Liverpool’s NFT move could earn ‘more than UK£8.5m’

  • ‘LFC Heroes Club’ to consist of two categories
  • Liverpool working in partnership with Sotheby’s for collection
  • Spirt of Shankly supporters union meets with club for assurances on NFT launch

English soccer giants Liverpool have launched their first official non-fungible token (NFT) collection.

The ‘LFC Heroes Club’ offering features illustrations of 24 Liverpool stars and has been produced in partnership with fine arts company Sotheby’s.

Liverpool have created two categories of digital collectibles, which the club says are part of efforts to make NFTs more accessible to its fans. The first is a set of 24 unique ‘Legendary’ one-of-one NFTs. The second is a series of generative ‘Hero Edition’ NFTs that combine multiple player illustrations to produce a unique digital collectible.

The Premier League club said that owning an NFT could enable supporters to join an ‘innovative fan community’, with access to a community forum, unique experiences, virtual hangouts, competitions and retail discounts.

The NFTs will be available to purchase during a three-day sale from 30th March to 1st April. The sale will be run and managed on Polygon, which claims to be an energy-efficient blockchain.

Liverpool added that half of the proceeds from the Legendary auction will go to supporting the club’s charity, the LFC Foundation. Ten per cent from the Hero sale and an additional ten per cent of all future resale royalties will also go to the charity.

According to The Athletic, the club could bring in more than UK£8.5 million (US$11.1 million) if all of the NFTs sell out and once the LFC Foundation donation is made.

“The LFC Heroes Club drop is a first-of-its-kind initiative, which seeks to bring a new, exciting and innovative way for supporters around the world to engage with the club,” said Drew Crisp, senior vice-president of digital at Liverpool.”

He continued: “We know that not all fans will be ready to explore the world of NFTs. However, we have conducted some in-depth fan research before entering into this market. We found that almost a quarter of 18 to 34-year-olds would be likely or very likely to participate in official NFT offerings from the club. This is a great chance to offer fans something truly special and at the same time give back to our LFC Foundation in the local community and beyond.”

Given NFTs’ carbon footprint, and that they have been used as a speculative asset, the Spirit of Shankly supporters union has spoken to Liverpool asking for clarification on why the club has moved into the digital collectibles market.

‘LFC do not require our consent in relation to merchandise and up to now we have not endorsed any LFC merchandise, digital or otherwise and similarly it is not for us to endorse this product,’ said a Spirit of Shankly statement.

‘It is a fan’s decision alone what they choose to buy from the club. We only hope that the risk involved here is apparent and we expect LFC to assess this marketplace constantly and communicate with supporters.’

Liverpool look unlikely to be the only English soccer club to move into the NFT space. According to The i in January, all 20 Premier League teams are exploring the possibility of launching NFTs.

Earlier this month, it was reported the Premier League was poised to announce its NFT partners in agreements that could be worth more than UK£434 million (US$570 million) over four years.

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