NFTs have only scratched the surface of their potential growth. And yet, blockchain technologies are being discussed in corporate conference rooms and entertainment venues worldwide. Regardless of fluctuations, industry heads are set on incorporating tokens in their future plans. Sports are rapidly becoming the prime example of a broader social and commercial transition into the metaverse.
Yet, some critics and members of the public subscribe to perceptions about the value of NFTs. The majority remain unconvinced by the decentralized finance argument, while business leaders hedge their bets on the side of change. A prime example is Facebook recently renaming itself to Meta to signal the development and integration of metaverse technologies.
Sports is a culture and community embedded in tradition. Rules are sacred, and convention dictates debates across the world. It seems surprising that they would become a hotbed for one of the most potentially subversive shifts the digital age has seen. But key players and industry upstarts are already looking to carve their names in the sports technology history books.
What’s the history between tennis and Web3?
Tennis is a sport that has already seen its fair share of NFT projects. The US and French Opens have launched tokens this year to mixed results. While utilization of the blockchain is welcomed, adoption by large organizations often only serves to feed FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) in the NFT community. The common denominator among tennis-based tokens to date is the pure aesthetic value on offer. Web3 advocates today are more demanding of utility in NFT offerings, so FUD has only grown.
Planned for launch during the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, 15 Love is a project and launch pad moving into the next evolutionary stage of development that could intrigue tennis and NFT enthusiasts. Co-founders Sabrina and Kyle Stocker plan to attach long-term utility to their tokens with the aim of creating the home for tennis and NFT fans in the metaverse.
Where does 15 Love fit into the current conversation?
Other tennis NFT projects, such as the planned Centenary Collection, have been directed by people with a minor association with the community at hand. While it celebrates 100 years of Wimbledon’s Centre Court, the aforementioned is being created by Glorious Digital, a New Zealand art studio that has worked with artists and musicians.
However, it is thought the Stockers’ project is beginning to grab headlines due to its resemblance to the conceived purpose of Web3. Kyle Stocker is an ITF-ranked tennis player, while Sabrina founded a company that became the UK’s largest tennis events company.
Web3 is now a trillion-dollar industry, and several leading tennis players have started to show an interest in the medium, including Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Stan Wawrinka, and Rafael Nadal. “Web3 will revolutionize the world of Tennis, and 15 Love will be at the heart of it,” co-founder Sabrina Stocker stated.
What do purchasers receive?
The NFT project and launch pad will include uniquely designed tennis racquets with different rarities and utilities. One element of the project will be its tennis ambassadors, a range of players, legends, and experts that the community can meet.
“Tennis needs a forum where its worldwide community can meet and learn together,” Stocker said. “Almost every top player is involved with social media; the same will be true for Web3 in two-to-three years. Now is a great time to get involved. We are getting in early, and many people could risk missing out”.
Companies like TennisTV have dominated in the Web2 era in tennis. But with Web3 looking like the present and future, tennis fans are demanding wide use of the technology more than ever. 15 Love looks to fill that gap to provide fans with a broader experience.
How does it plan to take off?
Sabrina Stocker has well-placed experience as the CEO of Metaverse Media and nearly two decades of involvement with tennis as a player, coach, and events entrepreneur in the USA and the UK. In addition, she was a candidate on BBC’s The Apprentice, reaching the Final Five in 2018.
Since then, she has been featured in Forbes, has built a following of 50,000 on social media, and was the youngest Top 10 Female Entrepreneur named by Apple News. She now has over 40 staff to help 15 Love reach its full potential, mainly involved in tennis, marketing, the metaverse, and NFTs.
The separating factor between the Stockers’ project and others in the tennis space seems to be its community connection and public relations know-how. Its success could determine how all future sports NFTs are conceived. The community simply needs to be won over by its utility.