Australian Cricket to Launch Official Range of NFTs
Australian cricket has taken the first official step into the world of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, joining a movement that has already generated millions of dollars for sports around the globe.
Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) today announced they have signed a multi-year licensing deal with Singapore-based collectibles platform Rario and NFT trading company BlockTrust, which will enable cricket lovers to own and trade NFTs of some of the most memorable cricketing moments on Australian soil.
NFTs are essentially digital assets that are trackable and unable to be altered, with their scarcity giving them value.
Where traditional sports collectibles like trading cards feature only still images, NFTs can show official broadcast vision and commentary.
Like all sports memorabilia, the value of an NFT is determined by market demand.
It means unique, digital versions of moments like Steve Waugh's Ashes hundred at the SCG in 2003, Peter Siddle's hat-trick in 2010 and Ellyse Perry's double hundred in 2017 will be available to own and trade.
The deal between CA and the ACA will see the revenue of Australian cricket NFTs shared between players (past and present) and Cricket Australia, although specifics of the agreement have not been shared publicly.
NFTs have exploded in popularity in recent years, with some individual pieces selling for tens of millions of dollars.
Sports like basketball, Formula One and football have been sporting trailblazers in the NFT space, while the Australian Football League last week announced details of a similar licensing agreement.
The NBA says its Top Shots NFT program has seen more than A$800m change hands since it was established in 2020, while one single LeBron James slam dunk sold for more than half a million Australian dollars.
Deloitte has predicted that sports NFTs will generate around A$2.7 billion globally this year.
NFT technology has been criticised for producing significant carbon emissions but in a statement, Rario, CA and the ACA said they are "committed to a partnership that sees NFTs produced in a sustainable manner" by using Polygon blockchain, which they say, "translates to more eco-friendliness and considerably fewer carbon emissions".
"We are excited to step into the metaverse with our partners Rario, BlockTrust and the Australian Cricketers’ Association for this historic deal, which will open up huge opportunities for innovation and fan engagement," Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley, said in a statement.
"The game's deep connection with its past, the passion of our fans and the appeal of Australian cricketers to a global audience, means the incorporation of NFTs is another way that fans across the world can engage and be part of the sport.
"This is just the start and I have no doubt we will see enormous benefit for fans, players and the sport itself as we build this exciting partnership."
Rario, cricket's first officially licensed digital collectibles platform, has already signed deals with the Caribbean Premier League as well as leagues in the UAE and Sri Lanka and counts the likes of Aaron Finch and Faf Du Plessis as brand ambassadors.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Australian cricket, and this has been reflected in the cooperative spirit that the ACA and Cricket Australia have partnered with Rario," said Todd Greenberg, CEO of Australian Cricketers Association.
"Once you begin to learn about NFTs you soon understand the engagement possibilities between past and present players with fans are huge. We all look forward to bringing this program to life in the coming months with new and innovative concepts."
CRICKET NFTs – FAQS
What are cricket NFTs?
NFTs are unique representations of real-world assets (for example, trading cards), made ownable and tradeable using blockchain technology. In the case of Cricket, the NFTs range from cricketing moments to player images.
Are cricket NFTs cryptocurrency?
No, they are two completely different things. Cricket NFTs are tradeable online, but they are not a form of currency, and are instead a product bought and sold like traditional memorabilia. The only real similarity is that they both use blockchain technology.
How do you buy them?
Currently all Rario NFTs can be purchased on their marketplace in packs just like traditional trading cards. You can purchase them on the Rario Marketplace, a platform where you can buy, trade and sell your Rario NFTs to build up your collection of favourite cricketing moments from the history of the game or own the complete set of cards of your favourite players.
Are Rario NFTs environmentally sustainable?
Rario, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association are committed to a partnership that sees NFTs produced in a sustainable manner. For example, Rario uses Polygon blockchain, an Ethereum compatible side-chain, to mint NFTs. This translates to more eco-friendliness and considerably fewer carbon emissions.
Taken from Cricket Australia.