Premier League Going Ahead with NFT Plans Despite Market Slump

Any official Premier League NFT collection would have to be approved by all 20 Premier League clubs.
Image source: Sports Unfold

Quick take:

  • Premier League is exploring low-value NFTs that are not to be traded for profit.
  • The League wants to build a digital community through NFTs.
  • If approved, an NFT collection is likely to drop later this year.

The Premier League is sticking to its plans of launching an NFT collection despite the slump in the Web3 and crypto market, according to British media outlet, iNews.

According to The Block’s data, NFT sales plummeted by more than 70% from nearly 1 million units in the third week of this year to just over 138,000 units on Jun 26. 

In response to the market outlook, Premier League insiders say that they are exploring low-value NFTs in still images and video formats that are not to be traded for profit. Instead, the NFTs are a way for the League to build a digital community and create interaction between football fans and NFT collectors.

Football industry professionals believe that NFTs should be treated like digital collectibles instead of assets that are traded for profit.

Any official Premier League NFT collection would have to be approved by all 20 Premier League clubs. An insider familiar with the matter said that a collection is likely to drop later this year if all of the League’s football club agree to it.

In February, the Premier League shortlisted four blockchains (Sorare, Candy Digital, Dapper Labs and ConsenSys) for an NFT licensing deal worth up to $589 million. ConsenSys won the NFT deal in March while Dapper Labs landed the rights to create video NFTs.

Last month, the Premier League filed new metaverse and NFT trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark office, covering digital asset trading services, financial and crypto services, virtual clothing, footwear and sports gear.

However, a Premier League insider said that the trademark filings were made to protect the League’s intellectual property rights instead of an indication of future plans.

Football clubs have been swift to move into Web3 as they attempt to generate more profit. For instance, Liverpool FC teamed up with Sotheby’s Metaverse in March to launch the Heroes Club NFT collection, which generated £1.13 million ($1.36 million) despite selling less than 9000 of the 171,000 NFTs available.

In May, Manchester City teamed up with Puma in May to launch an NFT art commemorating Sergio Aguero’s historic goal, and partnered with Animoca Brands’ subsidiary, GAMEE, to bring football to Web3.

Outside of the UK, French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) first filed new NFT and metaverse trademark application in March, followed by an announcement of a metaverse project PSG is working on in collaboration with Taiwanese pop singer, Jay Chou.

Recently, the Argentina Football Association (AFA)  partnered with NFT platform, Ethernity, to launch the AFA Icons NFT collection in celebration of Finalissima 2022.

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