The Mumbai Indians, five-time cricket champions of the Indian Premier League, have opened a Request for Proposal (RFP) for non-fungible tokens. The RFP seeks bids from outside companies that detail how those companies would create digital collectibles for the franchise. The deadline to submit a bid is January 17th, and the cost to submit one is INR 1 Lakh.
According to a statement from the Mumbai Indians, the move to enter the NFT space comes as the team is exploring more options to “engage” its loyal fanbase. Currently, the team has over 50 million followers across various social media channels, including nearly 8 million on Twitter and over 10 million on Instagram.
While the sports industry has generally taken to the new technology of non-fungible tokens, cricket has remained, for the most part, separate from this movement. Part of that may be its status as a more “conservative” sport. Many fans, especially those of the older generations, still prefer to collect trading cards as part of their fandom.
This would make the Mumbai Indians’ move unique among cricket teams. Valuation firms consistently rank the franchise as the most valuable in the Indian Premier League. In 2019, for instance, it had a valuation of roughly $115 million. Reliance Industries, an Indian multinational conglomerate company, owns the Mumbai Indians through its IndiaWin Sports subsidiary.
Given that the RFP has just started, it will take time to see what proposals companies submit to take the Mumbai Indians into the NFT realm. Here at Rarity Sniper, we’ll pay close attention to further developments in the story as they arise.
Sports Dives Deep into Web3
In 2022, we saw many industries enter Web3. But few did so with as much enthusiasm as the sports industry. That year, we wrote countless stories about athletes, teams, and entire leagues entering this new technology space. Here are three.
First, two months ago, Lionel Messi joined NFT trading card game Sorare as an investor and brand ambassador. As part of the deal, Messi received equity in the company. His role? To connect fans and clubs around the world with Sorare.
Next, four months ago, Market Decipher, a market research firm, confirmed what we all know: the sports NFT market is growing rapidly. In fact, the firm shared that the market will grow by a compound annual rate of 36% in the next decade to achieve a market cap of $42 billion by 2032.
Lastly, five months ago, NFT Tech announced it had partnered with Sony’s Hawk-Eye Innovations. The goal: To connect live sports data to the burgeoning NFT sports market. The merge will allow both companies to connect fans to their favorite teams and leagues using Web3 technology.
The Mumbai Indians’ entrance into Web3 shows that sports teams are still entering the space, even in 2023. We’ll keep you up to date about any further developments in the story.