Dapper Labs Set to Storm The NFL With Football-Themed NFT Platform
2021 has seen an incredible integration between cryptocurrencies and the American sports landscape. Now, Dapper Labs, the creators of the famous NBA Top Shot platform, has announced a new venture with “America’s game.”
Touchdown for Dapper Labs
Earlier this week, Sports Business Journal reported that Dapper Labs is looking to launch a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for the National Football League (NFL). The platform will be similar to its NBA Top Shot game, offering digital collectibles with the NFL theme. NBA Top Shot has already become highly popular, and Dapper Labs will hope to replicate the same feat with the NFL game.
Besides the upcoming platform, Sports Business Journal also reported that Dapper Labs’ entry into the NFL would see the league and its players’ association acquire an ownership stake in the company.
Although the terms of the deal remain unknown, sources for the news medium have reported that this deal could make Dapper Labs the second largest source of digital revenue for the NFLPA – trailing only the hugely popular Madden NFL game.
Sports Embraces Crypto, Albeit Slowly
Besides Dapper Labs, another company that’s been making significant waves in the sports scene is FTX – a leading crypto derivatives exchange. The company, which recently got a valuation of $18 billion, has been signing major sponsorship deals with both young prospects and established superstars across both leagues.
This year alone, NFL legend Tom Brady, 3-time NBA champion Stephen Curry, and many more have signed sponsorship deals with FTX. Brady and Curry both reportedly have ownership stakes in the exchange as well. The partnerships with the sports stars include marketing and licensing deals and charity initiatives and crypto education outreach programs.
However, while the NBA remains seemingly open to teams and players partnering with crypto companies, the NFL might be showing some resistance. Earlier this month, The Athletic reported that the league had barred players and teams from making any crypto-related ads and sponsorships. This is in stark contrast to the NBA, which has largely been liberal with teams and players signing deals with crypto brands.
As the report explained, the NFL had restricted the sale of sponsorships to crypto trading firms and NFTs until it could establish a strategy for sports-themed art and digital trading cards.
“Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy,” read a guideline shared by the news medium.
The Dapper Labs deal might just be the NFL’s “strategy,” especially with the league and its players' association taking a stake in the company. It will be interesting to see how the deal works out, especially in terms of revenue shares and other financial aspects.