The NHL Partners With Sweet to Drive Fan Engagement with NFTs

Bob Mason
Published: Jun 27, 2022, 03:02 GMT+00:00

The National Hockey League (NHL) follows other US professional sports leagues into Web3. The move comes despite plummeting NFT trading volumes.


In this article:

Key Insights:

  • US sports franchise The National Hockey League (NHL) inked a deal with Sweet to drive fan engagement through the NFT market.
  • Following in the footsteps of the NBA and the NFL, Sweet will support the buying, selling, collecting, and trading of NHL moments.
  • The move has coincided with falling NFT sales volumes across major NFT marketplaces.

Activity within the NFT space has continued to decline in recent weeks. However, after a lull stemming from the crypto winter, mainstream names have resumed the exploration of the digital world.

US professional sports leagues have paved the way in transitioning from the real world to the virtual world of Web3.

The National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) were the first of the four major US sports leagues to enter the NFT space.

Looking to drive fan engagement, the NFL and the NBA, in partnership with Dapper Lab (FLOW) launched, NFLALLDAY and NBA Top Shot.

The National Hockey League Signs Multi-Year Deal with Sweet

Last week, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced a new multi-year partnership with NFT marketplace Sweet.

The deal makes Sweet the official partner of the NHL, the National Hockey League Player’s Association (NHLPA), and the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA).

According to the announcement,

“With a planned launch at the start of the 2022-23 NHL season, the stand-alone NHL platform custom-built for this program by Sweet will showcase current and historic moments as well as iconic elements of the game in the form of non-fungible tokens.”

The announcement went on to say,

“Also on the roadmap are specialty packs, gamified collection experiences, 3D interactive trophy rooms, where users can display their collections, as well as dynamic NFTs designed to change based on current team data, and more.”

Hockey fans can visit to register for updates and releases ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The Crypto Winter Hits Sports NFT Sales and Trading Activity

Professional sports leagues continue to push the Web3 envelope, with fan engagement at the core of the NFT-Professional sports partnership.

However, the crypto winter has affected activity across the NFT space, with trading volumes seeing a marked decline from January through June.

According to CryptoSlam, NBA Top Shot has seen NFT sales tumble in 2022.

In January 2022, NFT sales totaled $59.02 million, up from $38.84 million in December.

Since January, however, total sales fell by 76% to $13.93 million in May. Market conditions in June have also failed to impress, with sales for the current month at $6.63 million.

There is a similar trend on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace.

According to Dune Analytics, Ethereum (ETH) based NFT trading volumes hit a January all-time high of $4,857 million.

As shown below, monthly volumes have fallen significantly, with the June numbers painting a grim picture. On the current run rate, monthly Ethereum-based trading volumes will be at their lowest since July 2021.

NFT trading activity weak.
OpenSea ETH Trading Vol 270622

With the crypto winter showing no signs of ending, the NFT marketplace will continue to face headwinds. Fan engagement and the transition into Web3 will unlikely falter as more mainstream entities move into the NFT space and the metaverse.

For the NHL, it was more likely to have been a case of when and not if.

About the Author

Bob Masonauthor

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Bob has been managing regional teams across Europe and Asia and focusing on analytics across both corporate and financial institutions. Currently he is covering developments relating to the financial markets, including currencies, commodities, alternative asset classes, and global equities.

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