Last November, a group of Cristiano Ronaldo fans had the opportunity to train with the legend himself — showing the utility of non-fungible tokens in the process.
That event took place in Lisbon, where the holders participated in a series of drills and challenges with Ronaldo, Tiktoker Khaby Lane, and soccer player Ana Markovic. The group of holders reacted positively to the training session, with one member stating that it was clear the soccer legend was fully present with the group, guiding it through the drills, and that Ronaldo had a dedication to teaching the members.
In a statement shared with Rarity Sniper, Ronaldo said, “My NFT partnership with Binance continues to offer special ways to build a closer connection with my fans, and also to bring them into the game in a new and different way while rewarding them for their ongoing support. This recent Training Day, which provided five CR7 NFT holders with the chance to train with me, is a great example of the one-of-a-kind opportunities that NFTs can provide. This was particularly unique in sharing this experience with my fans. It was an amazing day that I will always remember.”
Binance Head of Global Partnerships and Entertainment, Sarah Dale, said that the Training Day was a “really exciting and special milestone” in its partnership with Ronaldo, and that the exchange fully believes it is one of the most exceptional experiences the industry has provided to date. She added that Binance will continue demonstrating the “transformative power of new technologies” for revolutionizing fan engagement.
The event came as part of the collaboration between the soccer superstar and Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume. During 2023, they jointly released two NFT collections: “The GOAT NFT” series celebrating Ronaldo’s most captivating goals and another called the “CR7 ForeverZone Collection.”
Holders of the Super Super Rare (SSR) NFTs from The GOAT collection and a Golden Ticket holder of the ForeverZone collection gained the chance to train with Ronaldo in person.
NFTs Change the Sports Industry
While many industries have taken to Web3 technology, few have done so with as much enthusiasm as the sports industry, and it’s easy to see why. From the metaverse allowing for virtual sporting events to cryptocurrency adding a new level of fandom, Web3 tech has revolutionized how we engage and interact with our favorite teams.
NFT technology has aided this transformation in dramatic fashion. It is, perhaps, the tech in Web3 that the sports industry has most adopted, and the reasons for this utilization of non-fungible tokens are many-fold. Put simply: NFTs have the power to completely alter our relationships with athletes, teams, and leagues.
Here are some of the ways the sports industry has used this technology:
- Collectibles, such as digital trading cards with video sports highlights
- Memorabilia, as with the NFL’s NFT ticket stub program
- Fandom, as with Tom Brady’s Autograph platform
- Interactivity, as with the NBA’s “The Association” collection
- Ticketing, as with Sports Illustrated NFT ticket platform
- Contests, as with the MLB’s All-Star Game NFT scavenger hunt
As these examples show, NFTs are already transforming the sports industry, altering the way we interact with our favorite athletes, teams, and leagues. This is only three years after the NFT boom as well. In another 10 years, what kind of changes will we see?
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