After Toulouse, Stade Français and Toulon, the National Rugby League (LNR) is targeting NFTs with a tender that aims to increase and rejuvenate the fan base of the Top 14 and Pro D2 by generating new revenue. “We are the first league in France in team sports to take such an approach,” LNR CEO Emmanuel Eschalier told AFP.
“We are in a process of innovation. Rugby has turned pro quite late, but it has always been in a process like this, both in terms of refereeing and using technology,” he adds. “It’s a new form of innovation in a new area that will become increasingly important.” According to this announcement, which covers three seasons from 2022-2023 to 2024-2025, three lots are on sale. The first includes the NFT cards of the thirty Top 14 and Pro D2 clubs.
Like the collectible and collectible cards of our childhood, the cards of 1,466 players (1,072 pro and 394 aspiring) will be on sale, more or less stylized, more or less expensive.
There are collectible video moments in Batch 2. From the 1998-1999 season and the inception of NRL, fans will be able to purchase archival image sequences from the Top 14 and Pro D2. That’s more than 5,000 games.
Finally, the third lot will allow the various market players to freely formulate proposals for, for example, the recovery of unique products from the LNR. “This third lot is quite open as it will allow candidates to offer other types of NFTs on specific LNR assets,” Emmanuel Eschalier specifies.
In the footsteps of the Premier League and NBA …
We remind you that an NFT, “non-fungible token” or “non-fungible token” in French, is a non-falsifiable digital certificate of authenticity that certifies ownership of a virtual object.
In February 2022, the Premier League, the English football league, launched a four-year licensing agreement, in particular to develop collections of NFT collectible cards for an estimated win value of between 260 and 513 million euros.
The NBA was one of the pioneers by entering into a partnership in July 2021 with Dapper Labs studio to collect, exchange and own iconic moments from the history of the mighty North American basketball league. Then a few months later collaborating with Coinbase on the cryptocurrency.
“Our main motivation is not financial”
“Regarding the size of the business model and the revenues that could be generated by this new offering, it is completely premature to anticipate or speculate,” notes Emmanuel Eschalier.
“We must first be relevant in what is offered. Then we will see the fallout, but our primary motivation is not financial, although there is obviously an economic dimension and the ambition that this offer generates income”, DG LNR assures again. .
This is not the first time that NFT and French rugby have crossed paths: many clubs (Toulouse, Toulon, Stade Français, Pau …) and players (Antoine Dupont, Vincent Clerc …) have already signed up for NFT platforms.
“Various market players have expressed interest: either already well-established reference players, or players who enter the market or intend to enter it. We risk having quite varied offers”, considers Emmanuel Eschalier.