After the Stade Français, the Paloise Section, the Bayonne Rowing club or the Toulon Rugby Club, the National Rugby League (NRL) decided to embark on the adventure of the NFTs. An adventure that aims to attract a fanbase younger for the Top 14 and the Pro D2. This is a first for a collective sports league in France. This project will consist of three tenders over three seasons from 2022 to 2025.
The Top 14 NFT project is not the first NFT adventure of a rugby club
And yet, this unprecedented approach of the NRL this is not the first meeting between the worlds of NFTs and rugby … If it is indeed the first national league in the country to launch into NFTs, as Emmanuel Eschalier, director general of the NRL, reminded AFP, several French clubs such as Stade français, the Paloise Section and Aviron bayonnais had signed with the Sorare du rugby: Sponsorlive. A first adventure in the new Panini of Web3.0. The Warrington Wolves club had also taken the plunge, by being the first rugby club to acquire an NFT collection.
An NFT market that is proving promising for Top 14 clubs
Over three seasons, there will be three lots of NFTs on sale. The first will feature the NFT cards of the thirty clubs from the Top 14 and from ProD2. We will be able to find the cards of 1,466 players, including 1,072 pros and 394 prospects, whose prices may vary depending on the rarity, the player, etc. The second batch will include collector’s video moments of the best moments of rugby. From the 1998-1999 season until today, rugby fans will be able to collect archive videos of the Top 14 and the ProD2. Finally, the third lot will be an open market, allowing all owners or potential buyers to exchange NFTs.
Rugby has a bright future with NFTs
With such a market, French rugby could well open the door to many fans of both the sport and non-fungible tokens. “Regarding the economic model dimension and the revenues that may be generated by this new offer, it is completely premature to anticipate or speculate. It is first necessary to be relevant in what is proposed. Then we will see the benefits, but our primary motivation is not financial, even if there is obviously an economic dimension and the ambition that this offer generates income” Emmanuel Eschalier, chief executive of the NRL, also believes. A legitimate ambition since this market could well attract many fans of the oval ball, as in the past Panini trading cards. With one detail, it is that blockchain technology offers a multitude of possibilities that were previously non-existent.
We can clearly see that the rugby world is increasingly interested in NFTs and Web 3.0 in general. As shown by the way the recent commitment of the Toulon Rugby Club with Doors3.io, an independent Web 3.0 consulting firm. As Emmanuel Eschalier pointed out, “We are in an innovation process. Rugby turned professional quite late, but it has always been in such an approach, whether at the level of refereeing or the use of technology. It is a new form of innovation in a new field that will become more and more important”. Sports in general, and especially French rugby, are beginning to see the interest of blockchain technology and in particular NFTs that lend themselves perfectly to the expectations of fans.
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Student passionate about entrepreneurship and fascinated by the technologies behind cryptos! Yes, I am convinced that the two are intimately linked: blockchain and NFTs are revolutionizing many sectors and present unprecedented opportunities.