From trading cards to streaming services, the sports world has always stood out by coming up with new ways to connect with its fans. Since the sports industry is known for being one of the first to try new things, it is not surprising that it was also one of the first to fully embrace cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and Non-Fungible Tokens.
Deloitte predicts that the sports industry will generate more than $2 billion in transactions this year, making it one of the biggest areas where blockchain NFTs will be used. This would be twice as much as would be made in 2021, and it would also make room for a lot of new use cases and projects in the NFT space.
All of this is happening at a time when the creator economy as a whole is growing very quickly. The creator economy is already worth more than $100 billion, and it is expected to grow to more than $150 billion in the next few years.
So far, the most common way that NFTs have been used in the sports industry is to sell limited-edition videos and photos that show memorable moments. But it has become more popular to add perks like autographed merchandise, invitations to live meet-and-greets, access to exclusive content, and other things like that. Momento NFT, a direct-to-fan social NFT startup, is one of the platforms that takes this approach. Its goal is to make it easier for creators of all kinds who want to build stronger communities to make NFTs.
Momento NFT was started in 2021 and is based in New York. Investors like FTX, Animoca Brands, Cadenza Ventures, and Mark Pincus have given the company more than $4 million. Even though the company came out of stealth mode less than 9 months ago, it has grown quickly by helping creators from all industries join the NFT space.
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Momento NFT has been working in the sports space with the goal of adding social benefits to a niche that is mostly about collecting. The platform has done this by working with people like Monique Billings, Cameron Brink, Zaire Wade, Jalen Suggs, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. All of them just released their NFT collections so that fans and collectors can get access to the players’ favorite content and unlock real-world benefits like autographed merchandise, meet-and-greets in person, and one-on-one and public livestreams.
Smith-Schuster, the star receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Suggs, the rising star for the Orlando Magic, have both been in NFTs before, in collections like the Crypto Titan Virtual Series and NBA Top Shot. The latest drops from these creator-athletes on Momento NFT are more than just limited edition content to collect. This NFT collection is only available on Momento NFT. It gives fans the chance to meet their favorite athletes in person or virtually, which has never been done before.
“NFTs are changing the way players and fans interact,” Suggs said about the launch. “I’m excited to create some limited-edition moments through Momento’s app that reward my fans for being so loyal and passionate.”
Momento NFT’s efforts are also part of a growing trend in the NFT sports space: making it easier to buy and sell NFTs. Creators can make NFTs on the platform without having to pay anything up front, know anything about the space, connect third-party wallets, or use a certain cryptocurrency. On the fan side, people who want to collect NFTs and get cool perks can do so by using their credit card with Google Pay or Apple Pay.
Since the NFT, the creator economy, and the sports industry are all expected to keep growing over the next few years, the connections between them will likely keep getting stronger. This gives teams, fans, players, and collectors a one-of-a-kind chance to find new ways to bring the excitement of their favorite sports out of the pitch and off the screen.