The NBA has partnered with Ant Group to launch basketball-themed NFTs in China, bringing its content to over 20 million basketball fans through a mini-app on Alipay. NBA China has reported over 170 million Chinese fans interested in the league.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is partnering with Chinese fintech giant Ant Group to launch basketball-themed NFTs. This collaboration aims to bring NBA’s over 20 million basketball fans to both web3 and China by launching a mini-app on the group’s flagship mobile app, Alipay.
The mini-app will provide Chinese fans access to a wide range of NBA content and videos, likely highlights, player interviews, and NBA-themed NFTs. The collaboration between NBA and Ant Group is expected to expand the NBA’s reach in China, where it has over 170 million fans, making it one of the largest hotspots in the world for American basketball consumerism.
NBA Web3 Integration
The NBA has been at the forefront of the NFT space and is one of the first companies that have expressed expansion toward the blockchain.
NBA launched its own NFT collection, NBA Top Shot, in early 2021, which has been a massive success, generating over $750 million in sales as of October 2021. The NBA has also launched its own NFT game last year, which allows fans to collect and trade digital versions of NBA players to build their dream team.
The NBA’s move into the NFT space is part of the strategic expansion of its business model to further engage and monetize its highly-popular intellectual property. NFTs allow fans to own digital assets that can include a range of in-game items, art, and virtual land. Blockchain technology is the perfect technology to achieve the NBA’s goal of creating further revenue streams for the league.
The NBA is not the only sports league to embrace NFTs. The English Premier League, La Liga, and the National Football League (NFL) have also launched NFT collections, highlighting the growing interest in the space. As more sports leagues embrace NFTs and blockchain technology, sports-themed collectible digital art might become a norm in the near future.
Almost every major brand and company out there is making strides toward web3 and the metaverse. NBA has a strong brand and a massive fanbase all over the world, especially in China, making it one of the companies that are likely to succeed in this venture.
As we see more companies push further into web3, China will most likely become a large player in attaining its goal of mass adoption.
Edmond is a passionate writer for Video games, GameFi and Web3. He has worked for top GameFi companies and video game/crypto news websites.