“Using the right buzzword does not mean your fans will understand or care”
By Community | June 22, 2022
Tim Mangnall, CEO of Capital Block, pens an open letter to sports team who are thinking about launching NFT collections.
Why I Urge Sports Teams Not To Launch An NFT Collection If Your Fans Do Not Care About Them
I am sure over the last 18 months you have been contacted by every possible NFT platform, marketplace or organisation offering you the world.
Everything from millions of dollars, claims they have the best platform, that they know what your fans want and where this space is going and that their vision is the best vision. They might have told you that you must hand over all your IP to ensure they are going to sell out and create the world’s greatest NFTs.
Well, I hate to break it to you: None of this is true. What’s more, if you go down this route it will be your fans that suffer.
“95% of NFT projects will fail and are already failing.”
95% of NFT projects will fail and are already failing.
Now, I admit this title is clickbait-y, especially as Capital Block is an NFT consulting agency. But I had to do something to get your attention and lay out a few considerations for you as football clubs when considering your NFT launch.
Launching an NFT project does not have to be as complicated as people make out.
Yes, there are a number of technical aspects that you need to consider (such as the correct blockchain, how you connect wallets and how fans will purchase NFTs), but the main concern should always be your fans.
Let us bring this back to a simple point! Launching an NFT is no different to launching a product or a membership rewards program.
Let’s take a kit launch for example. Every season, clubs around the world spend months and months with designers, and their kit partners discussing every tiny aspect of how the shirt will look, what the marketing plan will be, how it will be promoted, what the sales targets are, and how it will be distributed. When the time comes to launch these kits, it has the full force of the club behind it!!
NFTs should be no different. In fact, given NFTs are digital assets stored on the blockchain forever rather than just a season, some of these considerations should hold even more weight.
So, let’s look at some of the key fundamentals when launching an NFT collection. Things that will help develop long term strategies and allow you create what we believe is the future of fan engagement, memberships, and rewards.
Keep the consumer journey within your own channel or branded webpages. The NFT space is still largely unknown to your fan base, so when you direct them away to a new 3rd party platform, you will lose over 50% of your audience. Given less than 2% of sports fans are willing to buy NFTs, you must do everything in your power to keep them engaged by creating a seamless consumer journey.
Let’s go back to the kit launch example. Every fan of every sports club is aware when a kit launch is happening. It’s communicated across all owned media channels and in most cases have a paid element as well.
“Using the right buzzword does not mean your fans will understand or care. You must talk to them, engage with them and educate them.”
This should be the case when educating your fans on what an NFT is.
Using the right buzz word does not mean your fans will understand or care. You must talk to them, engage with them and educate them.
There are normally two words that follow the word NFT: Community and Utility.
What does community really mean? Do not get sucked into this building a new community rubbish that is normally forced onto you when trying to launch your NFT collection!
Let me spell it out for you simply: your community is your fan base, and your fan base are the ones who will buy your NFTs.
“What added benefit is offered to someone purchasing this image, or video clip or whatever you are trying to sell as an NFT?”
So, educate your fan base, create a NFT community within the fan base and your NFT will sell!
But the only way to do this is to engage, promote, talk and explain to your fans why NFTs are so important. If you cannot do this, or are not willing to do this, then don’t launch an NFT collection. You’re just setting yourself up to fail.
Utility is the word that normally follows community. What it really means, is benefits.
What added benefit is offered to someone purchasing this image, or video clip or whatever you are trying to sell as an NFT?
Utility is one of the most important aspects of your NFT collection. This is what allows fans to become engaged, what will drive them to purchase, and really help build your community.
Imagine launching a limited number of NFTs that come with exclusive content from a manager, and after every game only the NFT holders can watch it.
Like a private message. As a lifelong fan of any club this is something that would drive true engagement and make the fan feel special. In turn, it will allow them to talk to other NFT holders about what the manager said, and through this you start to build your community.
Don’t insult your fans by offering easy utility.
Offer them meaningful, money can’t buy experiences, memories they will remember forever. This is what NFTs should be about.
Forget the money. No, I am being serious. If you are solely focused on revenue you’re doing this for all the wrong reasons. YES I am aware that every sports club needs to make money, but if you focus on creating the best and most engaging NFT strategy then the revenue will come.
If you set out with money as your only focus, then your vision across the project will not be focused on what truly makes a great NFT collection.
You are going to have to put time into your NFT strategy. Putting John from the partnerships team on it because you’ve heard him mention Bitcoin before is just not ok. This is a product launch that needs daily work and without it everything will be subpar! Put a team on this project and make sure it is consistent.
You know your fans and you know the ethos of the club better than anyone. Don’t underestimate this point. Use your knowledge to share with the world why your club is so special.
“Your fans are your fans, not your customers. As a club, you have a duty to protect the fans that love and care for your club.”
This letter could go on and on covering the key fundamentals and considerations of an NFT drop. For the sake of your fans I urge you: if you are not willing to cover all of the above, or do not understand the core of what it means to launch an NFT project then do not do it!
Your fans are your fans, not your customers. As a club, you have a duty to protect the fans that love and care for your club. Remember they are the ones who will probably buy your NFT out of loyalty.
Without a robust and long term strategy that takes all of the above into consideration, then your fans will be left thinking that NFTs are nothing but a worthless JPEG.
Tim Mangnall – CEO Capital Block
Want to hear more from Tim? Get tickets to our iSportConnect Web3 Summit at Emirates Stadium – https://www.web3summit.sport/