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NFT Trends – Examples From the World of Sports

NFTs are not just about digital art anymore. With some big brands taking the leap and incorporating NFTs into their marketing strategies, NFTs are transforming too. So, in this blog let’s talk about NFT trends that brands and marketers need to know. 

We are seeing brands explore diverse use cases of NFTs. Beyond being digital assets that can be traded they are now slowly evolving experiential entities. Some brands use them as a reward chip to acknowledge customer loyalty. And some use them as a token of privilege to grant exclusive benefits. There are others who use NFTs as a means to help their new hero product gain traction. Or even as a digital version of their product that will spread the word about their brands. The possibilities are endless. But how is the world of sports treating NFTs? What are some NFT trends you can learn from the big sports brands and sports teams that are riding the NFT wave? Let’s find out. 

What NFTs Mean to the Sports Industry and to Fans

According to Deloitte Global, the transaction value of NFTs in the world of sports alone is predicted to reach US$ 2 billion in the year 2022. 

Recently, American Airlines Arena was renamed the “FTX Arena”, as the popular crypto-exchange FTX received the naming rights for the arena. Similarly, there has been quite a lot of overlap between the sports industry and the world of cryptocurrency and NFTs in particular. 

NFTs are using the massive fan following of the sports industry to spread their reach. And sports brands and teams are using the proof-of-ownership and other security features of NFTs to tackle never-ending problems like counterfeit merchandise and tickets. 

On another note, the deep connection between NFTs and sports is that it mimics the trading-card phenomenon. Even in the era where “digital” dominates, finding a pack of old trading cards stashed away in the attic will be a moment of unbridled exuberance for a sports fanatic. NFTs have a similar effect. By owning an NFT from their favorite sports brands or teams fans have a chance to hold on to a keepsake that makes them feel a little closer to their favorites. 

So, yes, NFT takes a whole new shape in the world of sports. And if you wish to leverage this angle and use it for your brand’s NFT strategy let’s look at some NFT trends initiated by popular sports brands. 

NFT Trends – What the Big Sports Brands Are Doing 

Nike 

With its strong brand image, Nike has truly made its name in the world of sports. And as a brand that has made the highest revenue from NFT ($183.94million) Nike is a great source of inspiration for brands setting foot into the world of NFTs for the first time. It is also one of the first names in the world of sports to set new NFT trends and explore different ways to use NFTs to boost engagement. We’ll tell you about this in a bit. 

RTFKT is a company that revolutionized NFTs in a way. The company gained a lot of popularity from selling virtual sneakers in the metaverse. And the other brand that comes to mind at the mention of “sneakers” is Nike. So, Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT makes perfect sense. 

The recent outcome of this union has been Nike CryptoKicks, a futuristic full-customizable sneaker concept in NFT. What makes this collection even more unique is that it is only available to users who already have the Monolith NFTs from RTFKT. That’s a good way to excite sneakerheads and NFT collectors alike. 

Kimp Tip: Nike’s ability to sell virtual sneakers for $134,000 is good proof of what strong branding can do for you. RTFKT and Nike built anticipation around the release of their new sneakers with a mystery box airdrop nicknamed MNLTH. And if see the visuals released, two distinct symbols grab your attention – Nike’s Swoosh and the lightning bolt symbol of RTFKT. 

It takes consistent branding and strong visuals to get people to recall a brand by looking at a symbol. And Nike managed to achieve this with its strong branding over the years. 

Want to create custom illustrations or an illustrated symbol for your logo so your target customers will remember your brand more easily? Get in touch with the Kimp team for all your branding designs and marketing designs. 

Adidas 
Source 

While Nike has been taking the world of NFTs by storm, its closest competitor Adidas is not far behind. But the one difference is that Adidas goes beyond virtual sneakers. Adidas NFT combines the strengths of digital and physical merchandise. Because with each of the ITM NFT, users could claim a collection of physical products. And these were from the Bored Ape Yacht Club, gmoney, PUNKS Comic and adidas Originals collections. It does not end there. The brand has also phased its NFT releases and created an NFT ecosystem. This is a good way to keep customers coming back for more.  

There are 30,000 NFTs in the brand’s collection all of which were sold out hours within the first mint. Users holding NFTs in each phase also gain access to additional benefits of respective phases. Adidas NFT named Into the Metaverse (ITM) is now available in the secondary market. In short, this is a very rewarding opportunity for anyone buying into the world of NFTs for the first time. 

Kimp Tip: Adidas’s idea of rewarding its NFT holders with printed merchandise is a great idea to inspire brands. If you want to come up with an NFT design for your brand and also create printed t-shirts and other designs based on this NFT, a Kimp subscription covers them all at a fixed monthly rate. 

NBA

NBA deserves the credit for truly exploring the untapped dimensions of NFTs. NBA’s NFT Top Shot marketplace is all about the games, players, and the game moments. This one is not just digital art but digital content. The NFTs here are like trading cards in the truest sense. Because these NFTs give the owners exclusive access to some special game moments. And they also come with all the backup stats including details about the respective game and the player. 

In addition to this, to make the process even more interesting, the NFTs are categorized as legendary, rare, fandom, and common. These tiers indicate the rarity of the moment and the historic significance of the moments that the video NFT contains. Users can buy them in packs and gain access to other privileges. These include the option to take part in online events and challenges. 

In short, this whole arrangement is a wholesome treat for NBA fans. 

NBA also periodically releases new packs to mark new games and more. In a way, this helps boost the game promotions while also strengthening the secondary source of revenue in the form of NFTs. 

Kimp Tip: If you look at the NFT packs that NBA Top Shot announces and the promotions for these packs, you will notice consistent visual styles in the form of loud fonts and bold colors. The brand incorporates these in all of the promotional and engagement posts on the official Top Shot page as well. That’s a great branding lesson.

When you have multiple channels to get across to your customers you should be sure that the graphics and visual styles of designs for these channels are all aligned. 

Creating visual consistency might seem like a tough thing to do when you have to look for different designers for different promotional graphics. To avoid this, choose a comprehensive solution like Kimp so that you have all your designs in one place. 

NFL 

Like Top Shot for basketball fans, there is NFL’s All Day for football fans. And it is not very different from the Moment NFTs of Top Shot. All Day is also about iconic sports moments for fans and collectors. 

All of these NFTs from sports leagues work because they give fans a way to support their favorite games and favorite players. They also change the way players engage with sports teams. Not to forget the strong tightly-knit online communities connected with these NFTs. 

Both NFL and NBA make use of Discord and other channels to help fans and collectors connect with their favorite players or even take part in live events, discussions AMAs and challenges. This extends the action beyond the field. 

While the evident benefits of owning profitable sports NFTs remain, these experiential benefits bring sports fans into the world of NFTs. 

Kimp Tip: As you can see from the above examples, beyond standard graphics and custom illustrations for NFT designs, we are seeing NFT trends like GIFs and video clips being used as tokenized digital assets. So, if all your competitors have already adopted NFT trends and if you wish to stand out, try coming up with some animated assets. 

UFC

Ultimate Fighting Championship stepping into the world of NFTs show the reach of this concept in the world of sports. This mixed martial arts organization also follows the NFT trends popular among other sports brands namely video NFTs. UFC Strike NFTs include game highlights and iconic wins. 

Fans get to explore NFTs based on their favorite MMA players. They gain access to full-licensed videos of crucial game moments. Fans can also curate their collections by putting together their favorite moments from the same or different players. One of the main NFT trends that UFC highlights is profit-sharing. In this case, the player whose NFTs are sold also earns profits from the proceeds. Knowing that buying the NFT is in a way supporting their favorite players more and more fans get involved in them. 

For minting and collecting, UFC’s NFTs also appear in tiers. So, there is always something exciting in store for fans. And finding a rare moment can give that instant sense of gratification.

Finally, UFC also expands the benefits beyond the digital world and provides some real-world benefits through the UFC Champion Club. These privileges include periodic airdrops to increase profits, event venue benefits like exclusive lounge access, and limited edition game merchandise too. Entry into this virtual club is restricted to fans who own a champion moment NFT. 

Explore NFT Trends With Kimp 

All of these sports brands have a way to connect with their fans through NFTs. The focus is not entirely on the profits but also on the strengthening of popularity and on nurturing continuous engagement. Even when a match is over, fans have a way of revisiting special moments and holding on to a souvenir of the game that they enjoyed. Similarly, you can use NFTs to reward loyal customers, provide special privileges that will convert leads to customers, and also boost their loyalty. To explore all these NFT trends and more, work with the Kimp team for unique NFT designs. 

Sign up for a free trial today. 

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