NHL & NHLPA Team Up with Sweet For Official Licensed Hockey NFTs and Marketplace

The National Hockey League, the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL Alumni Association have entered a multi-year partnership with NFT distribution platform, Sweet.
Image source: NHL

Quick take:

  • In this partnership, Sweet will create NHL’s NFT collectibles and marketplace.
  • The NHL NFT marketplace will offer exclusive drops.
  • It is expected to go live in October at the start of the 2022-2023 season.

The National Hockey League (NHL), the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA) have teamed up with NFT distribution platform, Sweet, to offer fans official licensed NFTs through a standalone marketplace.

The NHL, NHLPA and NHLAA’s multi-year partnership with Sweet will offer fans NFTs of archival video moments and collectibles featuring teams and players, past and present, from the league. The NFT marketplace will offer exclusive drops and is expected to go live in October at the start of the 2022-2023 season.

Some of the planned NFTs include specialty packs, gamified collection experiences and 3D interactive trophy rooms in which users can display their collections. Some NFTs are dynamic, meaning that they evolve and change based on current team data as collectors take part in quests and challenges that increase fan engagement.

“The decision that we really made us go with Sweet was their willingness to create something specifically for the NHL and our fans, as opposed to plugging into a multi-sport marketplace,” Dave Lehanski, the NHL’s executive vice president for business development and innovation, told ESPN. “Anything past, current and future is on the table and in a consolidated marketplace.”

While the NHL acknowledges the skepticism surrounding the volatility of the NFT market, Lehanski believes that in the longer term, NFTs are here to stay and “be a viable means for building consumer products.”

“We’re honored to be partnering on an industry-first launch with an organization as globally renowned as the NHL. Working closely with the League and the Associations, we’ve curated some visually stunning action-packed moments, leveraging in-play gamification to create a genuinely engaging and unique relationship between collectibles and experiences,” said Tom Mizzone, CEO of Sweet.

It’s not yet known which blockchain NHL’s NFT marketplace will be building on, but Sweet uses several different blockchains for minting NFTs, including Ethereum, Polygon, Tezos, and SLP.

Lehanski told Decrypt that low gas fees and environmental sustainability are the priorities for NHL when choosing a blockchain. He said that NHL’s NFTs will appeal to both crypto novices and degen culture.

NHL joins other major professional sports leagues and organisations such as NFL and NBA in launching NFTs. NFL recently joined forces with Mythical Games for its first officially licensed video game that allows fans to collect NFTs. 

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