NFTs and cryptocurrencies had already started to make their presence felt in the sports world and now with the announcement that WAGMI United, a cryptocurrency-backed organization, has tabled their offer to buy the English Football League club Bradford City AFC, things have reached a new high all of a sudden.
WAGMI (the name deriving from the popular crypto slogan “We’re All Going to Make It”) has put together a host of investors that include, among others, sport execs, crypto enthusiasts and NFT collectors to form an ownership group for the proposed deal. More importantly perhaps, the group includes prominent names such as Gary Vaynerchuk, the passionate NFT crusader and VaynerX chairman, and Daryl Morey, the charismatic sports executive who is currently the president of operations at Philadelphia 76ers.
What This Means to the Sports World?
Although the deal is yet to be finalized (Bradford City owner Stefan Rupp has released a statement via the club’s Twitter handle saying that they have received an offer, although negotiations are yet to reach an advanced stage as of now), WAGMI Group already seems to have a thorough plan in place as to how to approach the operations of the club if it does manage to clinch the deal. According to a press release, WAGMI is relying heavily both on Gary Vee and on Morey to revolutionize the way sports franchises are run.
Morey’s success as a front office executive is well-known and his use of advanced analytics in making tactical and personnel decisions have proven to be the key to his success. If he is put at the helm of Bradford City’s front office operations, it is believed that he will again play a pivotal role in how the club is run and will help propel the club to greater heights (read its inclusion in the Premier League).
On the other hand, Vaynerchuk will be responsible for broadening the funding resources for the club by leveraging the power of NFTs to build strong communities. Vaynerchuk, for himself, is highly optimistic of this new opportunity and maintains that new technologies such as web3 can be highly relevant for sports franchises when it comes to creating a new and passionate supporter base through the power and potential of the NFTs.
In this connection, it should be mentioned here that Peter McCormack, the prominent bitcoiner, has already purchased Bedford FC, a local club currently playing in the South Midlands League Div. 1 (10-th tier of English football). And Peter is actually aiming big, for his goal is to push Bedford all the way up to Premier League! And that’s one giant leap to be sure, involving no less than 9 promotions! However, as Peter has mentioned in his tweet, he is not deterred by the enormity of the task. He maintains that like all bitcoiners, he too aims big…and that if bitcoin has the power to “separate money and state”, it may as well drive a small football club all the way up to the Premier League!
Of course, the future will tell!
May Liga MX Go the Same Way with Albert Tylis?
Now that WAGMI United looks all set to make this big splash in the English football, speculations are rife on the other side of the pool whether or not Liga MX can follow suit in leveraging the power of NFTs in furthering the already decentralized nature of what happens to be the most popular soccer league in North America.
As to that, many are pinning their hopes on the prominent real estate investor and entrepreneur Al Tylis. Earlier this year, Albert Tylis had already transferred a 1% ownership stake on the Club Necaxa via an NFT. This, of course, is still far from what WAGMI is planning in taking full ownership of a club although Albert pioneered the idea we are now seeing other football clubs following suit. However, given Albert Tylis’s own enthusiasm for NFTs and for crypto in general and for Liga MX’s largely decentralized nature when it comes to commercial rights (clubs are responsible for their own sponsorships, media deals, etc.), we may soon see the Mexican soccer league leaning to NFTs as well, and in a big way at that.