AFL's first NFTs sell out in 12 hours

Australian Football League debuts first NFTs from its own minting studio

The AFL’s first drop of NFT collectibles from its own minting brand have sold out in 12 hours.

The Australian Football League (AFL) released its limited edition NFTs, dubbed Ripper Skipper 2022, on 17 August. The NFTs represent 78 major moments from the 2021 season to collect and featured captains from the 18 teams in the league.

The release follows the debut of the AFL Mint in April, created as the official marketplace to collect licensed AFL NFTs. The mint was established in partnership with Animoca Brands under a five-year partnership to produce NFTs and open metaverse offerings for both the AFL and AFL Women’s codes. AFL Mint is expected to expand to deliver rewards as well as merge online experiences in the metaverse with real-life experiences on game day, such as ticketing and membership upgrades, prizes, competitions and virtual reality experiences within the grounds.

In confirming the first NFTs had sold out in 12 hours, Animoca Brands agency, Be Media, said demand was so high, it pushed the payment infrastructure to capacity. The NFTs of Ripper Skipper 2022 were launched to members of the public who had signed up to the allowlist, selling for AUD49 for a surprise three-pack.

“The first drop of NFTs selling out so fast is just a testament to how much fans love the footy and love the new product offering,” AFL executive general manager of customer and commercial, Kylie Rogers, said. “This is a sign of good things to come, and we can’t wait to release new editions of NFTs down the line.”

The collection of AFL moments were available in three tiers of rarity, with the cards being revealed once the purchased pack was opened. To coincide with the launch, Ripper Skipper purchases came with a 10 per cent chance of obtaining the limited digital AFL Mint Genesis Ball. AFL Mint confirmed NFTs released in the future will offer a much lower drop chance of this limited item.

“This is truly a sign of the times and proves that Web 3.0 and the metaverse is something that brands should be taking seriously,” Be Media founder and CEO, Jordan Fogarty, said. “We have seen recent global NFT programs struggle to sell out, and it is heartening to see this result.”

Other collectable releases are in the works, including AFLW Ripper Skipper. The AFL Mint Marketplace is also due to come online next year for people looking to sell and trade their cards on the AFL’s own trading platform. 

“Through our AFL Mint brand, we will launch exciting new moments across our men’s and women’s competitions, plus celebrate past greats and other product releases that will bring a unique fan experience we haven’t seen before,” Rogers said.

AFL is one of several international sporting codes to launch NFT series, alongside NBA Top Shot, the ICC’s FanCraze, MotoGP Ignition and UFC Strike.

Stepping into the metaverse is just one many digital-first fan engagement initiatives the AFL has been engaging in too. In May, it claimed a world-first with a limited edition set of AFL-themed avatars on the Reddit community platform for every club during the 2022 season.

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