The NFL and NFL Players Association are officially in the NFT business.
The league and union have reached a deal to authorize Dapper Labs to create unique digital video NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of the top plays in a season and also in league history, according to an announcement made Wednesday morning.
“We believe blockchain technology has great potential to enhance the NFL fan experience in the future and we are excited to have Dapper Labs as one of our first collaborators in exploring this emerging space,” NFL senior vice president of consumer products Joe Ruggiero said in a statement.
Some NFL players, including Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, have already stepped individually into the NFT space. Mahomes signed a deal this spring to sell autographed digital artwork. A portion of those proceeds were designated for charities Mahomes supports. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, meanwhile, sold a set of digital trading cards for a reported $1.2 million.
The NFL/NFLPA product will launch later this season and revolve mostly around individual plays. One way to think of them is as a unique digital trading card with video. Wednesday’s announcement included two examples: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s 2020 “Hail Murray” touchdown pass to receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and the “Minneapolis Miracle” touchdown pass during the 2017 playoffs from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum to receiver Stefon Diggs.
ESPN Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher contributed to this report.