Athletes Unlimited today announced its entrance into the non-fungible token marketplace in partnership with GigLabs. Becoming the second U.S. women’s pro sports league to produce NFTs, Athletes Unlimited will offer its initial collectible digital art exclusively to fans in-stadium during the inaugural lacrosse season that began last weekend in the Washington D.C. metro area, running through Aug. 22 and featuring 56 of the world’s top players.
The first limited-edition Athletes Unlimited NFT collection will be available free via time-limited QR claim codes in-venue during each of the five fan games of the lacrosse season. The first in the series launched on Sunday (July 25) and featured the league’s Week 1 captains. Each of the unique Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse NFTs will use commemorative images and clips, and will be transferable to fans’ digital Blocto wallets. Fans who accumulate the full lacrosse set will unlock an ultra-exclusive sixth piece to complete the collection.
During the upcoming Athletes Unlimited Softball season in Chicago (Aug. 28-Sept. 27), Athletes Unlimited and GigLabs will expand and enhance the NFT offerings.
As part of the partnership, Athletes Unlimited will utilize GigLab’s proprietary NFT Bridge platform to create and operate its NFT marketplace. NFT Bridge is an industry-leading, cloud-based service that removes the complexity of smart contracts, blockchain integration, NFT token design and management, and event services.
The Athletes Unlimited NFTs are being built on the Flow blockchain that uses a proof-of-stake system, in which the capital cost comes from stakeholders holding tokens in the system, not from hardware and electricity.
“Our leagues are built on innovation, and through this partnership with GigLabs, Athletes Unlimited is able to offer the opportunity for our fans to be among the first to become collectors of these unique digital assets,” said Athletes Unlimited CEO and Co-Founder Jon Patricof. “NFTs are making waves across our industry, and we look forward to significantly growing our marketplace in the coming months in a responsible way through GigLabs’ low energy solution.”
The Athletes Unlimited collections will also be integrated into RareRooms, where collectors can curate and display their pieces.
“We are excited about how our partnership with Athletes Unlimited will let fans experience on-demand NFT collectibles when they attend participating sporting events,” said GigLabs CEO and Co-Founder Douglas Dimola. “Athletes Unlimited is leading the way for leagues to deliver an enhanced game-day experience while also providing a way for fans to collect and trade memories of their favorite sports moments.”
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