On Monday, the National Basketball Association filed five non-fungible token (NFT) trademarks under the name “The Association.”
The trademarks cover a wide range of virtual consumer goods, including game tickets, programs, collectibles, trading cards, memorabilia, jerseys, scorecards, video games, autographs, audio and downloadable multimedia – all to be verified by NFTs.
The NBA also owns Ethereum Name Services (ENS) domains – nba.eth and theassociationnft.eth – and has partnerships with Web 3.0 companies such as Coinbase, which sponsors the League’s NFT platform NBA Top Shot.
Launched in October 2020, NBA Top Shot is an NFT marketplace where users can buy, sell and collect “moments” in NBA history that are minted as NFTs on the blockchain. The platform has inspired other sports leagues such as the UFC to offer NFT collections to their fans.
King James looking for Slam Dunk in NFT space
Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time and one of the most famous athletes in the world, Lebron James has also registered four trademarks for NFTs and digital goods such as virtual shoes and trading cards.
The phrase “Strive for greatness” has been submitted to be used under three categories: NFTs and cryptographic tokens, apparel and apparel, and a third containing language about NFTs and industry advisory services. The trademarks allow James to mint, create, promote and distribute NFTs and cryptographic tokens to his fans and NFT collectors.
James also creates a variety of virtual experiences, some of which give fans the chance to play on a virtual basketball court.
The NBA has been a pioneer of NFT for many years. In addition to launching its NFT marketplace NBA Top Shot with Dapper Labs in 2020, a number of players own NFTs and have been vocal about the nascent technology. This year, the NBA All-Star game host city of Cleveland created a citywide NFT gallery, and the League also released 30 NFTs that doubled as VIP All-Star Game tickets.
But with the NBA early on, several sports leagues and teams are turning to NFTs and Web 3.0 as a new way to engage with fans and sell digital collectibles.
Only time will tell how successful NBA and Lebron James’ NFT projects will be. But if what the League and James have been up to in the NFT space so far is any indication, we expect it to be a slam dunk.