EX Sports, a platform that allows fans to buy, trade and sell exclusive digital collectibles in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has launched the “Maradona NFT Collection” consisting of 10 rare souvenirs from football legend Diego Armando Maradona. In late October, four “NFT Platinums” were auctioned off at a VIP-only event at the DMCC Crypto Center in Dubai, while the remaining 6 souvenirs are currently up for auction. Each physical item has a limited number of “Gold NFTs” associated with it.
At the October event, the winners appropriated a number of exclusive Maradona items, including an autographed Argentina jersey from the 1986 World Cup in Mexico; an ST Dupont pen that Maradona signed with Napoli in 1984; and the Best Player Trophy awarded by El Mundo at the 1979 FIFA Youth World Cup. Each item is officially certified by World Soccer Treasures, one of the world’s largest collectors of soccer memorabilia, and the Maradona brand name and usage rights are legally authorized by Maradona’s former manager and close friend, Stefano Ceci.
EX Sports is now offering fans of the former player who passed away on November 25, 2020 a more affordable chance to own one of the six remaining items in Maradona’s collection. A new “Gold NFT” will be listed on December 5, and new pieces will be released on the EX Sports Marketplace platform every two days from then on.
“Blockchain means giving access to minors. This campaign is a great example of how we can achieve this,” said EX Sports CEO Toli Makris. All 10 items are listed on the EX Sports website, where fans can join the waiting list to purchase “Gold NFTs” and also have a chance to own the souvenirs.
EX Sports is a new blockchain-based NFT platform with a vision to support grassroots sports such as Muay Thai, weightlifting, jiu-jitsu and more. It allows sports fans to buy, trade and sell digital sports collectibles, bringing new revenue streams to the market for their favorite athletes.
The value of the broader NFT market is expected to grow to $75 billion (approximately Rs. 5,65,857 crore) by 2025, from approximately $14 billion today (approximately Rs. 1,05,615 crore), with much of the growth is driven by the boom in sports NFT products. One of the largest sports NFT marketplaces, Dapper Labs, saw its annual revenue nearly double last year to $700 million (approximately Rs. 5,279.6 crore) from $361 million (approximately Rs. 2,722.85 crore) in 2019, reported The Athletic.
Rarible, Mintable, Sorare and OpenSea round out a growing list of places where sports fans have spent more than thousands of dollars each on digital collectibles. Even cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase said last month it was launching a marketplace for NFTs, though the publicly traded company has yet to give an exact disclosure date.