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AFL enters the metaverse with Animoca brands NFT deal

Aussie rules league promises NFTs will have more than just cosmetic value.

22 April 2022 Steve McCaskill
AFL enters the metaverse with Animoca brands NFT deal

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  • First NFTs for AFL and AFLW will launch in the coming weeks
  • Animoca Brands works with MotoGP and Formula E
  • AFL also wants to launch VR and gaming products

The Australian Football League (AFL) has agreed a five-year non-fungible token (NFT) and metaverse partnership with Animoca Brands, hoping to provide fans with immersive Web 3.0 experiences.

The first NFT drop will take place in the coming weeks through a newly established ‘AFL Mint’ brand that will allow fans to ‘own’ their favourite moments in AFL and AFL Women’s (AFLW) history.

The AFL says its Mint products will have more than just cosmetic value, offering rewards and real-world experiences. These include ticket upgrades, special experiences, hospitality and exclusive merchandise.

In time, the partners plan to expand beyond NFTs into other areas of Web 3.0, including virtual reality and gaming.

“Animoca Brands is at the forefront of the Web 3.0 space and has partnered with a significant number of sporting organisations and international brands,” said Kylie Rogers, AFL executive general manager for customer and commercial.

“We know we have the most passionate fans in the world, and we want to ensure our audience can continue to experience the game in different ways. We see the Animoca Brands partnership as key initiative in our continued evolution of fan engagement.

“Through our AFL Mint brand, we will launch exciting new moments across our current men’s and women’s games, plus past greats and other product releases that will bring a unique fan experience we haven’t seen before.”

Animoca Brands has invested in more than 150 non-fungible token (NFT) and blockchain-related technology firms, including the OpenSea marketplace and Dapper Labs, while it also offers products to help customers build metaverse worlds, digital tokens, and gaming experiences.

The firm, which is valued at US$5 billion, has several interests in the sports industry and has helped create NFT-based games for several motorsport entities, including MotoGP and Formula E. It was also responsible for F1 Delta Time before its licence expired earlier this year. The company has also invested in Fan Controlled Football.

“I’m extremely pleased to partner with the AFL – Australia’s premier sport – to deliver the AFL Mint,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands. “Australian rules football is a unique game and the AFL Mint is an opportunity to showcase it to the wider world while introducing existing fans to digital collectibles. This is a special project for us given our roots as an Australian company and we are honoured to bring the AFL and AFLW to the open metaverse.”

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