NFL players look set to benefit from earnings in cryptocurrency, following an agreement reached by the NFL Players Association and startup sports content platform FanChain.
The agreement will enable NFL players to license products through FanChain, which could see them providing commentary, content and livestreams through the platform. As part of the deal, the NFLPA has acquired a minority stake in SportsCastr, the company behind the FanChain platform.
The deal is the latest high profile collaboration between professional sports and the cryptocurrency world, with athletes across major sports now benefiting from licensing, rights management and even CryptoKitties in their own image.
FanChain enables anyone to provide commentary or live streams of sports, with the ability to monetize through cryptocurrency. The NFLPA hopes this will encourage NFL players to create content for fans, including commentary, which could provide an additional revenue stream outside of the sport.
Casey Schwab, vice president of business and legal affairs at the NFLPA, said the platform would allow players to start generating or receiving cryptocurrency, in exchange for their content.
“When you look at blockchain, and obviously currencies have been the most ubiquitous use of blockchain today, but when we look at tokenized assets or tokens or [non-fungible tokens], we look at the different ways we can try to create products that are going to be sustainable and long-lasting.”
“Because of the decentralized nature of the platform, anyone can get on it, players can get on it. NFL players are really interested in blockchain, in crypto…if a player calls me and asks ‘how do I get involved’ I’d suggest he go on SportsCastr and start generating tokens.”
Athletes can earn cryptocurrency through creating original content, or taking payments directly from fans. There’s even the opportunity to create subscription content services on the platform, with Schwab describing the platform as ‘revolutionary’.
The agreement comes at a time when cryptocurrency is being increasingly embraced in the world of professional sports.
Most recently, F1’s Fernando Alonso announced a deal with KODAKOne for image rights management, while a number of sporting arenas across the US have also announced partnerships with cryptocurrency startups around sharing and monetizing content.