Along with their usual dose of sports, beer, and violence, NFL fans will also get a digital token included with the purchase of tickets to certain games this season. Yes, they are NFTs from the NFL.
The first Virtual Commemorative Ticket game already happened on November 7th when the Cardinals played the 49ers, and the next one is scheduled for Thanksgiving during the Bears / Lions matchup. NFL club business development senior vice president Bobby Gallo says, “Leveraging the emerging world of NFTs is a new and exciting way for us to create additional value and to further engage with fans who attend select games by providing a virtual commemorative ticket. There is no better time than the upcoming holiday season to kick off this fun and engaging fan experience, starting with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day matchup.”
While it’s hard to understand why anyone would want non-fungible evidence that they paid to see the 0-8-1 Detroit Lions play football on a holiday instead of spending time with their loved ones or simply staying home and doing nothing at all, this is happening. Selecting the holiday game to highlight this promotion means that sitting around with your family this year will definitely include discussing what NFTs are — our explainer can help.
Fans who are scanned into the game using a Ticketmaster SafeTix ticket that they purchased on their own account can obtain their NFT via a link sent to their registered email address after the game. Buying the tickets from Ticketmaster, StubHub, or SeatGeek will make you eligible for the promotion, which is powered by Ticketmaster’s NFT marketplace.
If you’re not attending the games in person but still want in, there are non-ticket NFTs on the way. The league says in an announcement, “In addition to the commemorative NFTs given to fans after attending select games, the marketplace will also offer a limited number of digital collectible NFTs across all 32 clubs for fans to purchase and collect. Fans will also have the opportunity to trade or sell their commemorative NFTs.” Later this season, the league will partner with NBA Top Shot operator Dapper Labs to sell digital video collectible NFTs.
According to an associated FAQ, minting of these NFTs happens “on an eco-friendly blockchain with a low carbon footprint.” Unlike efforts to create a “decentralized Disney” based on blockchain tech or promises of a team ownership stake, these items fall strictly into the collectible category. They don’t come associated with every ticket, simply every purchase on an eligible account, so it’s impossible to predict exactly how many there will be or potential future value.
Still, if digitally registered icons take off like their proponents keep saying they will, there’s a chance that you might be able to sell your Giants / Eagles commemorative token to someone one day, just like a ticket stub or signed jersey. But if it’s for the Lions game, then don’t worry — your best bet for creating a collectible is if they find another new and exciting way to not win.