Dapper Labs, the firm behind NBA Top Shot, said that pro sports leagues are no longer resistant to exploring nonfungible tokens (NFTs) now that the sector is hot.
Speaking at Yahoo Finance's All Markets Summit on Monday, Dapper Labs’ head of partnerships, Caty Tedman, said that the stance of professional sporting organizations suddenly shifted regarding NFTs amid the sector’s booming growth in early 2021, stating:
"The conversation has shifted dramatically, where I think there's a little bit of an understanding that there's something here. I meet very little resistance these days that NFTs are a thing."
Dapper emerged as a pioneer in officially licensed sports NFTs when it launched NBA Top Shot in late 2020. The firm has since inked partnerships with other major sporting franchises, including the National Football League (NFL), the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the Spanish soccer organization La Liga and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Speaking on Dapper’s initial discussions with the NBA, Tedman recounted that the organization expressed apprehension over the fact that NFTs had not yet been proven to work as a means for sports merchandising, stating:
"At that time, it was a lot of explanation and we spent a lot of time with lawyers and people in finance to talk about what it looks like to have secondary revenue.You don't have secondary revenue on merchandise [...] what does it look like to have ownership in perpetuity of assets for consumers.”
Tedman added that Dapper had been “lucky to start with the NBA" as the organization's associate vice president of Global Partnerships & Media, Adrienne O’Keeffe, was open to exploring NFTs.
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According to data from CryptoSlam, NBA Top Shot NFTs have generated more than $32 million worth of secondary sales in October, with the figure representing a 58% increase compared to the month before.
Cointelegraph reported last week that daily trade volume for NBA Top Shot NFTs surged more than 440% after the project launched its retro “Run It Back 2005–06” packs on Oct. 15.
Despite the surging growth in October, trading volumes are still well below the heights seen in February, which saw a record of $224 million worth of secondary sales.