Australian Open Cashes In On The Sports Memorabilia NFT Boom with Exclusive Collection

Australian Open is releasing six exclusive NFT collections in honour of Australian Open Week.
Image source: Australian Open

Quick take:

  • The NFT collection celebrates iconic moments in Australia’s tennis history.
  • There are more than 40 pieces available to own.
  • A special 1/1 NFT to Australian Open 2023 will be auctioned separate to the collection.

The Australian Open (AO) has teamed up with NFT and digital collectible marketplace Sweet to release six exclusive NFT collections featuring iconic moments in Australia’s tennis history.

The NFT drop consists of 40 collectible items incorporating each decade from the 1970s to the 2020s, giving tennis fans a chance to own a piece of Australian Open history. 

Each decade drop will contain era specific collectables, including a Commemorative Ticket, a 3D Umpire Chair, a 3D Tennis Court and a ‘Legendary Moment’ featuring a highlighted match from that specific era.

The first collection consisting of a 1970s Racquet No. 1 and 1970s Court has gone up for auction today. The former has received four bids, with the highest bid price set at $1,030 as of this article while the latter is available at a purchase price of $74.99.

Five other decade NFT releases will be dropped between 19-27 January. Fans who acquire a complete set of collectibles for a specific decade will receive a “Master NFT” in the form of a commemorative 3D poster of that decade. 

Separate to the collection, there will also be rare digital collectibles up for auction, including one copy of each of a 3D Tennis Racket from each decade, and legendary moments from Mark Philippoussis (1996 win over Sampras on Rod Laver Arena) and Angelique Kerber’s memorable first Grand Slam title in 2016.

A special edition 1 of 1 NFT ticket to AO 2023 will also be auctioned, with the winner earning an all-expense paid trip to the Australian Open in 2023.

With its launch into the NFT space, AO is hoping to reinforce its reputation “as one of the most innovative sports and entertainment events in the world.”

“The AO has made it a habit to unveil world firsts and this year is no different. We’re sharing the story of the Australian Open through the decades with NFTs,” Tennis Australia’s Metaverse and NFT Project Manager Ridley Plummer said in a press release.

The trend of NFTs has ushered in a new era for the sports memorabilia industry as it cashes in on the NFT boom. An NFT of the Lebron James statue shot by photographer Kimani Okearah is the most expensive sports NFT in the world, listed for 10,000 ETH ($32,694,300.00) with no buyers yet.

Last July, Lineal by Tyson Fury, a sports NFT featuring the British professional boxer sold for nearly US$1 million at auction. Following that, American football quarterback Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph signed exclusive deals with an all-star roster of athletes and partnerships with movie studio Lionsgate and online gaming company DraftKings.

Deloitte predicts that the sports NFT industry “will generate $2 billion in transactions in 2022.”

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