Special Non-fungible Token (NFT), Rookie Cards, Coming to NFL

Now, even sports Rookie Cards have created their own NFTs as the craze of crypto tokens digs deeper into sports. 

Panini America, a firm that is known for making hard-copy playing cards, is providing 16 NFL prospects with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) following Thursday Night’s 2022 NFL Draft. 

Jason Howarth, the Panini America Vice President of Marketing, said that they have been doing this for about 12 years, where they would showcase them using physical trading cars and were not about to stop. However, he indicated that there are so many opportunities brought by tech evolution, and NFT is a natural one. 

The 2022 deals include prospects like Ohio State’s Garrette Wilson, Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, and Chris Olave. Every player is presented on the card in uniform and will get the new NFL team’s logo nicely stamped on their names. 

Away from social media roles on draft night, Panini gifts the cards free of charge to players. Then, it is up to the players to decide if they want to own their own NFTs or immediately turn them to cash. 

Jason Howarth Advices Players Hold their NFTs Until Value Peaks

Because of the scarcity, the value of the transactions might be realized about 10-15 years down the road. The objective is like Patrick Mahome turning his rookie cards following a Super Bowl win on retirement. The price of a Mahome’s card right away on eBay is USD 12,000.

For betting fanatics, this is an opportunity to optimize the returns from the opportunity. According to Howarth, players should firmly hold onto these cards until the end of the first session of NFL and then check how the price will turn out. 

In 2022, Panini unveiled NFTs that are coordinated with the NFL auction. For example, Trevor Lawrence of Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback sold his card for USD 10,000. The sales took place immediately after the draft, and the chances are that they will be more compared to if they are sold before they play down in the course of the year. 

When a player holds an NFT for longer, the chances are that it gains value based on the performance of piques collector’s interest. Players holding the NFTs could also push the value up because their names appear on the list of owners attached to the blockchain supporting the token. In many cases, collectors hunt for items that were previously owned by celebrities. 

“Every time we work with players, and they receive the first card in their hand, the heads explode,” explained Howarth. He emphasizes that this comes from the anticipation that as a little child, one always has a dream of playing professional sports and getting his/her name called out gives a great sense of accomplishment. 

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