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Dapper Labs to Launch Digital Collectibles for NFL

Posted by
Robert Hoogendoorn

Rumored to launch before January 2022

The NFL Player’s Association and the National Football League made a deal with blockchain company Dapper Labs to create digital collectibles based on NFL video highlights. Dapper Labs confirmed the agreement on Wednesday, after the news leaked earlier on Tuesday evening.

The NFL is one of the most popular sports associations in the United States. The deal with Dapper Labs would make the NFT project the second biggest licensing agreement, after the video game Madden NFL from Electronic Arts. Sports Business Journal suggests that the NFL marketplace for the rumored digital collectibles will launch before the beginning of the 2022 season in January. However, Dapper Labs and the NFL didn’t mention a release date yet.

Dapper Labs made a name in the blockchain industry with the launch of Cryptokitties in 2017, while this year it had its big mainstream breakthrough with NBA Top Shot. The NFT collectibles from NBA Top Shot exist on the Flow blockchain, a blockchain created by Dapper Labs themselves. This same blockchain would serve the digital collectibles for the NFL.

Since its launch last year, NBA Top Shot has generated $684.88 million in NFT trading volume. The lion’s share of the trading action took place early in 2021, while user activity dropped significantly over the past few months. Yet, NBA Top Shot still attracts thousands of NFT traders on a daily basis, and the biggest NFT sale in the past week had a $22.000 price tag. 

Source: DappRadar (NBA Top Shot)

Sports and NFTs

With the American passion for sports cards and memorabilia, various companies are betting big on sports NFTs. Many consider Dapper Labs a market leader with NBA Top Shot, while Sorare and their fantasy football game are making moves covering international football competitions. Collectible card game Topps already brought their baseball cards to the Wax blockchain, while now expanding to Avalanche. 

These projects combined have been good for more than $800 million in NFT trading volumes in the past 12 months. While NBA Top Shot has seen its trading activity decrease over time, Sorare is finding traction. They moved their operations over to a user-friendly platform where NFT trading can happen without gas fees or waiting times.

However, this is still peanuts when compared with the traditional sports collectibles. In Q1 2021 eBay reported to have sold $871 million worth of sports collectibles. The entire market has been estimated to generate $5.4 billion per year.

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