EFL Cup champions Manchester City are joining the NFT craze with a new drop to commemorate their title wins. Backed by the NEM blockchain, the “1” collection is a series of art pieces with a portion of proceeds going to the City in the Community charity. The drop is scheduled for 8PM on 24 May at Makersplace.
NEM Group is also helping two players, Riyad Mahrez and Kenny Dalglish, create their own memorabilia NFTs. Dalglish is famous for winning the Euro Cup three times, twice as a player, and once as a manager. Mahrez, meanwhile, was named African Footballer of the Year in 2016 and vital to the team’s success in 2020/2021.
NEM, Manchester City and NFTs
NEM’s Symbol platform may not be as familiar as other blockchain technologies in the NFT world. It launched in March after four years in development, with a focus on custom security token management and trading. It works on the Proof of Stake system, meaning it is more environmentally friendly than rival Ethereum.
Manchester City, fresh off a Premier League win, was looking for ways to “give fans a chance to collect unique moments from the careers of their favourite players.” NEM’s NFT system helped bridge that gap, said Dalglish, giving the team the chance to “reward their most devoted supporters.”
Sports a growing market for NFTs
Manchester City is just the latest sports franchise to dive into the NFT game. With recent announcements by Boca Juniors, the MLS in America, and Red Bull Racing, fans are getting a flood of chances to engage with their favourite teams.
It’s a natural progression for sports, given their long history with collectables and other memorabilia. The real question isn’t whether more athletes, teams and leagues will sign up for NFT drops in the future — it’s only a question if when.