What Are NFTs?

Before we dive into how NFTs are being used in sports, it's important to understand what they are. NFTs are unique, digital assets that are stored on a blockchain. They can be used to represent anything from artwork to tweets, and are bought and sold using cryptocurrency. Each NFT is one-of-a-kind and cannot be replicated or exchanged for something else of equal value, hence the term "non-fungible."

The Rise of NFTs in Sports

While NFTs have been around for several years, they have recently gained popularity in the sports world. In March 2021, the NBA's Top Shot platform sold a LeBron James highlight video for $208,000. Since then, other sports leagues and athletes have started to explore the potential of NFTs as a new revenue stream and a way to engage with fans.

How Athletes and Teams Are Using NFTs

One way that athletes and teams are using NFTs is by creating digital collectibles that fans can purchase. These collectibles can take many forms, from game highlights to digital art. For example, in April 2021, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes released a set of NFTs that included autographed helmets, game-used cleats, and behind-the-scenes footage. The release generated over $3.7 million in sales.

Another way that athletes and teams are using NFTs is by offering exclusive experiences to fans who purchase them. For example, in March 2021, the Golden State Warriors auctioned off an NFT that included VIP tickets to a game, a meet-and-greet with the team, and a signed jersey. The winning bid was $2 million.

The Future of NFTs in Sports

As NFTs continue to gain popularity, it's likely that we will see more athletes and teams embrace them as a way to connect with fans. However, there are also concerns about the environmental impact of NFTs, as the energy required to create and maintain them can be significant. Additionally, there are questions about whether NFTs will retain their value over time, or if they are just a passing trend.


NFTs are a new and exciting way for athletes and teams to engage with fans and create unique, digital collectibles. While they are still relatively new to the sports world, it's clear that they have the potential to be a lucrative revenue stream and a valuable tool for fan engagement. As with any new technology, there are both benefits and drawbacks, but it will be interesting to see how NFTs continue to evolve in the world of sports.