Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Serena Williams… The interest of sports stars for NFTs is increasing, between dedicated projects, partnerships and investments in specialized companies, a way of making these unique digital objects known to their many fans.
The arrival of Kylian Mbappé in the world of NFT marks a further step in the world of sport. The “NFT”, for “non-fungible token” or non-fungible token, is a digital format which makes it possible to associate with any virtual object, whether it is an image, photo, animation, video, or piece of music, a certificate of authenticity recorded on a chain of blocks (or “blockchain”), the technology which serves as the basis in particular for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Two major announcements in quick succession, a sign of the acceleration of a trend that began last year: less than a week after the formalization of an “exclusive” and “multi-annual” partnership between the platform of Binance cryptocurrency exchange and football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to create a series of NFT collections, it’s Kylian Mbappé’s turn to reveal his interest in the world of “web3”, the new internet.
Pique, Ferdinand, Gobert, Williams…
The star striker of the France team will join forces as an “investor and exclusive ambassador” with the French start-up Sorare, creator of an online game for exchanging athletes’ stickers at the crossroads of very dynamic sectors: unique digital objects (NFT) and virtual sports leagues (“fantasy sports”).
After the tennis champion Serena Williams, who has become an “advisor” to the board of directors and partner of Sorare since last January, and the football investors Gerard Piqué, Rio Ferdinand and Antoine Griezmann, the French unicorn offers itself a new recruit of choice.
“My relationship with fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform (with Binance) is something I wanted to be a part of,” said Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most followed personalities in the world with more than 500 million “followers” on social networks.
Authenticity or sign of distinction?
If the French basketball player Rudy Gobert supports “The Metaverse Marauders”, a collection of 12,000 NFTs representing a whole panel of extraterrestrial creatures, other sports stars, like Neymar, have displayed their membership in the “Bored Ape Yacht Club”, a circle closed of NFT holders linked to unique images of monkeys and sold for over $200,000 each.
“It’s really like in the real world (of collectors): we have people in NFT who know a lot about it, are interested in it and spend time there, and then others who surf a little on a wave and buy a little what they are told to buy”, explains to AFP John Karp, president of NFT Factory and expert in the sector, comparing the interest in the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” to “neo bling -bling”.
After generating $44.2 billion in 2021, the NFT market saw a 75% decline in spending volume between February and mid-April, according to consultancy Chainalysis.
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Ronaldo, Mbappé, Williams… the stars of the sport thoroughly in the NFT
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