Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Omar Sy… Sports and entertainment stars are increasingly interested in NFTs, between dedicated projects, partnerships and investments in specialized companies, a way to make these unique digital objects known to their many fans.
The “NFT”, for “non-fungible token” or non-fungible token, is a digital format that makes it possible to associate with any virtual object, be it an image, photo, animation, video or piece of music, a certificate of authenticity recorded on a chain of blocks (or “blockchain”), the technology that mainly serves as the basis for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Two major announcements in quick succession, signaling the acceleration of a trend that started last year: less than a week after the formalization of an “exclusive” and “multi-year” partnership between the platform of cryptocurrency exchange Binance and football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to To create a series of NFT collections, it is Kylian Mbappé’s turn to reveal his interest in the world of “web3”, the new internet.
The French team’s star striker will work as an “investor and exclusive ambassador” with French start-up Sorare, creator of an online game for the exchange of athletes’ stickers at the crossroads of highly dynamic sectors: Unique Digital Objects (NFT) and virtual sports competitions (“fantasy sports”).
After tennis champion Serena Williams, who has been “advisor” to Sorare’s board of directors and partner since last January, and football investors Gerard Piqué, Rio Ferdinand and Antoine Griezmann, the French unicorn offers itself a new recruit. †
“My relationship with fans is very important to me, so the idea of providing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform (with Binance) is something I wanted to be a part of”said Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most followed personalities in the world with more than 500 million “followers” on social networks.
Authenticity or sign of distinction?
If Omar Sy and French basketball player Rudy Gobert support “The Metaverse Marauders”, a collection of 12,000 NFTs representing an entire panel of aliens, other sports and entertainment stars, such as Neymar, Eminem or Paris Hilton, have posted that they belong to the “Bored Ape Yacht Club,” a closed circle of NFT holders paired with unique images of monkeys and sold for over $200,000 each. For example, singer Justin Bieber paid $1.3 million for him in January.
“It’s really like the real world (of collectors): we have people in NFT who know a lot about it, are interested in it and spend time there, and then others who kind of surf a vague and buy a little bit of what they become told to buy”John Karp, president of NFT Factory and industry expert explains to AFP John Karp, who likens the interest in the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” to “neo-bling-bling”.
An approach that is at odds with that of Snoop Dogg. The American rapper revealed last September that he was hiding behind the anonymous profile of “Cozomo de’ Medici”, a well-known collector in the NFT community for the purchase of many recognized digital artworks, outside of “Bored Ape Yacht Club”.“We understood that there was a fairly authentic approach, a real knowledge. His opinion counts, his point of view is important. He is recognized as a wise person”emphasizes John Karp.
Conversely, there is the case of “influencers” launching their collection of NFTs to “monetize” their audiences with a “short-term money target,” he explains.
But the numerous examples have shown that these assets quickly lose value in the secondary market or do not attract the expected income. After making a million dollars thanks to his fans’ near-instant purchases of NFTs, singer Shawn Mendes saw their value quadruple in one year.
After generating $44.2 billion in 2021, the NFT market saw spending volume drop 75% between February and mid-April, according to research firm Chainalysis.