Professional sports teams are taking full advantage of the NFT popularity combined with the use of cryptocurrency team sponsorships within their organizations.
The one holdout on allowing teams to participate in these areas is the NFL, as reported recently by TheAthletic.com. It seems the NFL isn’t prepared to move forward just yet but may be considering doing so soon.
According to the policy guidelines, “Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club-controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy,” as stated in the report. The NFL policy has not been made public; however, its contents were made available by a team official according to the report.
There is some latitude given that “companies whose primary business is providing investment advisory and or fund management services in connection with cryptocurrency, provided that such advertising sponsorship rights are limited to promoting the company’s corporate brands,” according to the report.
The NFL is a billion-dollar-a-year industry and rarely falls behind on cutting edge technology especially if it stands to make a profit. A recent job posting by the NFL for a director of emerging products, whose role will reportedly place a focus on exploring blockchain applications for league products as well as NFTs, is a clear indication the NFL is moving forward in this space.
NFL and the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) will have to come to agreement on how revenue will be shared as part of the planning stage of team NFTs. Players don’t have to wait on team policies. Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, has cofounded his own NFT company Autograph. Eli and Peyton Manning created a limited-edition digital art series that chronicles the Manning legacy including their father, Archie Manning. Theirs is a very memorable and inspiring collection created by some of the best artists in the NFT space including JK5 & Micah Johnson.
Players have also won big by electing to have all or a portion of their salaries and bonuses paid out in cryptocurrency. Most notably is the 2021 number one overall draft pick, Trevor Lawrence, who elected to have his signing bonus of $24.1 million paid in digital currency. That could be a huge win or a substantial loss depending on the market fluctuation.
The NBA and other sports leagues jumped on the NFT train as it left the station and have been handsomely rewarded to the tune of nearly $1 billion. For that reason alone, expect the NFL to come out with some well-planned strategies to eclipse those figures.