On Tuesday morning, professional hockey team The New York Rangers launched its first-ever non-fungible token (NFT) collection, making available over 5,000 limited-edition items with tiered prizes and experiences.
While many NFTs are often bought as status symbols, these NFTs are promotional and offer a clear utility for buyers.
Each NFT acts as a specialty ticket to access the Rangers’ upcoming game against the Minnesota Wild on Henrik Lundqvist Night, on Friday, January 28 at Madison Square Garden.
The NFTs are being released in three ranked tiers, with each option granting buyers specific perks.
The least expensive, labeled “Common,” include 5,000 game tickets available at $20 each.
There are five total “Rare” NFTs priced at $200 each, which act as tickets and include a Lundqvist Night merchandise bundle.
Finally, with a starting bid of $1,000, the one “Legendary” NFT acts as a ticket and includes a goalie stick autographed by Lundqvist himself.
Fan engagement has become a key incentive for the professional sports world to prepare for the metaverse. Early on, NBA Top Shot used NFTs to reimagine the idea of the collectible trading card.
And today, the NBA is debuting a new innovative video system that develops 3D lifelike renderings in a matter of seconds, allowing fans to watch live games virtually on the court.
With The Barclays Center becoming the first stadium to utilize this technology, the Brooklyn Nets are now welcoming fans to the “Netaverse.”
“We are constantly looking for fresh and innovative ways to engage with our fans, and we see the emergence of digital collectibles, which combines sports and technology, as a fun way for fans to connect with the team,” says David Hopkinson, Executive Vice President of MSG Sports and President of Team Business Operations.
Rangers fans will have the option to bid on or purchase individual NFTs through DropShop, with auctions ending at 10 A.M. on January 25. The buy-now option is set to conclude on January 30.
However, the distribution process is currently stalled, with “technical difficulties” notices posted on the DropShop website.