eBay Enters the NFT Space With the First Collection Aimed at Sports Fans
World-renowned e-commerce platform eBay, with 142 million users worldwide, recently announced its first foray into the NFT space with the launch of a series of sports themed, featuring iconic athletes. Starting off with hockey star Wayne Gretzky the 13 limited edition collectibles have one important distinction from the likes of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, they are priced starting at $10 with the everyday fan in mind. “NFTs and blockchain technology are revolutionizing the collectibles space, and are increasingly viewed as an investment opportunity for enthusiasts,” said Dawn Block, vice president of collectibles, electronics and home at eBay. “Through our partnership with OneOf, eBay is now making coveted NFTs more accessible to a new generation of collectors everywhere.”
eBay’s foray into NFTs isn’t surprising, as it announced plans last May to launch a collection of NFTs and said it could accept cryptocurrencies as its payment method in the future. At the time Jordan Sweetnam, SVP & General Manager for eBay North America said that NFTs were a natural fit for the business, which combined “eBay’s global reach with the principle that anyone can find almost anything on our platform. This premise is what makes NFTs on eBay so exciting, and why we want to partner with creators, sellers and brands who share our commitment to maintaining an open marketplace.” This is only the beginning. This initial rollout will help us learn more about what’s important to our community. Expect to see programs, policies and tools that will allow our audiences to buy and sell NFTs with greater ease and confidence, across a broader range of categories, Sweetnam added.
eBay clearly believes that NFTs and blockchain technology are revolutionizing the collectibles space and are increasingly seen as the best investment opportunities for collectors. Of course, eBay has “always been the world’s destination for buying and selling the most unique and hard-to-find items” so it makes sense that it would want to add digital collectibles to its portfolio as an essential growth strategy. The company is launching 13 limited-edition digital collectibles who have been on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, in partnership with Web3 platform OneOf, each of which contains a 3-D animated rendering of Gretzky making one of his signature moves on the ice, according to CNBC. “Our software and eBay’s software will be integrated to provide a super easy NFT purchase experience for the consumer,” OneOf CEO Lin Dai told CNBC. “Our goal is to bring on the next 100 million [currently] non-crypto users and I think this partnership helps us do that.”
Gretzky himself said, “Forty years ago, I was grateful to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it was a monumental moment in my life. I’m honored to bring this collectible experience to my hockey fans who have followed my career for decades.” During the recent collectibles boom, Gretzky trading cards have set records for hockey memorabilia, with a rookie card selling for $3.75 million in 2021. In addition to the $10 NFTs of Gretzky, eBay is also planning to drop other add-on series that primarily feature and focus on athletes and sports. The collection will include 13 limited edition digital collectibles as green, gold, platinum, and diamond grade NFTs. There are 299 green versions, 199 gold versions, 99 platinum versions, and 15 diamond versions of each NFT.
OneOf claims to be an eco-friendly NFT platform that uses more energy efficient blockchain technology. OneOf, which uses a PoS (proof of stake) blockchain network, claims to use more than two million times less energy than what are known as proof-of-work networks such as Bitcoin. Additionally, the company said more than 80% of the collections featured on its platform come from minority creators and women-led projects.
It’s an exciting time for sports fans and crypto enthusiasts to see companies like eBay embrace NFTs in this way. If you want to get some NFTs, eBay might be a good place to start. Because of the ultra-low threshold, it is not so out of reach for people to own NFTs. If you want to become a better crypto investor, BigONE’s suggestion is to spend more time studying and researching, avoid being influenced by panic and FOMO, and face it with a calm mind. Investing in crypto is very important. Also, remember not to invest more money than you can afford to lose.