For the first time in a while, it was a slower week with crypto engagement in sports. Still, Socios.com and Chiliz continue to build on their partnerships roster as the rapid growth continues, Luka Doncic is seemingly teasing us with a new NFT endeavor, and Deontay Wilder – now fresh off of a dynamic battle with Tyson Fury – teamed up with Everlast for some boxing NFTs.
If this is a quiet week in the crossover between sports and crypto, we can’t complain – there’s still plenty of action.
Let’s jump in and review all of the movement in the past seven days.
The Sports Slice
It’s Luka’s Metaverse, We’re Just Living In It
Arguably the NBA’s brightest future ahead lies with Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic. In fact, a recent survey of NBA general managers found that most would rather build their franchise around Doncic, edging out last year’s MVP and championship winner Giannis Antetokounmpo. According to sports trademark specialist Josh Gerben, news has emerged on a recent pair of trademark applications from Doncic that signal his incoming entrance into NFTs.
The two trademarks are for ‘LUKAVERSE,’ registered as a platform to create, sell, and trade NFTs, and ‘LUKAMORPH,’ registered as an NFT brand. Doncic recently signed with agency WME and signed a supermax deal with the Mavs.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is an outspoken crypto advocate, already accepting crypto payments for team merchandise and previously suggesting that the organization would be looking at turning game tickets into NFTs.
Chiliz And Socios.com: Not Stopping With Sports
Almost every week we feature a new partnership announce with Chiliz and/or Socios.com. The platform has been gaining ground on stateside sports partners, especially with NBA teams recently. This week, of course, is no exception. The platform added two South American soccer clubs, Racing Club and Sao Paulo FC, to the list this week. Additionally, the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets announced a partnership with Socios.com this week, in all joining a growing roster of 70+ sports teams across the globe. The Nets deal includes a suite and signage for the crypto platform.
Why stop at sports? CEO Alexandre Dreyfus posted a tweet in recent days to suggest that there is indeed no stopping at just sports. According to Dreyfus’ tweet, Chiliz “will invest $60M in the tokenization of brands, media, entertainment (TV, music), and retail,” adding that the platform strives to be “one of the most mainstream / consumer-facing blockchain ventures.”
Chiliz and Socios.com could prove to be the ultimate case study around whether or not brand exposure in sports can liftoff platforms to bigger worlds.
Deontay Wilder & Everlast Explore NFTs
Boxer Deontay Wilder had a headline fight with Tyson Fury this week that was an exceptional boxing match. Before hitting the ring, however, Wilder and boxing glove firm Everlast released a collaborative NFT on Blockparty, emblematic of Wilder’s gloves. There are 41 NFTs on the market, representing Wilder’s 41 knockouts over the course of his career.
Related Reading | Google Partners With Digital Asset Company Bakkt To Make Crypto Payments More Accessible
Could Cardano Be A Player?
Cardano gets it’s name mentioned in a lot of different areas, but it’s not a blockchain we’re frequently talking about on the weekly Sports Slice. Could that change? Last month’s partnership with esports firm Rival, announced during the 2021 Cardano Summit, has led to more and more murmurs about Cardano’s involvement in both traditional stick and ball sports, and esports. Could Cardano join a growing rank of blockchains that gain traction in the sports world?
Cardano has been a name with increased chatter surrounding it's engagement in sports after last month's 2021 Cardano Summit. The summit was a showcase of numerous new partnerships for the 'Ethereum killer,' including esports firm Rival. | Source: ADA-USD on TradingView.com
Sorare Has Eyes Set On NFT Fantasy Sports Gamification
Sorare is looking to build a full-scale fantasy sports NFT market. A testament to that is the firm’s move this week to hire two new ex-gaming executives to their team. According to Sportico, Sorare is bringing on former BetMGM COO Ryan Spoon to serve the same role. Additionally, Sorare has hired former Draftkings senior director of strategic ventures Michael Meltzer as a VP of business development.
Sorare’s NFTs are ideal for fantasy-style user engagement, and are ripe for disrupting the fantasy sports betting market. The platform already has been establishing a firm grip on the European soccer market, emphasized by this week’s new partnership announcement with Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.
Sorare’s latest hires will likely be emphasizing U.S. market growth, putting up a challenge for the likes of Draftkings, who have already been exploring NFTs by way of their partnership with Tom Brady’s Autograph.
Related Reading | NFTs In A Nutshell: A Weekly Review
Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com