Several football clubs are associated with NFTs. This shows their inclination towards the crypto world. While many sports consultants and commercial officers want to convince people that this association is to increase utility and fan engagement, to many others it looks like it is a financial notion crafted to enhance the already rich at the expense of suspicious fans.
But a year later, this involvement of football clubs in the crypto sector has turned to broken bricks. The recent report by dappGambl, a crypto and online gambling website said that many high-profile NFTs promoted by celebrities and athletes are now virtually worthless, around 95% of all NFTs analyzed in its sample.
The Athletic, last year, found that nearly every Premier League club had promoted a cryptocurrency project that had crashed in value. Some of the clubs supporting NFTs include the Manchester United and LFC Heroes Club. Neymar, Paul Pogba, and John Terry are some of the big names who promoted NFT schemes which are no longer worth investing in.
LFC Hero’s Membership
Liverpool launched an NFT scheme to offer fans the digital artwork of 23 players and the manager, which is cartoon-styled. This initiative was launched in March last year.
Although this initiative attracted disrespect from the fans, Liverpool says that the scheme raised about £280,000 for the LFC foundation and contributed to the work on education and employment programs and also for disability support. The club also said that the scheme is not about investment but about creating an online community where fans can connect and engage with like-minded people and enjoy that range of ongoing benefits.
But the last tweet on the X platform accounts from last year and the server on Discord is virtually dormant too.
Manchester United’s NFT scheme is more active than Liverpool’s. The scheme is carried out in coexistence with the blockchain firm Tezos. The club built a partnership with the Tezos which sponsors the club’s training gears.
The deal was announced in February 2022 and since then Tezos token has lost 85% of its value. It is difficult to know the exact purpose of the scheme but the club is promoting the digital collectibles of Manchester United regularly.
The club says that their scheme is different from others because there are a lot of free NFTs available. These will give me access to genuine rewards, and matchday experience, and ask me anything to talk with the players. The scheme is still active.
The French midfielder Paul Pogba posted a video on social media X promoting a scheme called as “Cryptodragons.” This scheme is also virtually worthless and those who have owned it have lost almost all invested.
Former Chelsea and England captain John Terry’s Ape Kid’s Football Club (AKFC) has become symbolic of the sports NFT craze. Terry and the top footballers promoted a storyline that said that in a magical world that ruled the metaverse, magical thousand-year-old trees sprouted cute baby apes.
The scheme started by selling “apes” for around $200. These are now worthless. They have provided benefits like participation in the AKFC World Cup game. But this doesn’t happen.
Crawley Town, the club that was taken over by WAGMI United, is a group of American NFT investors with the new owners promising to take Crawley up the divisions through the use of NFTs.
The club is now for sale again. The club is reportedly now on the top but as for NFTs the sales trickle. WAGMI in August denied the group is not abandoning Web3 and is not rugging the community (taking people’s money and running away). Further, they added that they are currently active with the NFT strategy.
Sorare NFT schemes, which is not so famous football scheme, has a big partnership with the Premier League La Liga and the Bundesliga. The company sells NFTs which are intended to function like a fantasy football game.
One of the issues with this scheme is that it is highlighted as an investment product regardless of the company’s claim to the contrary. However, it has proved to be fairly strong despite the wider NFT crash.
Son Heung-min and Neymar
The Tottenham player, Son Heung-min supported a scheme called NFTSTAR last year. He promoted the scheme on X but later deleted it when followed by fan backlash.
Similarly, the Paris Saint-Germain player, Neymar also promoted the scheme but has stopped now. The posts from NFTSTAR have also stopped and moderators have abandoned the Discord server.
Many Croatian footballers and Inter Milan players have also promoted the scheme. Marcelo Brozovic now plays in Saudi Arabia, also promoting the scheme. This scheme has lost 98 percent of its value.
Many NFT projects promoted by football clubs, celebrities and athletes lost all the craze that was seen when the tokens were launched. Many of the schemes highlighted by the clubs and the players have ended. Despite heavy investments and engagement, the projects are now worthless.