EOSIO NextGen NFTs: NFLPA Claims Home Turf on Upland

NFL players join Topps (MLB), the NBA, and soccer ventures around the world. Upland’s real world connection is the right fit for the National Football League Players Association NFTs.

The NFLPA’s choice in EOSIO-built Upland is strategic. If you’ve played mini-games within the NFL’s digital marketing ecosystem, then you probably understand why. 

A Unique Product: Mini-game Plus a Geo App

Both Upland and football have geography at the core of their product model. All sport teams do, but football stands apart for a variety of reasons. The most notable aspect is the scarcity of games. Football is played just once per week, and for most teams, less than 20 times per year. This makes each game a bit like a holiday.

Another key factor in choosing Upland is its mini-games potential. Maybe it’s the time in between plays that draws football fans to mini-games. Whatever it is, Upland’s capacity to tie in geography with quick-play is enough to catch the eye of several football marketing teams. Add to that the capacity of ownership of digital assets via NFTs and there’s real disruptive potential.

NFTs Uphill Battle

There’s a turbulent history between the NFL and the players’ association. Thus, it’s not surprising to learn that the NFLPA decided to embrace NFTs quickly following the NFL’s denial/delay to include cryptocurrencies and NFTs in their digital marketing campaigns. With NFTs finding favor with the NBA and MLB (Topps), it’s only logical for at least some teams to want in. Pressure from players, influencers and fans also drive NFT adoption.

Organizations experienced in negotiating with the NFL (and NCAA for that matter) know that timing matters. Not to entirely fault the NFL, since it does resides squarely in the spotlight concerning a myriad of issues. The NFL must contend with not only insurance and bureaucracies, but also public opinion on matters that have little or nothing to do with football. Such is the burden of the most powerful media attraction that the world has ever known. This truth becomes clearing when considering the circus around a solitary championship gameday.

While the NFL decided to hold off on the NFT craze, it did hire a blockchain strategist. This seems a necessary course even if merely a temporary, public relations stunt. NFTs are growing in popularity among the youth. Colleges already see digital ownership agendas permeating across regional economies. It won’t be long before every college athlete hoping to turn pro expects to have NFT options.

Players and Fans Demand NFTs!

NFTs empower both players and fans alike. For the turf wars associated with football games, NFTs become that more meaningful. Every game is about more than just the culmination of a week of carefully chosen team strategy, skill drills, and individual study. It’s about more than technicals like monitoring the IR wire to see who’ll be playing. There’s much more to the game than boasting and bragging rights from last year’s rivalry game. Every game, at least during the early part of the season, can determine the fate of a year’s worth of planning, effort, and networking.

Talk about the desire to own a part of something. NFTs offer a way to take that next step in the digital economy. What might surprise newcomers is what that aspect truly means. NFTs are already being used for digital access and to unlock hidden features. Simply put, NFTs reinvent the marketing dynamic.

Endzone Reflections

Players (e.g. NFLPA) demand NFTs because it maximizes their efforts. Fans demand NFTs because it connects them closer to what they value. Teams, especially the most successful ones, eye NFTs for their potential to grow beyond current constraints. Reasons certainly overlap. And it’s those intangibles that should have organizations champing at the bit to institute NFTs.

Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs are creating new markets. While their empowerment of users (and players) may scare existing administrative bodies, it would be foolish to discount their potential. Just like the airplane opened the world to new opportunities that trains and ocean liners could never match, organizations need to embrace the liberty and profit potential of NFTs.

Disruptive technology like the Internet eventually prove their worth. Either the NFL will follow in the footsteps of companies like Amazon and Google or fall (a bit too far this time) as it did when the USFL snatched Herschel Walker from the rookie draft in NYC.

  • Fun fact #1: Presidents Donald John Trump (‘receiver’, Republican) and Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (running back/receiver, Democrat) both played organized football.

  • Fun Fact #2: Herschel Junior Walker (running back/all-purpose, Republican) is running for Senate and does 1,000+ push ups per day.

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