Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) associated with the Australian Open’s Metaverse event, such as Rafael Nadal’s winning shot, are soaring in value!
The IRL event made history as the first Grand Slam to enter the metaverse, so it was a massive hit to sporting fans and NFT Collectors. The organizer of the AO, Tennis Australia, and Decentraland teamed up to stage the large-scale fusion of physical and digital events.
The happiest man in Melbourne right now 😁@RafaelNadal · #AusOpen · #AO2022 pic.twitter.com/9eKd9pgR4t
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2022
Fans who attended the matches in the metaverse had the chance to buy an AO Art Ball. Each one represents a tiny section of the championship court. On its own, it is already a collectible because it features exquisite art and patterns by an impressive line-up of artists. However, the real innovation is that if a winning point lands in your plot, you’ll receive footage of the play and exclusive virtual and physical merch.
Now, let’s look at how the NFTs are doing in the market.
Market Check: Rafael Nadal’s NFTs and More!
The event released 6,776 AO Art Ball NFTs for 0.067 – a very reasonable price considering the big names backing the project. After each match, the AO metaverse team collected data on where the winning shot in each real-world contest landed—then assigned the area to a particular NFT.
The partners were pleasantly surprised with the performance and demand for the virtual memorabilia. Ridley Plummer, metaverse and NFT project manager for Tennis Australia, said:
“At no point did we anticipate we’d sell out the public drop in three minutes. As a result, we’ve set the bar extremely high for what NFTs can become in the future.”
As of press time, AO Art Ball NFTs have recorded 1700 ETH ($4.5 Million) in trading volume. Since entry to the AO metaverse was free, the NFTs provided a way to mark a visit. So now that the tournament is over, fans are scrambling to see who has the winning points from the big matches. This model injects the concept of rarity into the NFTs, which is crucial for the next part: AUCTIONS.
Auction in Action!
25-year-old Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian to win a home-ground Grand Slam in 44 years in taking the women’s title. Then, AO metaverse shared visualization of the data linking to the AO Art ball NFT on Twitter. This dramatically pushed up the value of the asset. As of press time, the highest bid is 1.3 ETH ($3,457) which is 1940% above the floor price! Based on Etherscan, the original NFT holder sold the piece for 0.298 ETH, then worth about $780.
It’s a Barty party 🎉🎉 This point is one for the Aussies 🦘 AO Artball #486 caught her match point into the final 4️⃣ Women's final tomorrow 😬 https://t.co/Te89aEqERC pic.twitter.com/azuivoGvuN
— AOmetaverse (@AOmetaverse) January 28, 2022
Meanwhile, the NFT representing the match-winning shot of Nadal which landed him his 21st Grand Slam final victory is skyrocketing in value! The original NFT holder is HODLing his AO Art Ball. This means that its expected value has gone from around $700 to $8,438 in ETH. The latest offer is worth 3.2 ETH, almost 4,168% above the floor price.
The success of this project sets a precedent for other IRL sporting events. It proves that tournaments can be genuinely interactive, immersive and co-created thanks to NFTs and Web3! So it’s just a matter of time before we see another sporting event with a metaverse counterpart!
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