In recent months, the NFT phenomenon has grown to reach the general public.
This arrival represents new opportunities for the sector, with the development of new tools to enhance the value of sport, the vast majority of which existed before the pandemic, and which benefited from the spectator’s ability to enter an even more connected and dematerialized world. than the one before. Web 3.0 therefore wants to be a new boon for professional sport. SPORSORA, the reference organization for thinking and influencing the development of the sports economy, decodes the themes, actors and trends and shares good practices.
Magali Tézenas Du Montcel, General Delegate of SPORSORA: “This SPORSORA Debate Meeting is a sequence dedicated to the deciphering of one of the 7 market trends identified in the 2021/2022 guide“ Who are the sports business experts? »: The advent of the virtual driven by technology. While NFTs are a means of unleashing new sources of income for rights holders, these new assets nevertheless have other benefits, as they also allow for fan engagement around brands. This is a real challenge today for our entire ecosystem: clubs, sporting partners and competitions. “
Expert voice with Havas Play
Stéphane Guerry, President and CEO, Havas Play:
“ We hear a lot of criticism about NFT, cryptocurrencies, as at the time on the Internet or e-commerce. However, this phenomenon is made to last because where there is passion, there is potential. Especially when it comes to unique and authentic property rights with a digital object. This gives value to the transaction of these intangibles.
This phenomenon coming from the world of art, but also from social networks, with a tendency to speculation that must be considered, is taking over in the world of sport.
The emergence of the metaverse (virtual world) will accentuate these trends with a huge number of applications and many sponsors, with fans at the center of strategic thinking. The actors are many: those who bet on the crypto transaction, those on the NFT transaction and those on the Fan Token transaction. These actors raise a lot of money and sign a lot of partnerships in sports. The market started with Fan Token companies and then gradually increased investments, estimated at 5 billion in 2025.
Two major players, the NBA and Sorare, popularized NFTs with huge trading volumes, 16 million for “TopShot” and 500 million in sales for Sorare. For the NBA it worked with a forward-looking vision and a principle of scarcity that creates value. For Sorare it works on the model of a fantasy championship, with a Panini 3.0 card principle that uses the image of the players. The notion of gamification and the principle of “virtual / real” is fundamental, directly involving the players in decisions.
Today this phenomenon affects all sports players (athletes, clubs, federations, leagues). Beneficiaries will need to have a specific strategy based on their goals. The main question is to know what you want to do with your NFTs around 4 pillars: fan base, engagement, monetization and promotion; knowing that the buyer profile is of 4 types: collectors, speculators, communities and tech-lovers.
To make NFTs a powerful tool, you need to ask yourself the following questions before defining your strategy by selecting the right partners: what story-telling, what utility, what commitment and what gamification? “
One-to-one interview: The Blockchain Group
Charles KREMER: CEO, THE BLOCKCHAIN XDEV
“NFTs are already a fundamental trend in the market, but they completely revolutionize the relationship between a brand or a club, with its audience, creating a new type of relationship. By giving value to what is essentially very illiquid. NFTs are a means of making these values liquid, in a totally personalized way, in luxury, in the real estate sector and also in sport. In this area, in collaboration with Fan Live, we have launched Rugby Sorare with the cards of the 14 best players, levels of rarity and a fantasy game with the 2023 France Rugby World Cup in sight.
NFTs are drying up many investors. While there is a lot of excitement or hype surrounding this effervescence, I believe in its duration. We are only at the beginning, we must remember the bubbles around the Internet, or that of the Tech sector. The market will be forced to stabilize.
Today, investors are tied to the traditional market. You really have to ask yourself the question of the value you want to create based on the rights you own. “Roundtable: NFT, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain: what opportunities for sport?
Victoriano Melero, General Secretary of Paris-Saint Germain:
“At PSG we have different types of partnerships on NFT, cryptocurrency and Blockchain. The first is a licensing agreement with Sorare. The second through an NFT collection that combines art and sport led by the artist Ludo and whose goal is to finance our endowment fund. The third with Socios.com, with which we have issued Fan-Tokens. The latest, in sponsorship, with crypto.com.
We have many projects, we are moving forward little by little. Our philosophy is to always be at the forefront, in innovation according to the universes. We are extending the development of our products and our activations in web 3.0 with, in parallel, the launch of new forms of use in this new universe. Our goal is to have the most qualified fan base possible. This type of product caters to an international audience that builds engagement with the club.
We have already started several operations with Fan Token holders that allow them to participate, for example, in the choice of the claim on the captain’s armband, in the choice of posters on the facade of the stadium, in the choice of the FIFA22 jacket. We invite them to participate in this type of reflection. We also organize contests and even “Meet and Greet” operations.
More than advice, with Web 3 sport has a unique opportunity, like the luxury industry, to create its own consortium, its own ecosystem to give users safety. “
Florian Jacob, Marketing Manager of the offer and activation of FFTennis:
“Roland-Garros Game, Seat & Match”, which we presented a few days ago, is a collection of 5,000 NFTs with unique designs that symbolically represent the seats of the lower grandstand of the Philippe-Chartrier field. It is a long-term project with connections between the virtual and the real with advantages reserved for people with this NFT (setting of activities to win the chance to play on the fields of Roland-Garros, visit the backstage, discounts on our merchandising ranges, tickets for the 2023 finals, winning match points played during the tournament with the relevant NFT certificates attesting to their authenticity, etc.).
We address the general public by developing the concept of a privileged “club”. To serve the community, we have launched a Discord server that brings together all the owners of our NFTs, so that we can animate it all year round and rely on them to continue developing this project.
Over time, the Roland-Garros brand and its stadium live all year round with events such as boxing, music, fashion shows and soon padel and basketball. We want to bring all of these events to our community in a privileged way through our NFT. We open our doors to fans, not just tennis fans and we want our partners to be involved, there is an acculturation process to be undertaken.
On this type of project, the important thing is to surround yourself well, to work well on marketing and communication upstream of the federation. “
Jean-Baptiste Alliot, Executive Director of Le Tremplin, Sport Tech incubator of Paris & Co:
“With this phenomenon and this trend around NFT and cryptocurrencies, there will be new categories of rights. This will depend on the rights holders’ strategy. The notion of “usefulness” is important when starting your NFT: it is all the value behind this NFT that must be taken into consideration because it is what this digital property right offers that is essential for its successful adoption and activation.
Community and the commitment associated with good storytelling and the notion of utility are the ingredients to make the most of the potential of this new market. The main questions are: what goals do you want to achieve through your NFTs? How can they create value for these goals? And can we also see this in the medium term, that is, how can they regain control over the collection and use of data?
The development of sports organizations is also essential. The pandemic has accelerated things, athletes are adopting a less conservative approach than in the past: the “good to have” has become a “must have”. We must constantly innovate, anticipate trends by adapting to organizations and ways of governance. There is real work of substance but there is a real will on the part of the sports sector, with a learning phase.
There are inevitably bubbles, speculations about this kind of new phenomena. As for Web 3.0, today we are like 1997-98 with the Internet. There will be a lot of movement in this bubble, which is sure to burst, but the technology of which will last and continue to bring value. “
ON THE SPORORA
SPORSORA is the reference organization for thinking and influencing the development of the sports economy thanks to the convergence of skills, the influence of a collective and committed network. Founded in 1994, SPORSORA brings together more than 250 members (advertisers, agencies, rights holders, media, research and training institutes, etc.) and federates a network of over 1,500 professionals who meet in the numerous organized events, exchange during workshops , colleges and commissions, benefit from services and act in the general interest. www.sporsora.com