SportVerse Podcast

Everything you need to know about the NFT drops and Metaverse activity done by the Australian Open

The nexus between Sports and Business.

This year’s first grand slam the Australian Open has become the first major Tennis event to launch, NFTs and join the metaverse.

The Australian Open has dropped two NFT projects:

  • One of them is called the AO Decades Collection, featuring six commemorative NFT collections celebrating the iconic decades of the AO. Each decade drop will contain era specific collectables – including a Commemorative Ticket, a 3D Umpire Chair, a 3D Tennis Court and a ‘Legendary Moment’ featuring a highlighted match from that specific era with the likes of Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Martina Navratilova showcased. Fans who complete the set for that decade will receive a “Master NFT” in the form of a commemorative 3D poster of that decade. The rarest items up for grabs will be auctioned separate to the collection, with only one copy of each of the following available including; a 3D Tennis Racket from each decade and more. 

The most prized collectable is a special edition 1 of 1 NFT ticket to AO 2023 to be auctioned, with the winner also earning an all-expense-paid trip to the Australian Open in 2023.

  • The second NFT project they launched is an ‘Art Ball’ NFT infused with real-time match data- In this NFT drop the Australian Open offers 6,776 ‘art balls’. The NFTs, a digital collectable that verifies ownership on the blockchain, will be linked to living tournament data, according to the AO. Each NFT’s metadata will be linked to a plot of a tennis court surface in a real-life tournament. If the winning shot from a match in the AO lands on that plot, the NFT metadata will be updated in real-time to reflect the match’s outcomes and there is an opportunity for the collectors to win fungible rewards too if any of the 11 championship points to land on a particular plot, the corresponding NFT owner will be given the tennis ball used in a display case and a certificate of authenticity. The NFTs are minting on the Etherium blockchain.
  • And the Australian Open has also become the first tennis Grand Slam to launch a metaverse experience on Decentraland. Users will be able to look around a digital recreation of the Australian Open’s grounds in Melbourne and speak to players and other fans. The event’s Decentraland party will run throughout the tournament and will include challenges for fans to compete for virtual prizes. I have visited the AO Ball Park on Decentraland and it was indeed a cool experience I recommend you all to try it too.

I personally feel that this is by far the coolest sports-related NFT and metaverse launch and the AO has really set the bar high for other sports rights holders to match all this has been possible because of the innovative thinking of Ridley Plummer, Tennis Australia’s Metaverse and NFT Project Manager, Craig Tiley, the tournament Director and the amazing partner agencies and tech companies that were working on this amazing project.

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Nilesh Deshmukh
I am passionate about sports and passionate about marketing. As a sports marketer, I have built significant expertise in successfully delivering medium to long term digital marketing strategy for global sports entities and brands like Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Major League Baseball, Formula E, and AELTC, etc to engage with their fans in India. I am currently based in London and lead India business at Engage Digital Partners.