Serving up the NFT(ea)

June 17, 2022
Sports News

You’ve probably seen the letters “NFT” popping up just about everywhere these days, and you likely know the acronym stands for non-fungible token. But that doesn’t answer the question of what an NFT is exactly.

NFTs are defined as digital assets that are secured on the blockchain and certified by unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other — kind of like a designer handbag.

  • Though NFTs can technically be physical, the most common items — art, memes, images or even music files — are digital, and take the form of a JPEG, GIF, MP4 or MP3.
  • Unlike cryptocurrency and traditional money, NFTs cannot be traded or exchanged for common commercial transactions.

Jargon aside, most NFTs are currently viewed as the digital equivalent of a collector’s item, similar to a piece of art. When you purchase an NFT (via traditional dollars or crypto), you own the original digital collectible, even if replicas exist all over the digital landscape.

Once it’s minted, an NFT immediately draws value from its inherent characteristics. However, over time, the value accrues based on the utility and community strength (oftentimes dependent on social proof and ownership history value) of the underlying project.

Perhaps the most high-profile example? The Bored Apes Yacht Club NFTs. The first one sold for $199 in April 2021, but quickly became the talk of the town — Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton even chatted about their respective Bored Apes on an episode of The Tonight Show. They now fetch an average price of $196,000, and one sold for $3.4 million in October.

Source: WNBA Top Shot

With that high-level foundation, let’s talk NFTs in sports. In the sports world, NFTs primarily take on the role of digital collectibles and memorabilia. You can acquire tokens of all sorts — NFTs can spotlight an iconic sports highlight, celebrate a team’s inaugural game or promote voting rights.

With over 1.5 million users, the top NFT marketplace in sports (and the world) is without a doubt WNBA and NBA Top Shot — it’s a platform where sports fans can buy, sell and trade the most amazing NBA and WNBA (!!!) highlights, or as Top Shot calls them, “Moments.”

  • Similar to non-sports NFTs, these Moments are intended to be appreciating assets. As Forbes describes it, NFTs are like trading cards — a Moment’s value increases based on its rarity. Aka, the more unique the video clip, the higher its potential value as a collectible.

What’s interesting about Top Shot is its range in Moments and their values. For example, a Top Shot “Minted Moment” (like a LeBron James dunk) might go for tens or even thousands of dollars. Really — a Top Shot user dropped $208,000 in February 2021 for an NFT of James’ dunk and another went for more than $230,000 in the summer of 2021. Cha-ching.

  • However, those new to NFTs can get into the game with a “starter pack” for $9. Take your pick — Top Shot has a WNBA and NBA starter pack.

Source: NBA Top Shot

All to say, if you’re ready to get your feet wet, NBA and WNBA Top Shot is the place for you. Like any good shop, their selection is always updating, too — Top Shot drops WNBA NFTs regularly thoughout the season and playoffs. About it.

For more on NFTs in sports, sign up for our free, three-times weekly women’s sports business newsletter, and come back to our website over the next few months as we dive more into how the NFT marketplace and technology is disrupting sports.

Sports News