The Dodgers Are Raffling Off a World Series Ring and a World Series Ring NFT
There’s no better memento from a professional sports career than a championship ring. It proves that you got your shot in the big show and took your team to that ultimate achievement. The rings are huge and often gaudy, and that makes them perfect for what they represent.
Every sports fan has that lingering dream of winning one of their very own. But, for the vast majority of us, it’s not in the cards. So when teams do replica ring giveaways, it works as a sort of wish fulfillment and makes us feel connected to the team a little more.
You of course could get the real thing if you spend enough money, as athletes put theirs up for sale or auction from time to time. And in the new age of NFTs, there’s also a market for wholly digital championship rings.
Major League Baseball recently announced a partnership with Candy Digital, which specializes in “digital collectibles.” As part of that partnership, the Los Angeles Dodgers are auctioning a 2020 World Series ring NFT along with a real one, according to Dodger Blue.
Starting tomorrow at 9 a.m. PT and running through 4 p.m. Thursday, a 1-of-1 #Dodgers World Series ring NFT, physical ring and VIP first pitch experience at Dodger Stadium will be auctioned. pic.twitter.com/gT1VTJPUhn
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) July 10, 2021
Sure, you can’t clink a glass with it like you can with the real ring, but it’s still pretty cool.
Are NFTs going to be the collectible of the future? That remains to be seen. But, right now, they’re hot enough to have real value, even if the products are totally digital. The catch here is that it comes with a real ring, too. That mix of tangible and intangible, as well as the experiential factor (here, throwing out a first pitch), is likely going to continue in the promo world in some capacity.
They’re not NFTs, but in-game products like character costumes and items are often replicated in the real world, or vice versa. And some promotional products professionals believe that NFTs have a place in the industry going forward, even if there’s no real ink used to decorate it or a single thread of cotton.
Most importantly, it underscores the possibilities of melding digital and physical for a promotion. A good promotional campaign can integrate a physical product to drive interaction on social media or other web-based platforms. Maybe you can throw in a print product that uses a QR code to drive mobile traffic to an app.
This ring NFT is a way for the MLB to capitalize on its partnership with Candy Digital with digital merchandise while also incorporating traditional branded merchandise. We'll likely see plenty more brands going a similar route in the near future.