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Whether they rule the entertainment business or the fashion industry, big brands are always looking for new ways to increase their income. Lately, they delve into blockchain technology to boost brand awareness among the younger, decentralized, and crypto-powered generation.
The NBA, Formula 1, and Nike are just of the major names looking to leverage blockchain into their favor. One might think that each of these corporations has a department of developers investigating new chain solutions 24/7.
However, building the bridge between big brands and blockchain technology, Dapper Labs, a consumer-focused blockchain company, made fun and games, which supports digital collectibles.
You may remember Dapper Labs as the creators of CryptoKitties, a blockchain game on Ethereum that allows players to buy, collect, breed, and sell virtual cats. That happened in 2017. Now, the company is stepping up its game by introducing the blockchain revolution to mainstream users via some of the world’s biggest brands.
The Global Reach of the NBA
The first pool of customers that Dapper Labs chose to dive into is probably the deepest and widest of them all, and it is filled up to the brim with sports fans. There is a global community of fans for every sports brand, team, athlete, etc. Their members spend ridiculous money on everything related to their subject of arduous passion, including video games, merchandising, and memorabilia.
When it comes to video games based on real-world sports, few can match NBA 2K, sold more than 9 million units in 2019, and got a seven-year deal worth $1.1 billion. With this much capital coming in only from the gaming industry, the NBA is looking at an efficient way to solidify its brand’s global reach. And, what better and more efficient tool for it than blockchain?
Dapper Labs and NBA teamed up to produce NBA Top Shot, a platform that gives fans “ownership” over their favorite moments from the game.
According to their website, “NBA Top Shot will feature a social experience built around digital collectibles as well as a complementary head-to-head game designed to create a fun, authentic, and accessible fan engagement on a blockchain.”
A historical slam dunk or a game-winning 3-pointer can become digital collectibles or tokens. Their owners can keep them forever, trade them, or make them compete in online tournaments. The entire platform should act like a fantasy ecosystem built on an ever-expanding, ever-evolving blockchain network.
Nike Looking for Blockchain Income
Sports-based video games and blockchain technology seem like an obvious match. But what about fashion and blockchain? How much do virtual clothes or footwear would value if they would only be available in digital form?
According to Nike, they would be priceless. The giant producer of footwear has already partnered with Dapper Labs to create future shoes using blockchain technology. The items would become available in augmented reality games, and owners could transfer them from game to game, trade them, or even auction them on the blockchain-based network.
Sounds crazy, right? Who would invest in shoes that you can only wear online? Well, the people at Nike are stern believers that the future of fashion lies online. That is why they have already filed a patent for “Nike Cryptokicks,” as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which will be available virtually in games that advertise Nike products, and on social media.
The Nike Cryptokicks are similar to the CryptoKitties. Owners can purchase, trade, and auction them. They can also “breed” them to produce new, unique shoe designs that later may become real-world versions of the blockchain NFTs.
Formula 1’s Drive to Adopt Blockchain
Back to video games based on real-world sports, or almost. Formula 1 has built a steady fan base for more than a century. A global community of racing enthusiasts is also a pool of customers made of gamers, collectors, and die-hard memorabilia hoarders.
One of the latest video games licensed by Formula 1 is F1® Delta Time, a blockchain game developed and published by Animoca Brands. The game utilizes NFTs as collectibles that owners can trade for racing components.
Animoca Brands is a global developer that creates a bridge between popular brands, gaming, and blockchain technology to produce engaging applications and solutions for the next generation.
F1 Delta Time is not available yet, but the collectibles are, and some of them were already the subject of mind-boggling sales.
In May, Animoca Brands held an auction for the first F1 car in the game, which was eventually sold for 415.9 Ether – $106,000 at the time. Two other F1 cars were sold for around 100 ETH each. It was a surprising victory for both the developers and the community growing around the latest blockchain-based game.
Suddenly, another market is emerging parallel to the video games market, which deals with NFT collectibles directly related to the games. Blockchain technology is the best solution to combine two rich income sources for major brands into one high-performance golden goose.
Other Big Brands Testing Blockchain
As it is the case with every new technology, it takes a big-name brand to associate itself with it before the other, smaller ones join, too. After the NBA, Nike and Formula 1 showed their interest in blockchain. Other global reputation entities decided to jump into the pool as well. Among them, we can mention:
- MotoGP – Grand Prix motorcycle racing
- UFC – The mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Marvel and Atari
- Game of Thrones
- Star Trek
These well-known brands are just a few of the many that wish to capitalize on their fame by blockchain technology. Whether they will launch video games or random collectibles available as NFTs, they have a proper chance to attract millions of fans from all over the world. With this kind of reach and subsequent income, it will not be long until most brands use blockchain to spearhead their development strategies.