For decades, sports card collecting has been at the forefront of sports collectibles and memorabilia for super-fans. However, a new form of collectible for the digital world is rising to prominence with the NBA leading the way. It’s all coming from a Vancouver-based company called NBA Top Shot that sells the intellectual property of famous moments in NBA history for fans to own using blockchain technology. To the layman, the process is both confusing and puzzling. However, it has serious potential to be the next big thing in sports collectibles.
How Does It Work?
In its simplest terms, fans and investors can join NBA Top Shot and procure the intellectual property rights of digital highlights called moments of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In reality, these NFTs are short videos of NBA highlights from various angles, most of which can be viewed on the Internet by anyone. Fans aren’t buying the copyrights to these moments. However, there is value in them because there are only so many versions of each NFT available, much like some sports cards have limited editions and fewer copies than other cards.
In fact, the NFTs that are sold on NBA Top Shot are priced according to their rarity. Once moments are minted and released, fans wait in line as if it were a brick-and-mortar store, waiting for their turn to purchase items. They can purchase as many as nine moments for $9 as part of Common Packs. In this case, there are over 1,000 digital copies of a moment. There are also rare moments that come as cheap as $22 because there are only between 150 and 999 moments.
From there, the prices go up. Legendary Packs cost a minimum of $230 and have between 25 and 99 digital copies. Finally, there are Platinum Ultimate and Genesis Ultimate categories. Platinum NFTs have three digital copies while Genesis has just one. Both of these are only available to fans via auctions, meaning there is no limit to what a fan or investor might pay for it.
A Brave New World
While there are similarities between card collecting and NFTs, the digital platform takes away some of the flaws of card collecting. For starters, there are no issues relating to the authenticity of it or the condition of an NFT. It’s also possible to track the entire sales history of an NFT. Unlike sports cards, buyers will know who has owned an NFT and the price it sold for previously. This helps create a situation in which people can invest in NFTs in hopes of turning a profit. it’s simply a different form of investing that also attracts NBA fans who may want to own moments of their favorite players.
Metallic Gold LE Challenge 19 ends in 1️⃣ week on Fri., Mar. 19 at 10am PT ⏰
This is the FIRST Metallic Gold LE Challenge of Series 2. Collect all 9️⃣ required Moments & score this exclusive reward of Terry Rozier throwing down a vicious dunk 😳
— NBA Top Shot (@nbatopshot) March 12, 2021
Here to Stay
Based on the early returns on NBA Top Shot, this trend is here to stay. There are already hundreds of thousands of users who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on NFTs. There is also a sense of legitimacy to the operation because the NBA and NBPA are partners with NBA Top Shot. On top of that, some players were among the first to gravitate to this new hobby/investment opportunity.
Even Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has spent a few hundred dollars on NFTs. In fact, Cuban believes there is incredible potential for this new industry to continue growing and become one of the league’s biggest sources of revenue.
“NFTs in general, of which Top Shot is the first and a leader, could turn into a top 3 revenue source for the NBA over the next 10 years,” says Cuban. “This is a real market with real collectors and real value. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges, there certainly are, but (intellectual property to NFT) is here to stay.”