Sports and entertainment stars get busy in NFTs

Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Snoop Dogg … The interest of sports and entertainment stars for NFTs is growing, including dedicated projects, partnerships and investments in specialized companies, a way to make these unique digital objects known to their many fans .

The “NFT”, for “non-fungible token” or non-fungible token, is a digital format that allows you to associate any virtual object, be it an image, a photo, an animation, a video or a piece of music, a certificate of authenticity recorded on a blockchain (or “blockchain”), the technology that serves as the basis specifically for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Two big 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-year” partnership between the cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance and football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to create a series of NFT collections, it’s up to Kylian Mbappé to reveal his interest in the world of “web3”, the new internet.

The champion of the French national team will join forces as an “exclusive investor and ambassador” with the French start-up Sorare, creator of an online game for the exchange of athletes’ stickers at the crossroads of very dynamic sectors: unique digital objects (NFT) and leagues virtual sports (“fantasy sports”).

After the tennis champion Serena Williams, who became “adviser” 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 is proposing 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 over 500 million “followers” on social networks.

If Omar Sy and French basketball player Rudy Gobert support “The Metaverse Marauders”, a collection of 12,000 NFTs representing a whole group of extraterrestrial creatures, other sports and entertainment stars, such as Neymar, Eminem or Paris Hilton, have published their membership in the “Bored Ape Yacht Club,” a close circle of NFT holders tied to unique monkey images and sold for over $ 200,000 each.

Singer Justin Bieber, for example, paid $ 1.3 million for hers in January.

“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 with it, and then others who surf a little wave and buy a little what they want. says to buy “, John Karp, president of NFT Factory and expert in the sector, explains to Afp, comparing the interest in the” Bored Ape Yacht Club “to” neo bling-bling “.

An approach contrary to that of Snoop Dogg. The American rapper revealed last September that he is hiding behind the anonymous profile of “Cozomo de ‘Medici”, a well-known collector in the NFT community for the purchase of many recognized digital works of art, as well as “Bored Ape Yacht Club”.

“We understood that there was a fairly authentic approach, true knowledge. His opinions matter, his point of view matters. He is recognized as a wise person,” emphasizes John Karp.

Conversely, there is the case of “influencers” who launch their NFT collection to “monetize” their audience with a “short-term cash goal,” he explains.

But the numerous examples have shown that these assets quickly lose their value in the secondary market or do not attract the expected income. After earning a million dollars from his fans’ near-instant NFT purchase, singer Shawn Mendes has seen their value quadruple in one year.

After generating $ 44.2 billion in 2021, the NFT market experienced a 75% decline in spending volume between February and mid-April, according to consulting firm Chainalysis.

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