July 21, 2024
NFL Alumni Association Teams Up with Aventus to Empower Former Players Through NFTs

NFL Alumni Association Teams Up with Aventus to Empower Former Players Through NFTs

With the NFL Alumni Association’s new collaboration with Aventus, former NFL players will have the chance to tap into new revenue sources, including NFT souvenirs for fans. To construct NFTs of people who choose to participate in its new offering, the company, which runs a Polkadot para chain, will use the names, likenesses, and images of retired players.

The National Football League is affiliated with NFL Alumni, a nonprofit group that includes thousands of former players, coaches, front office staff, wives, and cheerleaders but is independently run. The group offers retired professional athletes options like speaking engagements, as well as savings on travel, healthcare, and legal services.

Brad Edwards, CEO of NFL Alumni and a former safety who played in nine NFL seasons between 1988 and 1996, said that he sees NFT collectables as an extension of sportsmen making money off of selling their memorabilia and conventional trading cards to fans.

“Many times someone may sign [physical memorabilia] and then sell it, then they’ll see it pop up for resale. It’s on a secondary market, and the player did all the work but didn’t receive any of the rights or rewards for what is rightfully theirs,” Edwards explained. “We certainly think that blockchain technologies—the authentication, protection, and ownership of property and those rights—make sense for us.”

The NFTs are anticipated to reflect noteworthy on-field performances by retired athletes. A collectable featuring Edwards, for instance, may show his legendary two-interception performance for the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI against the Buffalo Bills.

Fans who collect the tokens have the chance to vote on features for the next NFT drops and receive incentives like actual goods that have been autographed or “metaverse-based” experiences and video material from retiring players.

At an approaching NFL alumni event later this month in Dallas, Edwards expects between 50 and 100 players to show up. It is at this event that he plans to start enrolling players who want to produce artifacts for the NFLA’s new market with Aventus.

“We try to make sure that the preponderance of those funds goes back to the players. Sometimes as much as 70% will go back to a player,” Edwards stated of the usual NFL alumni deal revenue splits.

With several partners, the NFL already has a variety of NFT programs. NFL Rivals, a mobile football game supported by the NFT, contains NFL players, while Dapper Labs’ NFL All Day, a marketplace for video-based digital artifacts of active players, debuted in 2022. For a fantasy football game based on the NFT with cash rewards, DraftKings has a deal with the NFL Players Association (but not the league itself).

In 2022, the league was responsible for 82 of the top 100 most-watched television broadcasts in the country. Former NFL players frequently serve as commentators and analysts on NFL game broadcasts and programs, which Edwards anticipates will increase demand for their memorabilia.

“That notoriety is continuing to give rise to the popularity of former players,” he stated.

Peyton and Eli Manning, two of the greatest quarterbacks ever, broadcast “Monday Night Football” games on ESPN as retired athletes now. In April 2021, the brothers started a series of NFT artwork, and Peyton invested in Candy Digital, a sports and entertainment NFT firm, later the same year.

One of the best NFL players of all time, Tom Brady, has agreed to call NFL games for Fox Sports beginning in 2024. Brady co-founded Autograph, an NFT firm, which in early 2022 raised $170 million while collaborating with the PGA Tour, ESPN, and DraftKings. Brady, though, served as a spokesperson for the now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

However, those well-known legends have a simpler road to sustained success and popularity beyond their careers. The group believes that NFTs may help those players capitalize on their legacies because countless more players find themselves without a lucrative job after a successful pro football career.

“There’s such a ready-made market for that Hall of Fame, top-of-the-food-chain type of athlete. It’s all around them; they don’t have to go looking for that,” Edwards explained.

“Where we serve our membership are players, some of whom were not even vested players—they may have gone to training camp for a year or two. We serve a lot more ‘meteors’ like me as opposed to stars like Tom Brady.” Edwards concluded.

Image: Wallpapers.com

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