Andy Murray, Wimbledon Join Forces for ETH NFT

Credit: John Walton/PA via AP

Andy Murray, a tennis player ranked 1st in the world in 2016, has partnered with the Wimbledon Foundation and renowned artist Refik Anadol to launch an Ethereum non-fungible token. The token, called “The Exposition,” uses 18 years’ worth of data from Murray’s career, including from his two Wimbledon victories in 2013 and 2016, to create an artwork with fluidity and color.

Currently, The Exposition is selling as an open edition on Manifold, with the price set at $147. The sale, which started on July 7th, marking the 10-year anniversary of Murray’s first Wimbledon win, will run until July 16th. The landing page for the NFT states that it is an accessible point into the project, which will produce more NFTs in the future.

The artwork for The Exposition comes from a collaboration between Refik Anadol, a Turkish artist who explores the intersection between art, humans, and machines, and IBM, which gathered the statistics on Murray’s career. The data collection used millions of inputs from statistics, motion, audio, and visual data, and the art aims to reimagine how sport can be used to create aesthetically pleasing images.

According to the information on the NFT’s drop page, The Exposition will evolve over time based on data from this year’s Wimbledon tournament. That makes it, in effect, a dynamic non-fungible based on statistics, which is still a novelty within the Web3 world.

FAN3, which curated and produced the project, told Rarity Sniper that it is proud to work with such iconic brands, and that it wanted to make the inaugural piece of the collection as accessible as possible for tennis fans. To that end, the payment method is in fiat currency.

“We have included onsite activations at this year’s Championships, around the London transport network and in the Wimbledon Brooklyn Fan Park,” FAN3 added. “We are excited to share more in the coming months as the story evolves.”

Data-Based NFTs Popular in the Sports Industry

While most of the NFT landscape still launches tokens with static images, more and more projects are experimenting with dynamic NFTs — a type of NFT that changes appearance based on external factors. And much of that experimentation is occurring in the sports industry. Here are three stories involving dynamic NFTs and sports, all from the past year.

First, a week ago, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced a partnership with Pebble Beach Company for ‘ArtBall’ NFTs. The non-fungible tokens in the USGA’s collection will be linked to real-time stroke data and specific plots on Pebble Beach’s famed 17th hole. The appearance of the NFTs will change based on the stroke data.

Next, about a year ago, the NBA launched a dynamic NFT collection called “The Association.” The set, which consisted of 18,000 NFTs, were linked to statistics from individual players on the 16 playoff teams. The NFTs changed appearance depending on how each player performed in specific areas, such as points, rebounds, and dunks.

Lastly, also about a year ago, the Australian Open launched an NFT collection called “Art Balls” for its 2022 tournament. The 6,776 NFTs were linked to specific plots on the court, and if a winning shot fell on a plot, the owner received winning point video footage, Decentraland wearables, and more.

Although the NFT market has struggled of late, these stories show that many companies are still innovating in the space. That is bullish news, and a good sign for things to come when the market picks up again.