Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies has become the latest football player to participate in the world of digital collectibles bought and sold using cryptocurrency.
The 20-year-old released virtual art on Tuesday through the just-launched Binance Non-Fungible Token (NFT) marketplace. The pieces were crafted by illustrator Jack Perkins and relate to the Canadian left-back's blossoming on-field career in the Bundesliga.
Davies' limited-edition items, attainable through the purchase of $10 packs, are broken into tiers of rarity: platinum (one in the world), gold (four in the world) and silver (49,995 in the world). Once obtained, they can be sold through the Binance exchange.
Why it matters
By involving himself in a technology trend that sees billions of dollars exchanged each year, Davies is taking steps to emerge as a businessman in addition to an athlete.
It's a mutually beneficial branding ploy, too, as he adds star power to the recent Binance NFT marketplace launch while having his persona attached to a hot topic.
What has been said?
“It’s been crazy to see the way crypto has grown over the years to the point where I feel now it’s changing the game through NFTs and providing another opportunity for genuine engagement with fans," Davies said in a news release when the product was first unveiled.
"Away from football I am always looking into new technological changes to help engage with people across the world, and this is just another layer to my digital presence."
What is an NFT?
Experts view digital collectibles - known in the industry as NFTs - as a form of modern investment that is set to become mainstream in the coming years. They could one day be as widespread as the practice of obtaining physical items meant to grow in value over time, such as precious metals, antique furniture or even stamps.
NFTs come in many forms, from virtual trading cards to pieces of online art such as the ones Davies is set to help create, and they are viewed as valuable because of their scarcity and what they represent or symbolise to collectors.
While they certainly carry risk, they also have advantages over old-school collecting. For example, people can buy and sell items instantaneously through marketplaces such as Binance, where Davies' art will be traded, and their quality won't degrade over time.
Plus, Davies' NFTs come with real-world experiences tied to them. The one-of-a-kind platinum NFT includes a meet & greet at a Bayern game and a signed Champions League shirt.
Who are the other footballers involved in NFTs?
Antoine Griezmann, Gerard Pique and Rio Ferdinand are among the top backers of Sorare, a digital football card marketplace that has grown exponentially over the past year.
Goal spoke exclusively to industry sources for a breakdown on the future of NFTs and football.