Last Wednesday, the U.S.-based National Football League (NFL) announced that for the first time in the league’s history, it would give fans attending in person the upcoming Super Bowl in Los Angeles, a free, virtual commemorative ticket in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to celebrate the event.
Each fan in attendance at Super Bowl LVI will receive a complimentary, customized NFT featuring their unique section, row, and seat to serve as a digital keepsake from their Super Bowl experience.
"We first began offering virtual commemorative ticket NFTs to fans during the regular season. We witnessed great success with this one-of-a-kind fan experience, which provided the momentum to continue this program throughout the postseason and ultimately at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles," said Bobby Gallo, SVP, Club Business Development, NFL in the league’s official statement. "Collecting ticket stubs has always been something our fans love to do, especially for the season's biggest game, and offering customized Super Bowl NFTs allows us to enhance the gameday experience, while also enabling us to further evaluate the NFT space for future ticketing and event engagement opportunities."
It seems the NFL is taking a multi-pronged approach as it tries to block its way into the blockchain space. Last month the league posted a job listing on LinkedIn for a Senior Manager, Content Partnership. Two bullets listed under the “responsibilities” section stood out in particular:
- 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
Beyond ticket NFTs, 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.
In the meantime, the NFL also announced that it’s releasing a series of seven historic commemorative NFTs for purchase leading up to this weekend’s Super Bowl game, which are available to anyone. A new NFT is being released every day, which started on Sunday, and concludes on February 13 with the release of an NFT featuring the current Super Bowl LVI ticket artwork.
Given the high-profile nature of the Super Bowl, the NFL took NFT prep reps during the most recent regular season. Through an NFL beta test, fans who attended select games during the 2021 regular season were eligible to receive complimentary virtual commemorative tickets in the form of an NFT. According to the NFL, more than 250 thousand complimentary NFTs were delivered to fans, while a limited number of additional NFTs were made available for purchase. Expect to see a lot more marketing muscle from the NFL as it pushes its way into crypto in coming weeks and months.