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Athletes from lesser-known and lesser-hyped sports leagues could soon get a piece of the NFT cake thanks to the new platform being launched by EX Sports.
The Singapore-based start-up recently announced an Ethereum-based NFT platform dubbed ‘EX Sport' that supports collecting and trading NFTs from different sports worldwide. The project seeks to bridge the wide gap between mainstream and grassroot sports by focusing more on the latter. Established sports leagues such as NBA and NFL are already raking millions of dollars through digital collectibles, and EX Sports intends to afford leagues from uncelebrated sports similar perks.
Non-Fungible Tokens and Sports: The Ideal Match
There is no doubt non-fungible tokens are the in-thing now, with the NFT space having seen trading volume surge by 700% from Q2 to $10.67 billion in Q3. The sector has continued attracting users from all walks of life, including athletes, artists, designers, and even political figures. Its impressive performance has also seen individual and institutional developers create more use cases for the technology behind these digital collectibles.
The sports world has emerged as one of the notable industries that NFTs have significantly impacted. The NFT sector has, in particular, proved to be one of the most effective channels to generate income in sports. Safe to say, the monetization of this niche has unearthed the vast potential of sports digital collectibles.
However, the influence on sports hasn't been indiscriminate. The technology has primarily favored already established sports over the uncharted ones despite the latter needing more support.
Crunching the numbers
In the 2019-20 season, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball raked in about $12 billion, $7.92 billion, and $3.66 billion in collective revenue, respectively. These figures are even more overwhelming considering that these leagues recorded year-over-year losses due to the pandemic. Still, these leagues receive the biggest backing from entities in the NFT space.
Lesser celebrated sports such as arm wrestling and jujitsu, on the other hand, get very little airplay and, as a result, generate meagre revenue compared to mainstream ones. The majority of the sports leagues have resorted to alternative ways to finance their athletes and support themselves.
EX Sports to level the field for the uncelebrated sports
Mainstream sports have consistently topped the charts in almost all aspects, from endorsements to global reach. Consequently, most NFT brands looking to establish a digital presence prefer working with leagues in these sports.
The EX Sports project aims to change this by offering an avenue that supports even the overlooked sports like Muay Thai and powerlifting. The platform will empower leagues and athletes from these sports by helping them reap the same benefits as popular ones.
Strategic partnerships with several sports federations
EX Sports has already inked deals with several sports federations. The company is also working on more collaborations to expand its reach. It is creating a platform for the loyal followers of these ‘unexplored' sports to continue supporting them and make the project a success.
A win-win for all involved parties
The EX Sports Starz platform will adopt a revenue-sharing model that caters to all the participating parties. Sports federations, fans, content providers, and event organizers will all be beneficiaries through this model.
EX Sport will mint and host 1,000 NFT units for each athlete from the sports leagues represented. Fans will be able to access, purchase or sell these collectibles using the platform's native token EXS, which will be available on the EX Sport marketplace. Users can alternatively acquire the tokens through centralized and decentralized exchanges.
Buyers of the NFTs will boast ownership rights to the unique cards. They can also choose to resell the units and make a profit. 80% of the proceeds from the initial sale of these NFT units on the platform will go to the athletes. In addition to providing a source of income to athletes, this approach will motivate them to perform better as the value of the NFTs is pegged on real-life performance.
The two groups won't be the only winners. The involved federations will do well out of the project in terms of financial gain. They will also enjoy the boon of extended reach as the platform will pique users' interest in these sports. Overall, EX Sports will help fans worldwide connect and engage with their favorite athletes by bringing them together under the same umbrella.
Fraud incidents are not unheard of in the NFT space despite the sector being only nascent. This week, researchers from Israel-based cyber firm Check Point reported that they had discovered a loophole that fraudsters could exploit to siphon funds from crypto wallets of unsuspecting users on the OpenSea marketplace.
To avoid such incidents, EX Sport's NFT marketplace will leverage cryptographic signatures to authenticate NFTs on the platform. The collectible units can also be held in integrated wallets that will be displayed as personalized albums. You can follow up on this exciting project here.