become an NFT.
But aren’t just the top athletes going to be able to profit from this? What about the other 99% of college athletes?
Three years ago, Monmouth basketball became famous during the NCAA tournament because of the 3-point celebrations the bench was doing. If NIL was around then, these individuals would have been able to profit off of that.
Maybe those bench players came together, and they worked with local artists to turn those celebrations into small digital art pieces or videos.
And now we’re giving opportunities to people who don’t have that household name brand. The key is leveraging social media.
For those of you who still don’t see the appeal in a digital collectible, the concept of NFTs could still prove pervasive.
Teams will use the technology for ticketing, turning what’s already a scannable ticket on a phone into an NFT programmed to give royalties to the team and making them easy to authenticate on the secondary market.
If you’re a season-ticket holder, you might get a specialized NFT that entitles you to an experience like meeting a player.
The main function of NFT’s in sports will most likely be buying the experience and the perks that come along with it.
How Can You Profit from NFTs?
If you take anything away from this article it’s that if you know how to leverage social media as an athlete you’ll have plenty of opportunities presented to you.
Whether you’re the star quarterback at a major university or the women’s field hockey goalie at a small junior college doesn’t matter.
Whether you’re a college, pro, or high school athlete doesn’t matter.
If you can grow a social media following that is engaged you’ll have plenty of options for monetization, including NFTs.
As NIL continues to evolve and NFT’s become more mainstream I expect athletic departments at universities to start providing opportunities in terms of these digital tokens.
It’s only a matter of time before every ticket for admission to games is a NFT.
The future is here. Strap in because it’s going to be a wild ride!
Please subscribe to stay on top of these new trends in college sports.