NFTs Explained for Art and Sports

carlo de marchis
3 min readFeb 27, 2021


In case you haven’t heard about it yet NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are spreading like crazy these days, from ClubHouse rooms to twitter and more.

But what are they and why they can be relevant for sports and art?

TL:DR; > Exploding trend around monetizing digital assets by owning the only copy. For true collectors mostly for now. NBA leading the pack in sports (surprise).

I have took the liberty to recompose in one place the very informative twitter thread from Morning Brew (here) for easier reading.

“Right now, the term NFT (non-fungible token) is getting tossed around more frequently than the hottest of potatoes a thread explaining what NFTs are and why people are paying so much money to own one

One of the reasons why NFTs are so difficult to grasp is that they don’t exist in the real world they are digital assets like an image or a gif this sweet rotating shoe is an example of an NFT that sold for $13,331 back in November

But what makes it an NFT rather than just a cool gif? for starters, it’s unique NFT stands for “non-fungible token” fungible = something that’s interchangeable non-fungible = something that’s one-of-a-kind

If you take one thing away from this thread, it should be that NFTs are unique, one-of-a-kind assets

Before NFTs, digital assets could be easily duplicated screenshot a picture, and boom, now there’s two of them

The blockchain is a way of publicly documenting transactions you buy this sweet piece of artwork from the artist @Mad_Dog_Jones? That deal shows up on the blockchain now there is a public record of your proof of ownership

NFTs establish:

  1. authenticity
  2. chain of ownership for a digital piece

In short, NFTs have turned digital assets into something that can be scarce and valuable, much like IRL art and recently the market has popped off

Remember @Mad_Dog_Jones? He made $4 million in 9 minutes

A Lebron highlight sold for $208,000 just recently

And the famous internet meme Nyan Cat was sold by its original creator for around $580,000 last Thursday

As for the question, “Why the heck would someone pay over half-a-million dollars for a poptart cat?” for the same reason someone would spend $1.4 million on a piece of shredded Banksy art beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and someone rich wanted to own it

In conclusion, this thread is just the tip of the NFT iceberg there are even more uses for NFTs outside of buying and selling art ticketing to events, digitized forms of IDs like passports, and limited edition items in video games are a few more use cases being explored

NFTs made it so that unique digital items could be bought and sold with ease it’s still the early days, but the size and frequency of NFT transactions shows that the stage is set for this whole new asset class to make its way into the mainstream”

So for us in sports? I can totally see other leagues jumping on the bandwagon and try to create valuable unique digital assets. Early days but very curious how it will evolve. Again, I am always open and passionate to embrace new trends when they resonate with my curiosity, not saying this will be a long term but I guess many will move to leverage an additional revenue strems in this very moment.

I am curious to see what the big collectible companies will do about it (Panini, etc…).

Will investigate the tech and suppliers behind this in the coming days, the major player is Dapper labs



carlo de marchis

@CDM / Advisor. 35 years in sports & media tech. Electronic Label and Musician (NEOM Records). Vinyl selector as Carlo's Turntables.