For many NFT enthusiasts, Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot was one of the key platforms attracting them to the space, and after the digital collectibles rose to fame in late 2020, it helped spark the surge in NFT popularity in 2021. Dapper was able to leverage both NBA fanship and a strong market for sports memorabilia to generate over $1 billion in sales (as of May 2022). The company is aiming to do something similar with the NFL, partnering with the football league on an NFT marketplace called NFL All Day.
To promote the platform, which initially launched in closed beta back in February, and its first digital pack drop, Dapper and the NFL tapped Super Bowl 2020 champion and Kansas City Chiefs MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes for a new ad. It’s a similar strategy to what Dapper employed for NBA Top Shot, which benefitted from a marketing partnership with NBA superstar Kevin Durant.
In the spot, which will gain visibility through social media and air on the NFL Network, Mahomes asks, “What if you could own a moment, a moment when everything is on the line?” That one question epitomizes what the NFT collectibles are all about, as it’s a way for fans to own special commemorative pieces of their favorite players or plays. Collecting and memorabilia are a huge part of sports culture, and that’s something that should fuel NFTs long-term, Dapper believes.
“…we just know that sports fans are going to be a huge path as far as breaking crypto and Web3 into culture. And what bigger brand to help go on that journey with than the NFL?” remarked David Feldman, SVP of Marketing at Dapper Labs.
For the NFL, it’s not the league’s first time getting involved with NFTs, as it did release NFT versions of tickets in a partnership with Ticketmaster last season, and also offered trading card NFTs with Panini. That said, the NFL demographic, which has been losing viewers under age 50, isn’t as well aligned with the typically young crowd that has embraced NFTs to date.
According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, regular NFL followers lag behind followers of other major sports leagues like the NBA or MLS when it comes to current or past NFT/crypto ownership, as well as future interest in purchasing NFTs. Among those with no interest in NFTs or crypto whatsoever, NFL followers are only second to MLB followers (50% vs 52%). It’ll be interesting to see if NFL All Day can move the needle on NFTs for football fans.