NFTs Are Coming To Nascar, And They Could Change The Collectibles Market In The Sport
In the early days of NASCAR if fans wanted any sort of souvenir or collectable they had to go to the track and hope their favorite driver was selling t-shirts or handing out hero cards with their picture on it. By the 1990s however as the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr. rose to prominence, he started taking control of his merchandise licensing his likeness, his car number and even his signature. It created a revenue stream for him and soon others took notice.
By the turn of the century the NASCAR merchandise market had exploded, and fans could buy anything from hats, to diecast cars, cooking utensils, chef’s aprons, holiday ornaments, toys and of course t-shirts. With the advent of ecommerce fans can now get their favorite drivers merchandise online or at the track at a huge midway crowded with merchandise haulers representing just about every driver, team, and manufacturer.
As everything in the world evolves, so does NASCAR. The sport is now making its first tentative steps into the world of the non-fungible token or NFT. The popularity of the NFT has grown recently as they became a way for buyers to purchase digital artwork. Most often NFTs are purchased using cryptocurrency, but unlike cryptocurrency an NFT has a unique digital signature which means it can’t be traded one for one like Bitcoin.
The NFT is a digital collectible (such as an image or video) that is officially licensed and recorded on the blockchain to show proof of ownership. An NFT is created from a digital object representing an item. Major sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, and the NHL have jumped on the NFT train selling the tokens for merchandise, video clips, and more.
Speedway Motorsports, which owns eight tracks, seven that host NASCAR races, announced this week that they will enter the world of the NFT. In a partnership with GigLabs, Speedway Motorsports has created RaceDayNFT.com which will sell NASCAR themed NFTs. The new marketplace will launch with a collection of 10,000 commemorative ticket NFTs, including 500 randomly selected golden ticket NFTs for the upcoming race at Bristol Motor Speedway, one of the tracks in the Speedway Motorsports portfolios. In a press release Speedway Motorsports emphasized that the commemorative tickets won’t be good for admission to the race on Sept. 18, but instead a digital object fans will own.
The first of the commemorative tickets will be available for free, with more artwork to be offered shortly after the Monday debut of the platform. Those added NFTs will be for sale and include a limited edition NFT fans can purchase. There will also be an At The Track NFT that fans can claim on property during the race weekend at Bristol. Finally, there will be two collectible “Winners Editon” NFTs issued after the race: One for the race winner, and an identical version that will be auctioned off.
Could the NASCAR NFTs being issued by Speedway Motorsports be something that will not only create a new revenue stream, but something picked up by the rest of the sport?
NBA’s Top Shot is the platform that league uses to market its NFTs. During its beta period the platform handled more than three million transactions and $460 million in sales.
Fanatics a sports merchandising company which owns the rights to NBA, NFL, and the NHL merchandise started an NFT company earlier this year called Candy Digital. Fanatics also owns the rights to much of the NASCAR merchandise on the market. If the Speedway Motorsports NFTs are as successful as what has been seen in other sports, is would be no surprise if they soon become the norm across NASCAR.
No doubt, Dale Earnhardt Sr. would approve.