Even though the market is uncertain, Tennis Australia is adding more NFT ball art to this year’s Australian Open. They say they are in it for the long haul.
When the cryptocurrency craze was at its peak, 6,776 old tennis balls were sold as NFTs on court 19 at Melbourne Park. Each plot is measured at 19 cm x 19 cm.
This year, there are 2,454 more NFTs than last year.
At the start of the game, Tennis Australia offered to update the metadata on each NFT whenever a match-winning shot landed on the plot for that NFT. It was also said that people who own NFTs will get products and other benefits.
All NFTs were sold for 0.067 Ethereum, which was about $278 AUD when they were accessed on January 22, 2022.
Since then, Ethereum’s value has dropped considerably, and now 0.067ETH is only worth $130. The AO Artball collection is traded on OpenSea, with a floor price of 0.092ETH. This is still a loss of about $100 for the balls compared to a year ago.
Ridley Plummer, the senior manager of Metaverse, NFTs, Web3, and cryptocurrencies at Tennis Australia, said that the organization is not worried about short-term changes in the market.
He went on to say, “We shouldn’t just put down our tools and walk away because of market challenges. There are a lot of external factors that come into play when exploring new technology like Web3 and NFTs, and when you are an innovative company like Tennis Australia and AO there are challenges and rewards that come with as well.”
Unlike most other NFTs, the Artball program is like a membership to the Australian Open. Tennis Australia runs a Discord server for its members to help them learn how to join the NFT. It also has a rewards program for NFT owners that gives them things like backstage passes and ground passes for finals week. There is access to the site. Some videos are not shown on the Grand Slam broadcast.
Plummer said that more than 2,000 NFT owners sold tickets to the open.
He says that owning NFTs is like being a gold or silver frequent flyer, and people who buy NFTs for both 2022 and 2023 will be on the same level as executive frequent flyers.
“They’ll get the benefits better first than everyone else,” he said.
The AO Artballs for 2023 will be made on Thursday at 7 a.m. AEDT. Each one will cost 0.23 ETH, which is about $446.