NFTs (nonfungible tokens) have already proven their ability to improve businesses and communities; however, there is another major use case that should not be overlooked. That is, the entire sports world, including the lesser-known leagues and all the athletes that create it. As the current system is set up, only the players in well-known sports get the proper support from their fans and are compensated accordingly.
But, even in these scenarios, there is often a middleman at play, limiting the opportunities for fans to interact with their idols and for players to receive full compensation for their legacy. For these reasons, sports fanatics are no longer the ones walking into the store and purchasing a package of trading cards or merchandise kit. Instead, modern enthusiasts have shifted their attention to nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, that guarantee their personal ownership of a snippet of sports history. Therefore, these assets may take on a few forms, including trading cards, video clips or other memorabilia.
Over the last three years, EX Sports has made it its mission to address this growing segment by changing the paradigm for professional sports by sustainably increasing fan engagement while simultaneously enabling athletes to unlock their value through the creation of tokens.
The results of these efforts are the launch of a single location or marketplace for users to purchase, sell or exchange NFTs issued by athletes themselves. Users can then create albums to store their collection and use token rewards for tickets, meet and greets and other rewards.
With significant growth in these initiatives, the EX Sports team now leverages a number of exclusive partnerships with the Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF), International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) and International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), to name a few.
A first in the world
Coming out of the year, partnerships like these enabled marketplace users to gain access to the world’s first Official Diego Maradona NFTs. The collection includes 10 Maradona memorabilia, with four Platinum NTFs being auctioned off at an exclusive event. Other notable collections include a series of Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu athletes available for sale and those for Freestyle football NFTs via a partnership with two-time world freestyle football champion Sean Garnier. Like other collections, each asset will vary in quantity and edition, making their purchase first-come, first-serve.
Participating in the marketplace is designed for simplicity, only requiring the presence of USDT on the Polygon Network (MATIC) and MetaMask wallet to begin transacting.
To ensure value is being earned for both the community and the athlete, the platform ensures users that every time an NFT is sold, the value of the next one will increase accordingly. Furthermore, as athletes continue to progress in their careers and their sport becomes more widely known, holding the NFT could mean a higher value for the holder in the future.
On the other hand, when an athlete makes a sale, they will earn 80% of the revenue, confirming to supporters that their contributions are helping the teams and athletes they love.
Much more to come
In addition to the launch of the marketplace, the last year also included the attendance of multiple events, including a speaking appearance at a GITEX Global panel.
In reflection of their journey to date, the CEO of EX Sports shares,
“The Marketplace launch is a major milestone in the EX Sports Journey. From day one, many years ago, we were focused on helping athletes from niche sports have the same revenue and fan engagement opportunities as those from mainstream sports. I am really proud of this massive step that we have taken, and there is so much more to come.”
Hinting towards the team’s official roadmap, platform users can expect the release of a mobile app to accompany the existing desktop interface, an advancement that is said to further improve the buying and selling process. The app release will be done in conjunction with continued participation in sporting events and, in the long-term, the release of play-to-earn sports games.
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