Image for article titled Investing in NFT ticket stubs is likely one of the NBA’s next big crypto ventures

NBA Top Shot, a collection of NBA NFTs featuring highlights, GIFs, and other classic NBA moments, recently surpassed $1 billion in sales. Top Shot has had ups and downs during its lifespan, and it hasn't reached the same heights it teased in early 2021, but it has remained a viable enterprise.

The NBA has taken notice of it. Gary Vee, the CEO of VaynerMedia, claimed that the NBA is going to turn ticket stubs into non-fungible token even with the volatility of the market rearing its ugly head the past few weeks.

There is a belief in this that is shared by many. The crash was going to happen just like the e- commerce crash. Everyone said yes. When Amazon doubled down, the number of households with Amazon Prime increased to over 80 percent. This is the same thing. This is the time for big brands like the NBA to go for it because everyone in this space knew that this was going to happen.

Collecting memorable ticket stubs has become a hobby for many people. Kobe Bryant's first career game? It sounds like a pretty cool piece of history. What about his 81-point game? That is arguably even cooler. You can find some stubs on eBay that match that criteria. The first career game Kobe played against the Phoenix Suns and Steve Nash was listed at $4,000, and the two players only played 5:10 of the game. The trend has gotten in the way of sports personalities.

It makes sense for the NBA to participate as the market for these stubs increases.

The team doesn't get any of the money when the ticket is sold many times over. Imagine if a new player enters the NBA next season and becomes the next James. The NBA decides how much of a commission the team can put on the ticket from his first game. I or someone who owns that NFT can sell it for $100,000 in 10 years. The NBA can still get 20 percent of that sale because it's all on a smart contract.

The ability to track these digital NFT stubs is likely a big draw for the NBA or individual teams looking to cash in on the ticket stub trend, since it is impossible to have any back door deals that would go under the NBA's nose.

Digital stubs would not become more valuable than their physical counterparts. As stubs become more digital, they will likely become more valuable. The NBA's ability to make money several years down the line through NFTs will create enough reason for the NBA to mint them even if their value doesn't reach that of the physical stubs.

The fact that each NFT stub can be traced online is a great way for teams to collect data on their consumers.

York said that the St. Louis Cards have no way of knowing which fans attend the most games. Even if you look at season ticket holders, they don't know who used them. The data is available through NFTs. If you have a NFT stubs, you can show that certain people went to certain games, and that data can be used for promotions or targeted advertising to help improve the fan experience.

There are many opportunities for teams to give back to their fans. York proposed a scenario in which a team could give perks to people who attend games and NFT tracing could identify which 100 people went to the most games. Depending on the perks, that could be enough incentive for fans to attend more games.

There is a sense of fan superiority that comes with NFT.

Fans don't want to be grouped in with bandwagoners. Even if a fan sold their NFT Stub several years later, it can still be traced back to them, and that gives them proof that they were there when things weren't so good.

Take the Warriors for example. I can claim that I was a fan when Biedrin was the center, but I can't prove it. I can buy an old school cap with the guy holding the lightning bolt, for example. I could have bought that at any time. If these NFTs were around during those times, they would show that I was cheering on my team before they became a dynasty.

These digital stubs can give fans irrefutable proof that they are superior. Is the sense of superiority toxic? There is money to be made in it, so the NBA and individual teams wouldn't lean into it.

The physical ticket stubs are an asset that people have to care for in the first place. Most of them are thrown out or put in pocket pants to be forgotten about eight months later. If you want your stubs to hold any value, you have to think about them for a long time.

If you remember going to a game that turned out to be an all-time classic, you can search for it and hopefully make a quick buck. The peace of mind an investor gets is not likely to be reached by the value of digital stubs, given the finite amount of physical stubs printed every game, and the fact that physical stubs can accrue autographs and other value enhancers over time as well.

I will not pretend that I will get involved in NFT ticket stubs when they start getting popularized. The physical game is more important to me. I've created a small collection of my own, which is mostly about the famous San Francisco Giants games, from Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012 to each of Madison Bumgarner's appearances in the World Series.

As more people use these NFTs, the more valuable and rare the physical stubs become. It can come soon enough, and it is a win-win for everyone.