Sporting Crypto - August 1st 2022: Immortalising Geoff Hurst's Memories Using NFTs
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Intro Notes, Plugs & Amendments 🔌🔧
I’m unsure if there have been more stories in a week, since I started the newsletter in September 2021.
I could have written about pretty much any of the stories in the More sports crypto stories & things to put your radar section.
It seems as though a crypto market crash and slight recovery (Ethereum up 100% from the lows after a 75% drop) have seen those in sports maintain enthusiasm to ‘do things’ in Web3. They’re not always good, but the enthusiasm is remaining.
New entrants have actually (anecdotally speaking) found this time of respite and less hype as the perfect environment to try and test interesting, innovative and novel things.
In this edition, we dive deep into an activation or campaign that I really am fond of.
🔌 If you would like me to come to an event and speak about Sports & Crypto / NFTs, please reach out on the above platforms or reply to this email.
This Week’s Deep Dive: Immortalising Geoff Hurst's Memories Using NFTs
Most sport athlete NFT projects are awful.
But this project, that immortalises legendary England striker Geoff Hurst’s memories - in NFT form - is pretty awesome.
World Cup Winner Geoff Hurst is digitally preserving his memories of the 1966 World Cup Final for The Everlasting Memory Project in support of Alzheimer's Research UK.
He grew up with many of the team that won the 1966 World Cup and they played golf together for 𝟐𝟎 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 or so in their retirement, until that number started to deplete because of dementia. A very sad story.
Many researchers and neurologists are starting to link heading a football with early signs of dementia. Something Hurst feels very passionate about.
He believes that training sessions, where players can do repeated heading drills, inflict far more damage than matches, where you may head the ball only once or twice — and also believes younger children shouldn’t be heading the ball at all whilst their brain is still developing.
To preserve his own memories, Hurst has decided to immortalise them on a blockchain, in the form of a piece of digital artwork that has audio and visual components to it.
That’s pretty awesome.
The piece revolves around an audio recording of Sir Geoff reliving the day which has been used to generate a “voice gem” – a 3D image unique to that memory.
It is created by Reeps One, an artist who creates digital gems that are unique to one's voice. Every single voice is unique in the same way fingerprints are. The voice is processed and used to generate a 1/1 NFT Gemstone that is unique in colour and form.
Proceeds from the sales, both primary and secondary, will be donated to two charities; Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society.
In his own words, Sir Geoff says
"My own memory – the age I am – could fade”
The personal nature of this project is something I really do love.
And the permanent and immutable nature of blockchains means creating an NFT series of these memories is the perfect way to store them.
This can’t really be done without a blockchain, actually. Which is always good. Because far too many people are creating things that don't really need to use a blockchain.
But actually, does it really need to be an NFT? A mini rant
I had a response when posting about this story on LinkedIn that read like this:
“I love the concept behind this project and still, this doesn't look like the NFT component is enabling any use case here.
The scarcity and ownership dimensions add nothing to this relevant piece of personal and football history.”
This is completely wrong both technically but also, I guess, as an opinion (am I allowed to say that?!)
First and foremost - this is art. It absolutely does not need a use case.
Even though, some of the 1/1s that are being auctioned grant ‘money can’t buy experiences (like going to the world cup with Sir Geoff Hurst to watch England) — the fact that this is an NFT does not mean it *has* to do something. That’s become a new thing that many agencies, consultancies and thought leaders in the sports industry have tried to promote - that NFTs have to have some form of utility, is pretty ludicrous.
Art does not need a use case, so let’s nip “This doesn’t look like the NFT component is enabling any use case here’” in the bud.
Now to “The scarcity and ownership dimensions add nothing to this relevant piece of personal and footballing history”
First of all, scarcity is something that is seen online already without NFTs in a variety of ways. Domains, ad space — I can go on but you get the idea.
NFTs, inherently are a freemium model. Let me explain this so there’s no confusion.
Anyone can see NFTs, anyone can ‘right click and save them’. Only one person can own that NFT, though. So the scarcity is inherently in the ownership, not the consumption. That’s something I think this person has missed, here.
After responding - they came back for more!
“Art doesn't need a use case, of course, nor does it need blockchain as a medium to become digitally relevant.
Immutability is not a valid reason per se, several other non-blockchain solutions can grant it. Most of them would arguably be more customer-friendly and easily adopted than NFTs.”
Okay, so I got them to understand that art doesn’t need a use case. Good start.
But does it need a blockchain to be digitally relevant? Interesting question.
Well yes if you’re selling art as you would in the physical world.
If you want the ownership to be provable on a distributed, transparent system - you probably should do.
If you want secondary market royalties perpetually so that you might retire one day, yeh you probably should do.
And again these statements aren’t specific to this project, but more generally.
Blockchains aren’t perfect, but they’re better than most systems at doing a lot of things.
Everything an NFT can do can be done on a centralised database is only true if:
- The database is perfectly secure
- The database owner is 100% trustworthy
- Everyone agrees to the same protocol and changes
- Everyone agrees it’s permissionless
- API equally available at all times to everyone
If you can go and do that, then heck, you’ll probably be one of the richest people on this planet because it’s a multi-trillion dollar opportunity.
*Breathes* — mini rant over.
So why does this NFT project interest me?
• This project isn't driven by revenue, as most NFT drops you see in sports are.
• The idea is novel and creative.
• The mission is clear and the story is strong.
NFTs in football have gotten a bad rep, and rightfully so.
Crypto & NFTs 1.0 in football have been executed terribly and driven by solely one thing; making money.
But surely, when decision makers realise that you can create powerful campaigns and engage fans in a more tangible (and credible) way than simply using social media -- that is when we'll see some cool propositions.
Even if this project doesn't raise huge amounts of money, I like it a lot.
A novel approach with a good story and purpose, amongst a plethora of cash grab crypto projects in sports that are just trying to make a quick buck.
More sports crypto stories & things to put your radar
FC Barcelona announces the sale of 24.5% of Barca Studios to Socios for 100m euros. This deal is for all web3 rights, forever…FC Barcelona announces the sale of 24.5% of Barça Studios to the company Socios.com for 100 million euros to accelerate the club’s audiovisual, blockchain, NFT and Web.3 strategy. More details barca.link/NEFo50K8xVu
The English FA and the Portuguese Professional Football League have become the latest rights-holders to issue an RFP for licensing NFTs.
Ticketmaster have put a job ad out for Senior Product Manager for NFT integrations.
Digitalbits have failed to make their first payment to Inter Milan for this season. Inter will therefore remove them from the front of their shirt.
You can now claim Lazio tickets as NFTs via Binance (who are Lazio’s shirt sponsors!)
Stadium Live, a sports community platform, have raised $10m to expand its digital world.
This is a great article by Nic Carter on ‘physical NFTs’ and why they matter.
POAPs are being given to WNBA fans who attend the WNBA Commisisoner’s Cup Championship for free
FTX x Steph Curry x NFTs…the 2974 collection is doing more for good, via their community of NFT holders.
Great reads, great tweeting and more general ‘stuff’ that could impact you
Warner are creating music NFTs with Muse.
Free stuff on the internet isn’t really free
Tiffany & Co have launched a premium NFT. 250 NFTs that Cryptopunk holders can mint for 30 ETH (~$50k).
Great article by Amelia Winger-Bearskin here titles ‘Hate NFTs? I have some bad news for you…’
Why right-click saving isn’t what you think
Damien Hirst’s ‘The Currency’ was almost 50/50 in terms of who kept the physical version and who kept the digital! Game theory at its best.
Fancurve have partnered with Everton, to become their digital wearable partner.
Thanks for reading!
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