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The Ultimate Guide to Basketball and NBA NFTs

You may have heard of NBA Top Shot, but how much do you know about the potential of the NBA NFTs? Let's take a look.

Nick Lighter

You may have heard of NBA Top Shot, but how much do you know about the potential of the NBA NFT? Do you know about the other types of NFT the NBA is offering? Are you ready to make this idea work for your team, organization, or brand?

The NBA is doing excellent work in creating basketball NFTs that immediately appeal to their fans. From NFT projects offered by individual teams, to league-wide NFT projects, the NBA is doing amazing things with NFTs. These officially licensed blockchain-based digital collectibles and experiences are helping the NBA to maximize NFT profitability while ensuring that their fans remain loyal and engaged.

Because there are so many NFT projects around the league, to keep it simple let’s look at NBA-wide NFT projects and how they are working to bring fans closer to the game. At present, the NBA is operating two unique and innovative basketball NFT projects, both of which can be tracked on Twitter by following NBA x NFT. Let’s examine them separately.

NBA Top Shot

The more seasoned of the two NBA NFT projects, NBA Top Shot launched in 2020 in partnership with Dapper Labs. Designed to turn “electrifying, internet-breaking NBA and WNBA highlights into officially licensed one-of-a-kind digital items that you own,” Top Shot offers a range of exclusive NBA collectibles. 

The Moment NFTs are part highlight reel and part trading card. Fans can buy Moments that are “Common” with 50,000 units available, or increasingly scarce with the top level limited to just 99 units. Some users collect Moments of their favorite player, much like NBA NFT cards, others opt to build a virtual team, and some collect special NFT-based limited edition sets.

In addition to the digital assets, NBA Top Shot also features an NFT membership roadmap that “can also unlock special in-person experiences that give you front row tickets to the future of fandom.”

The Association NFT

The other major NBA NFT project is called The Association. Launched in 2022 by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), The Association is centered on a digital asset that changes over time. 

As Ledger Insights explains, “The appearance of the NFTs will evolve based on players’ on-court performance. The more accomplished a player is throughout the season, the more their NFT will visually change.“

Part of what makes this project unique is that the Association NFTs are free. A user will pay only the gas fee to mint the token on the Ethereum blockchain. The NFTs were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, with highly engaged Top Shot users offered dedicated purchase rights.

In the first phase of the project, NFTs were created for each player in the 2022 NBA championships. Then, as The Association’s website describes, “The Association NFTs are connected to live data feeds and computations for each respective team and player via Chainlink Oracle. This allows each player’s NFT appearance to change in an automated manner based upon the pre-set achievements that are written into the Galaxis smart contract.

The more that a player accomplishes during the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the more visual changes their NFT will receive.”

An Emerging NBA NFT project

In September of 2022, the NBA announced a new NFT project, the details of which are only just emerging. Coin Desk summarizes “The National Basketball Association (NBA) is to develop a digital collectibles-based fantasy basketball game with European non-fungible token (NFT) platform Sorare.” The fantasy game, Coin Desk reveals, “will involve users creating a lineup of NFT-based collectibles representing NBA star players who earn points based on their real-life performances. The game will be released in time for the 2022-23 season in October.”

Key Takeaways

Other than introducing you to the exciting ideas that the NBA is bringing to NFTs, we wanted to use their successes to inspire you and your brand, team, league, or organization to think outside the box. Basketball NFTs are successfully engaging with fans in ways that may have been unthinkable before NFTs. 

From collectibles to real-world experiences, the NBA is rewarding millions of registered users with new video clips, trading cards, and other assets for their NFT collections. The blockchain records of NFTs make it easier than ever to track superfans, season ticket holders, and lifetime memberships, and to reward them with new drops. NFTs allow sales of one-of-a-kind items or exclusive access to events or people. 

In other words, the NBA can be a model for how you can create your own NFT project and start building your community. RareCircles has a sports NFT team ready to help you to increase brand loyalty and monetize your fanbase. 

Learn more today about how RareCircles can help you create your NFT.

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