If you haven’t heard, the Washington Nationals gave away commemorative non-fungible tokens (NFTs) during Ryan Zimmerman‘s retirement celebration. Ryan Zimmerman, also known as Mr. National and Mr. Walk-Off, was part of the Nats since their inaugural season in 2005 and played through the 2021 season, all as a Washington Nationals player. Along the way, he earned many outstanding achievements, including the Gold Glove award, the Silver Slugger award and the 2019 World Series Championship ring.
To celebrate his amazing baseball career as one of the greatest players to have ever played for the Nats, the organization gave away customized NFTs to every ticket buyer who attended that jersey retirement game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The NFTs included the attendee’s section and seat number to make the digital memento special. A kind of “where were you” for that moment in Nationals’ history. The stadium was sold-out with an of attendance 42,730.
Other Digital Assets
As part of a Major League Baseball (MLB) deal, the league recently partnered up with NFT company Candy Digital to produce unique NFT editions that fans can bid on. If a fan owns an NFT, they can gain special perks at games like throwing the first pitch or receiving a personalized Nats jersey.
The Nats are also looking into allowing a form of cryptocurrency to be used to make in-stadium purchases. The team has partnered with Terra to use its UST stablecoin which puts the Washington Nationals into the realm of crypto-friendly sports stadiums. But they are not the first sports team to do this as the Dallas Mavericks basketball team accepts the cryptocurrency DOGE and the Sacramento Kings accepted Bitcoin in 2014.
Possible Fan Tokens
With the Nats’ background in digital assets, their fans will also be keeping an eye out for fan tokens this year, which is likely to head to baseball. MLB bosses have admitted that they’re looking at fan tokens, which have become popular across the globe. Fan tokens are digital assets, similar to crypto, except instead of using them to buy or trade, they give the owner exclusive access to VIP events, rewards, and special privileges – like an exclusive community of the most dedicated fans. Perhaps the best known are Socios fan tokens, which have become popular in soccer. Socios have already partnered with the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLS, which leaves MLB as the last frontier to be explored.
So if people are Nats fanatics, they could show their support by buying fan tokens in the future. To purchase fan tokens, they would use Socios.com’s in-app currency called Chiliz ($CHZ) to exchange for any fan tokens on the Socios platform. In return for owning these digital collectibles, they could be granted voting rights on some things like choosing the warm-up entrance song or picking the training play list, among others. The ultimate purpose is to transfer power to the fans by increasing the level of engagement with their favorite teams.
For now, Nats fans can look forward to future drops similar to the Zimmerman NFT drop that’ll be centered on their favorite players. After 16 amazing seasons, Ryan Zimmerman and the Washington Nationals have officially retire jersey number eleven.
So if you want to be a part of the future of MLB and sports make sure to pick up special commemorative NFTs whenever the Nats celebrate historical moments as they may well be this generation’s the new form of playing cards.