Last week the NFL posted a job listing on LinkedIn for a Senior Manager, Content Partnership. Two bullets listed under the “responsibilities” section stand out:
- Act as marketing lead with strategic partners in key growth verticals (Gaming, NFTs, etc.)
- Identify opportunities in emerging technology sectors including, but not limited to, NFT and crypto projects and AR/VR strategy and development
The NFL is looking to expand its gaming offering, which could pave the way for a potential metaverse-based gaming partnership with the likes of The Sandbox, Decentraland, or Enjin Network. That’s extremely likely since the job description specifically calls out augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) expertise for the new hire.
Additionally, the NFL mentioned NFT experience a few times throughout the entire job description – the league most definitely is looking to recreate the NFT windfall the NBA has had since launching its Top Shot project with Dapper Labs.
As context, the NBA Top Shots NFTs produced $589 million from October 2020 through May 2021. Those levels of passive revenue streams can’t be ignored, and the NFL has a treasure trove of potential NFT content within its decades of archival NFL Films.
The potential for new revenue streams, as well as expanding the NFL into a truly global brand, are the most obvious reason for this 180-degree pivot from its former policy which banned all teams from engaging directly with any crypto-related projects. Last August, the NFL sent an email to all 32 of its clubs that included this section published in The Athletic:
"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."
Now that we know the NFL is exploring the metaverse and NFTs, it will be interesting to see how quickly the league moves into this space.