The National Hockey League stepped into Web3 the previous week, revealing a league-massive collaboration with Sweet, a digital collectibles trading platform. According to the league’s statement, the multi-year deal will create products which appeal to all NHL fans. Here’s a look at what hockey fans can expect from the collaboration:
• Dynamic NFTs, in which a collectible changes form according to player act
• A “trophy room” where collectors can show their NFTs
• Video clip NFTs, probably like the Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot & NFL all-day
• A “gamified collecting experience” with missions and the ability to gain rewards
The NHL Executive Vice President, Dave Lehanski, stated that the league took “considerable time” analyzing the market and developing a “fan-first strategy”. The NHL aims to connect with fans in the most “authentic and engaging way possible.”
Sweet’s CEO Tom Mizzone, said the company has already set up some “visually stunning action-packed moments.” It also uses gamification to create an engaging and exclusive relationship between the digital collectibles and experiences.
There is no word yet what blockchain the NHL will mint its NFTs on, but considering the choice of Sweet as an official partner, Polygon or Tezos are probably options. The NHL has also stated that it is important to minimize the environmental impact of its NFTs.
NHL fans looking to have their hands on some collectibles will have to wait a little longer: The NHL and Sweet plan to release the new trading platform in October 2022.
The growth of the sports industry on NFTs
Few industries have turned to NFTs, such as sports. Many big sports leagues have partnered or published series’ long before the NHL. Below are three examples of how other sports leagues have penetrated the NFT space.
The NBA has probably been the most active league in the NFT industry. Plus the collaboration with Dapper Labs to create NBA Top Shot, it has announced an NFT series named “The Association.” These dynamic NFTs changed their appearance regarding the performance of the prominent player.
Additionally, the NFL has been active in NFTs. In the fall of 2021, it reported a collaboration with Dapper Labs, a top ten NFT company – to produce NFTs related to in-game highlights. Though the platform is still in beta mode, NFT collectors on Twitter were eager for it during the NFL season.
Lastly, the MLB has also joined the NFT space. The company collaborated with Topps to build a line of NFT trading cards and lately cooperated with Sorare to produce an MLB NFT game.
Time will show how the NHL NFT experience will go, but surly the link between sports and NFT will continue to grow.