The future of sports and technology is here. 

As the two worlds continue to collide thanks to advancements in tech, leaders in the sports industry are continuing to emerge with digital collectibles like non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

On Dec. 13, Arizona Cardinals’ offensive tackle, Kelvin Beachum, became the first professional athlete to do a live NFT drop during a professional football game. And, AfroTech has all of the details.

In a live auction held during the game hosted on OpenSea, fans had the opportunity to bid on a 68-piece open edition and a limited edition four-piece auction curated by Beachum in collaboration with the South Carolina-based company, BandwagonFanClub, Inc.

“When it comes to following our favorite entertainers, teams, and athletes, there are lots of opportunities for collectibles,” said BandWagonFanClub, Inc. CEO Harold Hughes in an official press release provided to AfroTech. “From tickets to memorabilia, the ability to collect artifacts is endless. Still, as we look at the new generation of fans, they are less interested in generic physical ‘stuff’ and more interested in unique experiences. This opportunity to collaborate with Kelvin not only gives fans a digital keepsake to commemorate their experience but also demonstrates the desire for entertains and athletes to create community and connection with their fans.”

The Collection

Beachum’s “Discover Collection” is a genesis NFT project where all proceeds will go to the Phoenix Art Museum.

“This genesis drop is a project about discovery and creativity and storytelling in an ever-evolving space, so it was important to work with an innovative company that’s inventive in the NFT and Web3 ecosystems, which are also continually growing and developing,” Beachum said in a statement. “I wanted to work with Bandwagon because Harold (CEO) is a thought leader in the space and the design team was made up of Black artists who I felt were best equipped to illustrate this journey.”

The 68-piece open edition includes 68 serialized 2D images that honor Beachum’s support of the arts, specifically the “My Cause My Cleats” initiative. Beachum’s jersey number, 68, is enhanced to denote the fact that it is a rarity.

On the other hand, the four-piece limited edition collection highlights significant dates in the 101 years of the National Football League (NFL) and tells what it means to be a Black athlete playing at the professional level in football.

Auction Winners

Each NFT auction winner will receive a “Proof of Experience” token that will allow them the opportunity to redeem a VIP experience or collectible. Plus, Beachum and his reps will join all limited edition NFT holders in an exclusive group chat.

According to a press release, the auction will end during the evening of Dec. 16.