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 opportunity to purchase digital assets of their favorite AFL and AFLW moments from decades past and present with plans for it to be expanded to include exclusive events and matchday rewards including upgrades tickets, hospitality, experiential areas and exclusive merchandise.
The launch is the first of its kind in Australian sport and sees the AFL become the latest sports 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 connect with the game.
“Our goal is to continue to provide fans with new ways to engage with Australian rules football and by partnering with Animoca we will be playing in an ever-expanding digital space,” said McLachlan.
“We are officially entering the web3 space and are excited to capture moments in time across our AFL and AFLW competitions.”
As per the announcement, a preview of “AFL Genesis” is expected to feature in the first release which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
AFL Mint represents perhaps the strongest example to date of how cryptocurrency and the metaverse are being embraced in the sports world.
The AFL and NRL announced partnerships with crypto exchanges Crypto.com and SWYFTX respectively this year, while clubs from both codes have also struck sponsorship deals in the crypto space.
“Through AFL Mint, we proudly celebrate our strong heritage while exploring the endless possibilities of connecting with our fans in new ways,” an AFL statement read.
“We are committed to building meaningful relationships with fans and will be guided by our AFL Mint community on how we develop future product deliveries and how to better engage and improve their experience. are just the beginning.
“We strive to innovate, to ensure that our fans can share the moments that matter and reap the rewards of investing in our great game.”
Fans can sign up to receive notifications on the first official AFL Mint drop here.