Dapper Labs, creator of NBA Top Shot and CryptoKitties, reportedly plans to launch a National Football League (NFL) marketplace for NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

More than its fair share of capital Ns, that sentence, and here’s another: NFLPA, which stands for the NFL Players’ Association – also partnering with the crypto company in the new venture.

According to anonymous sources speaking with Sports Business Journal, the new NFL marketplace is likely to launch before the 2022 season begins in January. And the NFL and NFL Players Association will acquire an equity stake in Dapper as part of the deal.

The SBJ article says that the digital licensing revenue created for the players’ union as a result of the deal will be second only to what’s generated from EA Sports – maker of hugely popular sports video games including the “Madden” NFL series.

American football fans/crypto investors are taking note…

… and they’ll want to hope Dapper’s NFL NFTs replicate the same kind of success the NBA ones have enjoyed. At its peak, between January 2020 and May this year, NBA Top Shot had facilitated more than US$700 million in sales.

Built on the FLOW blockchain, NBA Top Shot tokenises basketball highlights sold as collectible NFTs on its marketplace. The proposed NFL version will likely follow the same model.

Sports NFTs are proving to be big business and are attracting big investors. About a week ago, Dapper revealed it’s now valued at a whopping US$7.6 billion after a $250 million funding round led by Coatue, Andreessen Horowitz and other big-shot sports-loving VCs.

The Sorare fantasy football (soccer) NFT platform, meanwhile, recently enjoyed Europe’s biggest-ever Series B funding round (US$680 million) and is also valued in the billions of dollars (US$4.3 billion).


Update: it’s all true

News just in – the rumours are now confirmed from Dapper Labs…


FTX signs Green Bay Packers star Aaron Jones

In related NFL/crypto news, the fast-growing, sports-loving crypto exchange FTX has just signed Green Bay Packers star Aaron Jones in a deal with West Realm Shire Services.

As reported by Cointelegraph, the popular running back will work with the crypto exchange’s ambassador team in an endorsement capacity and “long-term partnership deal”.

Jones joins other high-profile sportspeople working with FTX in a similar capacity and being paid in crypto. Among others, these include NBA star and Golden State Warriors talisman Steph Curry, and crypto-loving NFL legend Tom Brady – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and six-time Super Bowl winner.

It’s actually tricky to keep up with FTX’s sports-related partnerships. Some other notable ones in recent months include: long-term naming rights deals with the University of Califorina football field and the Miami NBA stadium

Oh, and let’s not forget its multiple-race-season sponsorship deal with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, announced just last week