USFL deploys Blockchain Creative Labs for NFT marketplace | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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Looking to create a “world-class” experience for fans, players, and coaches as it kicks off its inaugural season, the United States Football League (USFL) is partnering with FOX Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL) to launch an NFT marketplace for digital collectibles.
The USFL is a new, independent football league that is not affiliated with the defunct 1980s league or its owners. The inaugural USFL season will kick off 16 April with eight teams split into two divisions: the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, and Tampa Bay Bandits in the South Division; and the Michigan Panthers, Pittsburgh Maulers, New Jersey Generals, and Philadelphia Stars in the North Division. Each team will play a 10-game regular-season schedule, culminating with a championship game on 3 July between division winners.

BCL launched in 2021 as a joint venture between FOX Entertainment and Fox subsidiary Bento Box Entertainment. At the launch, FOX said that it believed that blockchain, and the overall shift towards a more decentralised web, was providing creators with a wealth of opportunities to reach consumers with exciting new experiences.

In its latest deployment, BCL will mint and sell official digital tokens for the new League, its teams, players, and coaches. Players and coaches will have the opportunity to work directly with BCL to create bespoke tokens. While details will be revealed to players and coaches when they report to training camp later this month, a majority of sales revenue from these NFTs will go directly to them via digital wallets. Using smart contracts on the blockchain, USFL coaches and players will be the first from any professional sports league to receive revenue at exact time of sale. BCL will operate the USFL’s NFT digital platform and storefront.

“By partnering with BCL to give USFL players and coaches the technical infrastructure and creative resources to build and own their digital brand in an authentic way, the USFL is recognising the power that blockchain provides to connect with fans in an innovative way,” said Melody Hildebrandt, BCL president and FOX Corporation chief information security officer. “BCL will provide concierge services that will assist USFL players and coaches to create NFTs, build a token economy around their professional brand, and manage their community on the instant messaging platform.”

“Our partners at Blockchain Creative Labs are building a cutting-edge marketplace for digital collectibles that will create a unique experience for USFL fans, players, and coaches,” added Edward Hartman, executive vice president of business operations at USFL. “At no cost to them, we are proud to empower our players and coaches by offering them sales revenues from NFTs they have a role in designing. Beyond the obvious financial benefit, USFL on-field talent will also be able to directly connect with fans like never before, allowing them to build and nurture long-term value for themselves that extends beyond the football field.”