Non-Fungible Sports Collectibles

DefiSports
6 min readAug 28, 2023

As a species, we have an innate desire to not only gather resources for our own survival but also to collect fascinating objects. Despite being of primeval nature, the urge to collect is not solely limited to humans, as it is a trait that extends to certain animals as well. Today, the collectibles market has evolved to an estimated whopping US$ 458.2 billion in 2022, with sports memorabilia being a sizable chunk of that, valued at US$ 33 billion.

Let’s take a quick glance over what the definition of a collectible is, and a brief history. Many individuals find joy in the hobby of collecting sports memorabilia. It offers the excitement of discovering and acquiring new sports collectibles, and the sense of pride that comes with owning something truly unique. A genuine appreciation for the artistry, skill, and sentimental value that goes into each item, a connection to beloved athletes or sports teams, a longing to be connected to the past, or more specifically, a historical moment. One of the earliest manufactured collectibles that were used to market along with a main product was cigarette cards, placed conveniently in packs of cigarettes. While the earliest known sports collectibles were the Brooklyn Atlantics baseball team’s carte de visite, produced in 1865. Being as old as they are, they are considered antiques as by definition antiques are at least 100 years old.

The popularity of collecting sports memorabilia significantly grew around the start of the 20th century, coinciding with the first phase of globalization. Items such as baseballs, autographs, jerseys, protective gear, posters, and such were favorable items to collect and also trade amongst peers. They were given out or sold during sports events. Giving way to a more engaging and holistic experience while bringing a niche market into the mainstream. Not to mention, baseball wasn’t the only sport to have sports collectibles, basketball, football, and boxing also had their own.

The next most significant shift came with the era of sports grading. It all started with Accugrade Sportscard Authentication (ASA) in 1984. Their goal was to help certify the authenticity of cards, prevent counterfeits, and provide a third-party grading authentication system. A lot of opportunists at the time were taking advantage of unsuspecting fans by selling them sports memorabilia that was either subpar or a duplicate, resulting in a loss for the buyer. Although the firm eventually shut down, it paved the way for several successors that shaped the world of sports collectibles as we know it today. Most notable of these were PSA, SGC, and BGS, each with their own specialty. While PSA became the most diverse, having graded more items than the other two, time went on, and their levels of inspection and technology implemented in grading all saw drastic improvements. This resulted in fewer fans guessing whether the collectible they own was legitimate or not. By this time sports collectibles were bought, sold, and traded in yard sales, consignment shops, and thrift stores. Finally, came the dot-com boom, and sports collectibles were available to be purchased at the click of a button.

Things remained the same for a long time after that so we can fast forward to recent history with the arrival of NFTs. Propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, initially only digital NFTs were in circulation, although as time went on, videos, GIFs, gaming, artistic, virtual real estate, and many other types of NFTs were implemented. These advancements were groundbreaking in their own right. They managed to incorporate blockchain technology into various forms of art, while also linking some physical assets to their NFT counterparts. This was of course until the emergence of a company by the name of DefiSports.

We at DefiSports recognised early on how we could tap into this new wave and improve it. Ergo we built our very own sophisticated and 100% decentralized marketplace. It is a revolutionary platform that combines the power of decentralized finance (DeFi) and the excitement of sports collectibles. This innovative marketplace offers a unique opportunity for sports enthusiasts, collectors, and investors to engage in a new era of digital ownership. Not only aimed at people familiar with tech, it encourages communities and individuals from every type of background by simplifying the buying and bidding process. The items available will represent one-of-a-kind digital assets tied to specific sports-related content. They can be anything from rare sports cards, accessories worn during a sporting event, to autographed items by individual players or teams. Furthermore, users can securely buy or bid (depending on the NFT) without the need for intermediaries, the only requirement being to connect their wallet.

That being said, we are ecstatic to announce that our first physical NFT will be auctioned today (28th August 2023), in collaboration with Staynex, at 8 pm UTC. Allowing interested parties to come to witness the future of sports collectibles. The physical NFT in question that will be bid on is an Arsenal F.C. Player Jersey signed by the Arsenal players. We will be hosting it on zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81373889606?pwd=emswUHRSV3YvRURHeDBvdVUyWkpLUT09

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If you’re planning to bid on the Arsenal F.C Player Jersey today on the DefiSports Marketplace, you’ll need wETH (Wrapped Ethereum). Here’s a simplified guide on how to get wETH:

1. *Have Ethereum (ETH) in your wallet*: You should have ETH in a digital wallet like MetaMask, TrustWallet, or any wallet that supports WalletConnect. (Can be checked on the marketplace through the website)

2. *Connect with a Decentralized Exchange (DEX)*: You’ll need to connect your wallet to a DEX like Uniswap or Sushiswap.

3. *Link your wallet to the DEX*: Connect your digital wallet with your chosen DEX.

4. *Choose ETH and wETH for swapping*: In the DEX, select ETH from your wallet to swap for wETH. If you can’t find wETH, use the following address:

wETH address: 0xC02aaA39b223FE8D0A0e5C4F27eAD9083C756Cc2

wETH Link: https://etherscan.io/token/0xc02aaa39b223fe8d0a0e5c4f27ead9083c756cc2

5. *Select the amount to swap*: Decide how much ETH you want to convert into wETH. The swap rate is 1:1, so 1 ETH will give you 1 wETH.

6. *Pay the gas fee*: To process this transaction, you’ll need to pay a gas fee.

7. *Confirm the transaction*: After you’ve confirmed the transaction, you’ll receive wETH in your wallet.

8. *You now have wETH*: Congratulations, you’ve successfully converted your ETH into wETH!

9. *Start bidding*: You can now use your wETH to bid on the Arsenal F.C Player Jersey on the DefiSports Marketplace. This jersey is a physical NFT, making it a unique piece of sports memorabilia.

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This decentralized approach ensures transparency, immutability, and verifiable ownership of each sports collectible. With its cutting-edge technology, innovative features, and passionate community, DefiSports’ NFT marketplace is poised to revolutionize the way we engage with sports collectibles. So, whether you’re a sports enthusiast, a collector, or an investor, get ready to dive into an exciting world where digital ownership meets the thrill of the game. Overall, it is clear that sports collectibles have undergone a remarkable transformation since their inception, experiencing numerous technological advancements and significant shifts along the way. These developments have paved the way for DefiSports to emerge as a trailblazer, and to Shape The Future of how sports collectibles are interacted with and redefining the landscape in the process

Thank you for reading!

#ShapeTheFuture

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DefiSports

DefiSports is a meeting point of virtual and real objects that make the history of sport, for collectors and fans through its cryptocurrency. #ShapeTheFuture