- Information about the potential partnership with Autograph and Sorare was sent to players in an email last week.
- All players who opt into the NFT programs will earn royalty payments based on their NFT sales performance.
- Those who bring in higher revenue due to popularity will earn a bigger royalty.
The PGA Tour is in the midst of finalising golf NFT partnerships with a few companies to create additional revenue streams for its players. The Tour notified players in December about its search for a suitable NFT platform to replicate the success of other sports leagues.
So far, the PGA Tour has settled on Tom Brady’s Autograph and French digital trading card and fantasy game platform Sorare. Autograph, a sports and entertainment platform founded by Tom Brady, will create NFTs of Tour-licensed highlights, photos and data. Legendary professional golfer Tiger Woods happens to own equity in Autograph and sits on its board of advisors.
Sorare, which specialises in a fantasy football game and digital trading cards will add the Tour to its platform, and will offer digital trading card NFTs of PGA’s players.
Information about the deal was sent to players in an email last week, and was further detailed in a newsletter shared with Tour members on Monday. The last line of the newsletter section stated: “To be eligible for these programs, a player must opt-in.”
All players who opt into the NFT programs will be paid in two different ways for offering their name, image and likeness. First, players who qualified for the previous year’s FedEx Cup playoffs will earn a lump sum participation payment based on their performance, as follows:
- Finishers in Top 30: $50,000
- Finishers 31-70: $30,000
- Finishers 71-125: $20,000
Second, all players including those who finish outside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup will earn pro-rated royalty payments based on the sales performance of the NFTs and trading cards. If a Tour player generates more revenue due to popularity or market success, he will earn a bigger royalty.
This royalty scheme differs from those of other sports leagues such as NBA’s Top Shot and NFL’s All Day where every player gets an equal amount of royalty as negotiated by their respective player associations.
These programs come after American professional golfer Phil Mickelson fired a shot at the PGA Tour, saying that it’s gatekeeping “roughly $20 billion” in media assets and “hundreds of millions of digital moments” that players should rightfully own.
For years, the Tour has loaned usage of players’ highlights in commercial and media deals. It told players that the new NFT programs are designed to “designed to create incremental and perpetual royalties to players that require little to no time commitment,” thus putting more money directly in players’ pockets.
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