When former all-black John Kirwan sat down to write his autobiography, he realized that he didn’t own the copyright for many of his images during the performance.
Kirwan says this perception is common to many ex-sports stars and is why so many are interested in NFT technology.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a type of computer code used to prove ownership of digital items such as images and audio files. Irreplaceable things, such as signed albums and original artwork, are unique.
Kirwan has joined the ranks of Dan Carter and Daniel Vettori has joined as the latest sports star to join the NFT. The technology will give athletes control over their story.
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“When you are a player, the visual aspects of things will be controlled by others. The experience of creating this NFT felt like regaining ownership,” Kirwan said. increase.
Swiss-based and co-founded by former Blackcaps captain Daniel Bettoli, NFT Designworks says it wants players to use NFT technology as a way to own the famous sporting moments, but rights. You may not own it.
For Kirwan, this moment is the 1987 Rugby World Cup against Italy. Created to commemorate the moment, NFT is a photo of Kirwan’s face with graphics that tell the story of the trial, without using the images and visuals of the actual moment.
Kirwan says that in the 1980s, players were often out of the loop from the business side of sports.
“In the first World Cup of 1987, World Rugby made about $ 10 million, but the players didn’t get anything.”
In a video accompanying the sale of NFTs, Kirwan describes the serious mental health challenges faced during the success of the masses today.
“The NFT shows that the person who won the try was full of self-doubt and anxiety. It was a great feeling to explain the vulnerabilities behind that moment.”
Kirwan himself hasn’t invested in NFTs yet, but he’s excited about the opportunities that digital technology offers to current and former athletes.
“This technology is a way for players to control their personal image. For a retired player like me, it’s a way to regain control of the story. But for today’s players, players are fans. Opportunities are even greater because NFTs can be used as a new way to connect with. “
Carter, a former all-black co-founder of the local NFT business, says today’s professional athletes have a deeper understanding of the business side of sports.
“Careful consideration of contractual obligations is an important part of it, including sponsors, rights owners, and increasingly NFTs,” Carter says.
A particularly exciting element of NFTs is the “smart contract.” This is when the code behind the NFT is designed to cause something to happen each time the NFT is traded or used.
A “smart contract” NFT can include a clause in the code that means that each time an NFT is bought or sold, a certain percentage of its value is paid to the rights owner or the athlete representing the image.
Therefore, unlike its predecessor trading cards, NFTs may continue to benefit the representative player even after the player retires from the sport.
Alex Sims, an associate professor of commercial law at the University of Auckland, states that the potential for smart contracts is real, but only works if cryptocurrencies are widely adopted.
“If you try to sell something with money from your bank account and say you need to pay a portion of the selling price to the rights owner, the seller can choose not to.
“On the other hand, if you use cryptocurrencies to make” smart contract “NFT payments, the percentage of loyalty payments will be automatically paid to the rights holder. There is nothing a seller or buyer can do about it. It’s just built into the NFT code, “Sims says.
But Sims warns that the technology can also be used to keep players out of the profit loop.
Trading card NFTs created by the NBA are bought and sold by fans, and there is little or no direct benefit to the player on which the card is drawn, she says.
However, overall NFT technology can be of great benefit to those who make a living with the support of their fans.
“Athletes, musicians and artists are beginning to realize that offering a unique NFT to 200-300 super fans can make far more money than trying to sell something common to everyone. I am. “