While NFTs have begun to lag, one brand is betting on rising college athletes to help them catch up. And, of course, a touch of nostalgia.
NFT platform Heir is hosting NFT Jam, a two-day event.
The highlight of the event, which will be held in Atlanta on September 9-10, will be a two-on-two full-court basketball tournament inspired by the classic ’90s video game NBA Jam.
Some of the best high school basketball players in the country will compete to make the crowd yell “Boom shakalaka!” Elliot Cadeau, Ja’Kobe Walter, Layden Blocker, Corey Chest, Tyler McKinley, and Ryan Forrest are among the student-athletes taking part.
Heir has signed partnership agreements with all 18 student-athletes as part of the brand’s NIL and Web3 brand ambassador programmes.
The Web23 House, a full day of Web3 educational programming and creator tools, will kick off the experience.
“For us, it’s about creating new ways to connect fans with their favorite athletes both digitally and IRL,” Heir co-founder Jeffrey Jordan told Adweek. “NFT Jam will continue to be a tentpole moment of our brand where we annually bring the next generation of high school stars to this experience.
“The unique two vs. two full-court format combined with the Web3 workshops and our NFT Jam membership experience create an innovative platform for both the players and their communities,” he added.
Jordan said simplifying the process for Web2 sports fans to enter the Web3 space at NFT Jam gives the brand an opportunity to showcase the experience, community and connectivity that Heir offers.
The event is open to the public and will feature digital and physical giveaways.
In 2021, NFTs were thriving. Non-fungible tokens, on the other hand, have seen a drop in price and demand this year. Overall NFT sales on the largest token marketplace, OpenSea, fell 67% month over month.
In May, Google search interest in the term “NFT” was roughly one-third of its peak in January.
NFTs, on the other hand, have become deeply embedded in the sports category. Dapper Labs recently launched a new marketplace with the NFL and started NBA Top Shot.
DraftKings has also recently gotten involved, introducing an NFT component to its Daily Fantasy Sports product. Sales of NBA Top Shot have also slowed, and it remains to be seen how some of these new NFT projects will fare.