The National Football League (NFL) tried giving free commemorative NFT ticket stubs to fans at a few live games last season. For the 2022 season, the NFL wants to expand the project to many more games.
The NFL said today that fans who go to more than 100 live regular season games during the 2022 season will get NFT ticket stubs. Like last year, the NFT virtual commemorative ticket program is being run with the help of Ticketmaster, a company that sells tickets to events. At the moment, there are 101 games on the list for the promotion.
The NFL’s extended NFT virtual commemorative ticket effort will cover every first-week game, starting with the Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams game at SoFi Stadium on September 8. Also, during the season, each of the 32 teams in the league will give NFT ticket stubs for at least three home games.
Abby Desai, a member of the NFL’s Club Business Development team, said that all of these NFT experiments are still in the “test and learn” stage. “But we wanted to make something that all 32 teams could take part in and give to their fans in their own communities.”
Last season, the NFL had NFT collectibles for 21 regular-season games, 12 playoff games, the Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl. The league said that over 500,000 NFT ticket collectibles were given out during the season.
This season’s virtual commemorative tickets NFTs will be “coined” on Flow, which uses the same blockchain technology as the NFL All Day site for video collectibles. Last season’s NFT ticket stubs were printed on Polygon, an Ethereum scaling solution. For the NFL Draft NFT collectibles in April, the league and Ticketmaster switched to Flow.
An NFT is proof that you own a digital product, like a piece of art or a collectible. With a trading volume of $25 billion in 2021, the NFT market exploded, and sports collectibles like NBA Top Shot helped spread the idea of tokenized digital treasures to a wide audience.
Last season, each Ticketmaster account that bought tickets to a qualifying game got one NFT, no matter how many tickets were bought. Desai says that this time, each ticket can be exchanged for the same amount of NFTs.
Desai told Decrypt that the league’s NFT program had “huge participation” last season and that NFT stubs help collectors fill in the gap as the league moves away from paper tickets and toward mobile ticketing.
“It’s something we’ve noticed,” she said, “that people definitely like having something to help them remember the event.”
Virtual ticket stub holders can sell their NFTs on a Ticketmaster marketplace, and Desai said that the league had secondary demand during the first season. Desai said that the league would “keep an eye” on resale demand because there were almost five times as many qualifying regular season games this year and more NFTs were given out for each game.
The NFL’s NFT stubs are digital souvenirs that can be kept or sold, but there is a growing trend in the NFT industry to make them more useful by giving access to special services and events. Desai said that the league would “continue to look at” other use cases, such as the possibility of extra utility or even full NFT-based ticketing (rather than collectible keepsakes).
“We’re still early on in this business, and so are we,” she said. “We’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t, where clubs and fans are leaning in.” she also added “We’ll take those learnings to really determine what we’re going to do down the road.”