In terms of growth, 2021 was the year when NFTs really rose to mainstream prominence. Although the sales of the unique digital assets really hit the headlines in the arts, sports fans and collectors have also been snapping up the digital assets to show off their support for their clubs, organizations, and sporting favorites.
Alongside teams across the world in soccer, Formula 1, and more, the boxing fraternity has embraced their introduction, too, with Floyd Mayweather promoting them on his social media feed.
But what are they?
Although NFTs have been in the news, you still might not be aware of what they are. So, the non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique digital asset, meaning its owner has an actual one-of-a-kind item. Consider it like a one-off, collectible, such as a digital pair of fighter’s gloves or a digital trading card. Because of their scarcity, they can be very valuable; the perfect example being the selling price of an NFT of NBA player Luka Doncic, which sold for $4.6 million last year.
Meanwhile, a digital token depicting baseball player Mookie Betts in his Boston Red Sox uniform sold for over $2million; however, there are options on the other end of the financial scale for those looking to invest a more modest sum. Fan tokens are one way supporters can get involved in the world of the NFT for an amount that won’t break the bank. Over in Europe, huge icons in the world of soccer from England’s Premier League champions Manchester City and French club Paris St Germain have offered their supporters the chance to buy the tokens for just $2 each. While they’re unique, these tokens offer over their more art-based counterparts. They give their owner access to a host of experiences usually unavailable to the public, from VIP meet and greets to access to exclusive merchandise. They’ve proven to be very popular, often selling out within minutes of going on sale. Manny Pacquiao has been one legend of boxing who has also offered his fans a similar opportunity by launching the PAC. Owners of the PAC will gain the chance to get hold of some unique merchandise and access to a virtual meet and greet with the Filipino boxing great.
Boxing benefiting from the NFT
Broadcasters DAZN launched NFTs themed around Canelo Alverez and Billy Joe Saunders ahead of their clash in Texas. Now the boxing equipment legends at Everlast have also put out their own digital assets featuring Deontay Wilder. The company founded in the Bronx back in 1910 partnered with the Bronze Bomber ahead of his trilogy fight with Tyson Fury to offer 41 lucky people the chance to buy a unique digital version of the gloves he was to wear in the bout. Why 41? Well, that was the number of knockouts Wilder has had in his career to date. Fury has been involved too; he made a healthy $1million with the sale of a limited run of 6 NFTs entitled, Lineal, depicting images of his world championship belts.
So, although on the face of it, while people may think the latest in digital technology and collectibles has little to do with the sweet science, it’s easy to suggest that it’s the opposite and that NFTs are here to stay in the world of boxing for some considerable time to come.