The Demand For NFTs in Sports Is Exploding in 2022

The sports industry is often seen as adopting innovative technologies, and the non-fungible token (NFT) craze is no different. From technological advancements such as body-related data tracking through sensors placed under players’ clothes, various applications of video technology, to virtual reality (VR), it's no wonder that the world of sports is also adapting to the NFT trend. In fact, NFTs in sports are becoming a mainstream phenomenon for fans, players, and sports clubs.
In this article, we’ll explore the evolution of technology in sports, the most valued collectibles, and how the demand for NFTs in sports is exploding. 

The World of Sports 

A few key statistics encapsulate the size of the global sports industry. From over 3.5 billion soccer and football fans around the world to an estimated $150 billion in revenue from sports equipment only in 2023, there is no shortage of impressive figures. The sports industry is a massive and growing business. The global sports market is currently worth a whopping $620 billion, according to PwC Sports Outlook, with the US market alone expected to hit $83 billion by 2023.
Here are some of the biggest statistics of the sports industry:

●    The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees were the two most valuable sports teams in the world in 2021, with an estimated value of over $5 billion each.
●    In the US, 28% of the population claims to be an avid sports fan, while 48% claims to be a casual fan. 
●    Soccer and football are the most popular sports, with 3.5 billion fans worldwide, followed by cricket with a surprising amount of 2.5 billion fans mainly located in Asia, Australia, and the UK.
●    In 2021, Connor McGregor, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo were the most well-paid athletes in the world, with a yearly income of $180 million, $130 million, and $120 million, respectively.

The sheer size of the industry may be surprising, but it's not all that difficult to see why it's so profitable. After all, there are so many different sports and activities that people engage in on a daily basis — from football, baseball, and basketball to hockey, cycling, and even rock climbing.

How Tech and Sports Go Hand in Hand

Technology has become an integral part of the sports industry. The advancements in technology over the years have impacted sports in more ways than one. Some of the significant technological advancements made in the world of sports are as follows:

  • Video Technology: Video assistant referees (VAR) use video technology to make decisions during matches by watching the game on various screens with slow-motion replays. This helps the referees to make the right decision and ensures fair play.  What’s more, coaches and athletes are also taking advantage of this technology. Being able to break down a play frame-by-frame or even see an entire game from another perspective can help coaches and players see what went wrong and how it can be fixed.
  • Safety Equipment: There are so many ways that technology is improving the equipment used in sports today. One great example of this is the development of smart helmets for cyclists. These helmets help cyclists ride safer and monitor impacts on the head, allowing medical staff to test further if they believe a concussion has occurred.
  • Training Methods: Newer training methods have been developed to help players improve their performance. These methods include computer simulations, data analysis, and biomechanics which help players overcome their weaknesses and emerge as better performers during matches or races.

Most Valued Collectibles in Sports 

Sports collectibles are a part of any avid sports fan's life. Some diehard fans spend thousands, if not millions of dollars, to acquire precious sports memorabilia. There have been many times in history when an item has become worth so much money that it is impossible to put a price tag on it. Here are some of the most valuable sports collectibles in history.

1.    Babe Ruth’s jersey sold for $4,415,658 
2.    Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball sold for $3 million
3.    Honus Wagner’s baseball card sold for $2.8 million
4.    Babe Ruth's bat sold for $1.265 million
5.    Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves from the Floyd Petterson fight sold for $1.1 million
6.    Babe Ruth’s Yankees contract with Boston Red Sox sold for $996,000

NFTs in Sports 

Over recent years, there has been an explosion in the demand for NFTs in sports. But how much money has been spent on NFTs in sports? And what does the future of NFTs in sports look like?
The sports industry is embracing the blockchain in a big way. According to a recent report by Deloitte Global, the number of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) sold in the global sports market is expected to reach $2 billion in 2022. As NFTs in sports grow in popularity, more notable sports figures are jumping on the bandwagon. From NBA legends to major football clubs, plenty of people and organizations are looking to get in on the action. Here are five of the most expensive NFTs in sports:

1.    LeBron James Statue sold for $21.6 million: Non-commercial rights to the original photograph of a LeBron James photograph taken by a photographer named Kimani Okearah. 
2.    MLB Champions Brett Gardner sold for $21.28 million: Rights to a virtual figure of Brett Gardner, a New York Yankees center fielder. 
3.    Jermall Charlo Lions Only GOLD ULTIMATE sold for $19.1 million: A digital card signed by Jermall Charlo, a WBC world middleweight champion. 
4.    Michael Jordan SportPunk sold for $5.06 million: A cryptopunk of Michael Jordan created by Larva Labs. 
5.    Rare Diego Maradona 2020-21 sold for $4.03 million: Digital Diego Maradona trading cards.

NextHash Launches Singularifty Platform for NFTs in Sports 

Looking back at the many ways NFTs in sports have aided teams and leagues, it’s evident that this technology is not going anywhere anytime soon. NFTs have the power to revolutionize the way we interact with sports, both as players and fans. 
There’s no doubt that NFTs in sports are in increasing demand. This is why NextHash is launching a platform for sports NFT digital collectibles called Singularifty. With this move, NextHash is well on its way towards revolutionizing the sports NFT collectibles market. This is an exciting development for NFT collectors, investors, and sports fans as it allows them to find and purchase limited-edition, scarce sports NFTs.