Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice

Another research firm envisions big changes to come in how fans engage with their favorite sports. Another MLS club is joining the mix, signing a new deal with a digital asset investment firm. And collegiate athletes name, image and likeness (NIL) continues to see disruption and innovation courtesy of crypto and blockchain firms.
It’s just another week of sports and crypto engagement, courtesy of The Sports Slice.
The Sports Slice
New PwC Report Sees NFTs As Part Of The Future Of Sports
In last week’s Slice, we covered a report from media data analytics firm Nielsen regarding their bullish perspective on growing sponsorship spend in the crypto and blockchain category. Nielsen envisions crypto and blockchain firms to be the leader in terms of sponsorship growth in dollars spent in sport.
This week, it’s consultancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers’ (PwC) who is bringing the bull sentiment. A new ‘Sports Outlook 2022‘ report from PwC centered on North American sports engagement envisions a number of different blockchain-related levers that can be pulled in sport. NFTs, from use-cases including sheer collectibles, to ticketing and virtual access, are showing strong potential for engagement in sports that has been unparalleled to date.
PwC notes that ticket sales, media rights and sponsorship are the current largest revenue streams for teams and leagues across North American sports, and all of these are ripe for further reinvigoration. Generally speaking, ticketing and sponsorships have gone largely unchanged over the decade – and the same would be true for media rights at least up until recently, when OTT services have finally caught up to the traditional cable box when it comes to securing rights.
MLS: Nashville SC Teams Up With Valkyrie Investments
A new press release to kick off the week from MLS club Nashville SC shared their newest Founding Partner – Valkyrie Investments – and solidified Nashville as the first club in the league to accept a full partnership fee in Bitcoin.
The deal will see the club’s Premier Club lounge, an 850-seat premium club area that is located in Nashville SC’s new stadium, renamed as the ‘Valkyrie Premier Club.’ Valkyrie will also have branding assets on the team’s training jersey tops.
Valkyrie is a Tennessee-based digital asset investment firm; the partnership with Nashville SC is the firm’s first major foray into pro sports.
RECUR Kicks Off ‘NFTU’
NFT marketplace RECUR is launching their ‘NFTU’ program this week, according to a press release, which will be the company’s collegiate sports marketplace debuted with their ‘Tip Off’ series of over 100 legendary basketball athlete moments. Beginning tomorrow, RECUR will offer four tiers of NFTs on their dedicated NFTU site.
This past week’s announcement comes just a few short weeks after collegiate licensor Learfield announced a long-term enterprise relationship with RECUR to help bring NFTU to life.
Related Reading | NFTs In A Nutshell: A Weekly Review

Solana (SOL) hasn’t been a power-player in sports NFTs thus far, but that could change given NFT marketplace Magic Eden’s new deal with Overtime. | Source: SOL-USD on
Magic Eden x Overtime
Another NFT marketplace making moves this week is Solana’s Magic Eden market, entering a collaboration with sports media firm Overtime. The two are expected to work on collaborative NFTs around the upcoming 2022 NCAA March Madness tournament.
According to DappRadar, Magic Eden is the leading Solana NFT marketplace, in terms of both NFT volume and traders, and is a top 10 marketplace across all ecosystems. The partnership is Magic Eden’s first major sports move. The marketplace is currently working on transitioning to a DAO model, utilizing a three-tiered NFT airdrop to dedicated users to begin the process.
NFT Sentiment At The Sloan Analytics Conference
MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference takes place each year in Boston, MA – and brings together some of the brightest minds at the intersection of sports and data. During a chat at the conference this past week, Boston Celtics Managing Partner Steve Pagliuca and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk both expressed sentiments that NFTs are in a bubble phase currently, and that “90 percent of current NFTs [are] to be wiped out.”
Kraft Group President Jonathan Kraft and DraftKings CEO Jason Robins added that NFTs will need to add “usable features that increase fan engagement.” Kraft said, “If I could have a digital wallet with the ticket stub from that game and maybe 30 seconds of highlights, but also opt in to have my picture taken in my seats and that gets dropped to me the day after the game. … It would have no value to anybody else, but I’d love to have that.” Most NFT advocates in sport would argue that the potential spans far beyond that.
Related Reading | CEO Of Fan Token Company Socios Accused Of Price Manipulation
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The writer of this content is not associated or affiliated with any of the parties mentioned in this article. This is not financial advice.