Who knew that the Internet would one day hype something as simple as the letters N, F and T? That’s right, the modern-day phenomenon of the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have very much become a new favorite. These tradable digital goods, that most often are a part of the Ethereum blockchain, are changing the game for how unique virtual assets can now have value attached to them.
Brands, across industries, wasted no time to seize the opportunity that came with embracing this versatile trend. NFTs serve to be the key in unlocking the doors of engagement and individualized brand experiences. Whether it be art, videos, texts, or even one’s first tweet – any online-only file can be created to better interact with audiences through a personal brand story. Let’s uncover the shift made by various industries in the NFT space.
Playing into the Sports Field
The empowerment of owning a digital piece amongst diverse fan communities is driving several players from the sports sector to launch their own NFTs. With the pandemic making it a difficult feat to witness performances of favorite events in-person, Great Britain’s Olympic Team provides digital moments, and artworks by Ben Mosley featuring wall paintings of inspiring moments, as part of their first NFT collection. Although the sale for the same started with the Summer Games back in July last year, it is now to culminate with the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. Online gaming operator Betano, in a collaboration with Atlético Mineiro, brought the NFT spin to Brazil through its Atlético Brazilian Champions NFT collection, where every token revealed exclusive experiences of the club’s training sessions, player meet-and-greets, and even personalized videos by players for Betano members. Popular wrestling entertainment company WWE also slammed its way into the hype by announcing the launch of its NFT marketplace in partnership with Fox Entertainment and Bento Box. The collaboration will help bring WWE inspired tokens and collectibles to the firm’s passionate fanbase.
Entertaining the Fandoms
Speaking of entertainment, notable industry names such as the magical Disney, action-packed Marvel, and the multifarious Warner Bros. have all made their respective moves in joining the tokens-train. In a bid to create a stronger brand presence and gain more traction from newcomers across all social media platforms, Warner Bros. partnered with Mark Cuban backed Nifty to offer a “Space-Jam” themed NFT line – with two free initial NFTs, and additional NFTs at a price point of $2.99 with limit of one purchase a day. On similar lines was the launch of Disney’s “Golden Moments” NFT lineup, an initiative introduced in honor of Disney+ Day on Friday. The limited release features iconic characters and logos from The Simpsons, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and the company’s own Walt Disney Animation Studios. Out of these, Marvel had already entered the world of blockchain before – first with five different Spider-Man collectibles, and recently adding the Captain America franchise to their NFT collection.
Warming Up to the Foodies
But these aren’t the only fields biting into the digital universe. Fast-food chains are fast jumping the NFT bandwagon to offer exclusive and most-loved menu items for all year-round keeps. From Pizza Hut Canada’s 0.0001 ETH pixelated pizza slice, to Taco Bell’s spicy taco-themed collection whose proceeds go into helping young people find careers – the food industry left no pan unflipped in warming their customers’ hearts. Even McDonald’s put their limited edition McRib NFT for the sandwich lovers to add to their personal collection.
Trading the Way into Markets
With a plethora of NFT marketplaces making their debut in recent months, it was not long before the world of finance onboarded the frenzy by recognizing the immense progression and future these digital assets hold. Various firms released their own programs to make NFTs easily accessible to meet the demands of their clients. E-commerce company Shopify allowed its Plus membership merchants to create and sell NFTs on the Shopify storefront through the introduction of GigiLabs app. Financial services giant Visa also partnered with Major League Baseball player Micah Johnson to build a program that arms digital creators with the resources and learnings they require to sell their work on a blockchain-based framework. As the trade in NFT markets witnesses a huge surge, creating an overall robust system to counter the liquidity challenge becomes crucial to maximize the true value proposition of the asset class. Strip Finance took to creating a collateralized NFT lending and borrowing platform on Binance Smart Chain to meet this challenge and contribute to the seamless adoption of tokenized goods.
No Limits on Expansion
Other platforms also offered their support in broadening the maturing NFT ecosystem – with social media networking sites such as Twitter and Reddit chirping in their respective NFT-friendly Profile Pictures features to help users authenticate their digitally owned goods. Even Big Tech companies couldn’t resist tuning into the NFT craze, as Microsoft announced its one-of-a-kind cryptographic Windows 11 token in October last year via a 6D musical streaming event.
As alternative revenue streams continue to demonstrate growth and disruption, it’ll be really interesting to see how well this curiosity surrounding the digitized ventures will endure in the longer run. Nevertheless, brands will still have to keep an open mind to the behavioral shifts that are enabling the coming together of creators, influencers and industries in furthering financial ownership and inclusion.