The AFL has announced the launch of its own marketplace where fans can purchase officially registered non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The launch of ‘AFL Mint’ represents the first phase of a five-year partnership between the AFL and Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands.
It will give fans the chance to purchase digital assets of their favourite AFL and AFLW moments from both the past and present decades with plans for it to be expanded to include exclusive events and game-day rewards, including ticket upgrades, hospitality, experiential zones and exclusive merchandise.
The launch is the first of its kind in Australian sport and sees the AFL become the latest sporting brand to delve into the metaverse, following in the footsteps of NBA TopShots, ICC Fancraze, MotorGP Ignite and UFC Strikeforce.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan described the launch of the NFT marketplace as an exciting new way for fans to get closer to the game.
“Our aim is to continue to bring fans new ways of engaging in Australian football and by partnering with Animoca, we will be playing in a digital space that is only getting bigger,” McLachlan said.
“We are officially entering the web3 space and excited to immortalise moments in time across our AFL and AFLW competitions.”
In line with the announcement is a preview of ‘AFL Genesis’ which is set to feature in the first drop on the marketplace due to be announced in coming weeks.
AFL Mint represents perhaps the strongest example yet of the way cryptocurrency and the metaverse is being embraced in the sporting world.
The AFL and NRL this year announced partnerships with crypto exchanges Crypto.com and SWYFTX respectively, while clubs from both codes have also struck sponsorship deals in the cypto space.
“Through AFL Mint we proudly celebrate our strong heritage while exploring the endless possibilities to connect with our fans in new ways,” an AFL statement read.
“We commit to building meaningful fan relationships and will be guided by our AFL Mint community on how we develop future product drops, and how to better engage and enhance their experience. Minting moments is only the beginning.
“We strive to innovate, to ensure our fans can share in the moments that matter and reap the rewards of investing in our great game.”
Fans can register for notifications on the first official drop on AFL Mint here.