November 4 – Cash-strapped Barcelona are the latest club to enter the scramble to create NFTs, announcing a deal with Cyprus-based Ownix, a premium Ethereum-based NFT marketplace.
Barca is to make iconic photographic images from its 122 years of history available for ownership by fans through the digital auction house.
“As NFTs surge, we think it is important to give those collectors who are Barça fans an opportunity to own a piece of the club’s history,” says Guy Elhanani, CEO of Ownix. “This new and exciting asset class allows collectors to own things that weren’t possible to own before, and we’re thrilled to offer sports fans an opportunity to spearhead the movement. Our mission is to bring customers to purchase NFTs not simply for marketing them further onwards, but for the pleasure and pride of owning a piece of club history.”
NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) are unique digital assets that are unalterable and created as original pieces from physical artwork. NFTs use blockchain technology and they are assigned a digital authenticity certificate, which cannot be modified and enables secure certification and traceability.
The first Barca NFTs will be auctioned later this month as part of an on-going roll-out. The NFTs can only be bought using cryptocurrency through the native ONX Token, the ERC-20 token which processes purchases.
A Barca statement said the alliance with “Ownix will provide a new way for the Club to reach its followers from around the globe, as fans will now be able to acquire and own digital assets that will reproduce unforgettable blaugrana moments…(and is part of the)… club’s global expansion strategy and a further commitment to seek out new channels and formats to connect with new generations, while providing a different form of interaction with their fans around the world.” And, obviously, to tap the club’s fanbase for desperately needed new revenues.
Club president Joan Laporta said: “Barça has a very large fanbase around the world and leads the way in the digital domain with over 400 million followers in social networks. Given this scenario, the Club is constantly looking for new ways to connect with its fans, and we believe that creating these NFTs is a unique opportunity to continue growing and consolidating the Barça brand by bringing unique moments that have made Barça fans dream and FC Barcelona a well-known club on every level.”
The NFT market is moving fast. Last weekend a photograph of players celebrating Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal for Inter against Roma was ‘minted’ live during the game and turned into 100 limited edition NFTs that were dropped to AC Milan Fan Token holders on the Chiliz fan engagement app Socios.com.
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