Baseball has long been regarded as America’s favorite pastime, with a massive fan base matching that concept. In fact, nearly 15% of children, ages six to 12, in the United States play either T-ball or baseball.
So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Major League Baseball, or simply MLB, is one of the most successful sports associations of all time. As a leading sports association, the MLB is known for pushing the limits in an attempt to show appreciation for fandom, staying on top of the trends and listening to what their fans want.
So, it was only a matter of time until the MLB went Web3, and they’re doing so in a grand slam way.
MLB Partners With Candy Digital to Launch NFTS
Recently, Candy Digital announced that it got into bed with MLB to launch an ecosystem for fans to collect, buy, and sell digital collectibles. Now, reports are hitting the tape, outlining what those collections are and who they’re tailored for. First off, we know that Candy Digital and MLB want to target three different types of collectors:
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First, the partnership aims to attract the crypto-savvy collector. The type of collector that’s already active in the NFT market and an avid fan of baseball. Candy Digital already has a book of tens of thousands of collectors on its platform that fit this bill.
Speaking to the community he and his company have built, Scott Lawin, CEO at Candy Digital said:
We pride ourselves on not taking a product approach. We take a community approach. Our community lives very vocally and actively in discord. They’re our best marketing mechanism as they tell their friends about their purchases and share those ‘unboxing’ moments with their kids.
Digital Native Collectors
The team is also targeting the digital native. These are the consumers that are actively engaged in the social networking community and have a lifestyle that incorporates the latest and greatest in technology. Speaking to this group of collectors, Lawin had the following to offer:
This subset isn’t satisfied with being a passive consumer of media. They want to be engaged content users with more episodic and gamified content.
Next up, the company has no intention of leaving out the everyday sports fan. The vast majority of MLB’s fan base isn’t following what’s happening in the crypto and NFT industry. No, these fans are simply in it for the game. To target these consumers, Candy Digital has made it easy to use fiat currency at checkout. Speaking to this audience, Lawin said:
This part of our fanbase represents our broadest audience in the space. They often remark to us, ‘I heard about this product advertised on TV. I don’t know what NFTs are but I want to get involved.’ They often started out collecting physical baseball cards and hats and are interested in continuing their collector mindset within the digital realm.
OK, Candy Digital and MLB have their audiences laid out, but what exactly are they selling?
New MLB NFT Collections
According to various reports, there are going to be three different collections dropped through this partnership:
- Play of the Day. The play of the day series will showcase the most exciting play for each game of the MLB season. These plays will be selected by MLB Network and available following every game day at 12pm through midnight.
- 2021 MLB Icon Packs. The 2021 MLB Icon packs will feature top players in the sport. Each pack will come with three player NFTs across five rarities. They’ll also come with custom visualizations, season stats, and unique finishes.
- Uncut Diamonds. Finally, the Uncut Diamonds collection will feature the sport’s future stars. The collection will include the top rated prospects for 2021 with one player featured from each team. For many of the players in the collection, it will be the first time they’re featured as part of any collectible. Each NFT will come with a digital photo and signature.
The Future of the Partnership
While the Candy Digital/MLB partnership is exciting as it stands, there are big opportunities for the future. Since Candy Digital’s founders have their hands in so many successful businesses, the sky’s the limit.
For example, there’s already talk of future official MLB jerseys coming with digital representations of them as NFTs. So, when a fan purchases an official jersey to wear, they’ll get a digital collectible along with it that will last forever on the blockchain.
The same can be done with just about any MLB product, and doing so has the potential to greatly increase both the demand and value of these collectibles.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is simple. MLB isn’t just diving into the NFT space, they’ve dived in with a splash, swam across the pool, and hopped on a bike to dry off. The sports association is launching several digital assets with more expected to come. This is great news for baseball fans and the NFT community as a whole.
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