Arena & Candy Digital | NFT News with Jack Settleman

Gio AnnatelliDigital & Social Content Manager
Last Updated: Dec 14, 2021

Jack Settleman, a frequent contributor for The Game Day, checks in with us about various topics of interest. An expert in sports betting and the NFT/crypto world, Jack gives his insight into each of those topics.

This week, Jack shared his thoughts on some recent news in the NFT and crypto world and what impact this could have on the future.

Change to Arena & Islanders NFT Partnership

The Staples Center, which opened in 1999, will be changing its name to the Arena. Home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Sparks, this name change will go into effect on Christmas Day when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets.

The deal is the largest naming rights deal ever at $700 million over 20 years. While the name change goes into effect soon, the process of removing the Staples logos around the arena has already begun and isn’t expected to be completed until next June.

“Crypto is now inevitable, done are the days of speculation," Settleman said when asked for his initial thoughts of the iconic arena being renamed. “I’m not saying is inevitable, I’m saying cryptocurrency and the next digital age is."

“Similar to the gambling companies, the crypto companies are just going to have more money than companies like Coca-Cola and Staples because they trade off of margin. The more assets they get under management, essentially they make a lot more money."

The New York Islanders and UBS Arena recently announced a multi-year partnership with Orange Comet, Inc., a premium NFT and blockchain experience company. They plan to produce and sell NFTs on the Orange Comet Marketplace powered by the Avalanche blockchain.

The first limited edition NFT drop debuted on the Islanders’ debut at UBS Arena on November 20. The first 1,000 fans that pre-registered received a limited-edition custom goalie mask NFT. Instead of fans receiving a shirt or a towel, Isles fans will be able to walk away with an NFT in their digital wallet.

“The casual fan might be lost on the game day experience when actually getting into the seats, and what better way to find a true die-hard fan than with an NFT that tracks all your interactions," Settleman said. “Right now, not everything in NFTs has to hold monetary value; it can hold intrinsic value in other ways."

“I can claim an NFT, which essentially memorializes a moment from the game, and I can keep it in my digital wallet. That to me is way more intriguing than getting a shirt or a hat from a playoff series."

MLB Deal With Candy Digital Another Landmark NFT Event

During the NBA Bubble, NBA Top Shot took over the NFT world with highlight moments from across the NBA. The market took off and Settleman, at the time, set the record for the largest purchase of a LeBron James moment.

With all the hype NBA Top Shot created, it was only time until another sports league jumped in on the craze. Enter MLB, which signed an exclusive long-term agreement with Candy Digital, a next-generation digital collectible company.

Candy Digital received MLB’s entire video catalog, with the plan to create licensed NFTs. Already launched, the project has been up-and-running since July 4 weekend.

The NFL will soon follow suit once Dapper releases its partnership with the league. But the question remains if the other leagues will garner as much success as the NBA. “The NBA is the most player-centric league we have, and so they benefit a lot from that," Settleman said. “The NBA had the first-mover advantage."

“When Dapper releases its NFL partnership, we question, outside of the top 10 quarterbacks, are people going to want to own a defensive end NFT? Are they going to want to own a cornerback who only has so many followers on Instagram?"

It’s easy to know who some of the lesser players are in the NBA, given the size of each roster, whereas in the NFL and MLB, the roster sizes are much larger and players get lost in the crowd if they’re not among the best in the league.

Looking at MLB, specifically, the age of the average baseball fan tends to be much higher than that of the average basketball fan. “I think that’s where Candy Digital will want to focus a lot on, how do you market to younger fans?"

NBA Continues To Blaze Trail In NFT/Crypto Space

The way NBA Top Shot blew up when it initially launched, it almost feels impossible to match that. Everyone in the space was jumping in on it, and while the hype has died down a bit, Top Shot is showing no sign of slowing down.

A partnership with Coinbase and their owners pushing for Web 3.0 and NFTs sets the NBA apart from the others at the moment. But it feels like we haven’t even scratched the surface of the new digital age we’re about to enter.

“At least domestically, the NFL has a chance to win out long-term, given it’s the biggest league and it owns a day on the calendar," Settleman said. “But the NBA will definitely run it to start."

Each day a new story breaks about a professional team launching an NFT project or a player taking their salary in Bitcoin (i.e. Odell Beckham Jr.). As a result, more people and teams are jumping into the digital world, looking towards the future, and seeing extreme growth with NFTs and cryptocurrency.

To repeat an earlier quote from Jack - done are the days of speculation.

Read Jack Settleman’s NFT insights at The Game Day. Recent topics have included his purchase of Green Bay Packers stock, plus the launch of The Knights of Degen NFT project and Snapback Agency, his two latest ventures.


Gio Annatelli

Gio Annatelli is a Digital Content Coordinator with The Game Day, writing and editing sports articles for the web. He is seasoned in sports, having covered and written for teams such as the New York Giants, New York Jets, and New York Islanders. Gio graduated from Hofstra University where he got his Bachelor's degree in Journalism. You can almost guarantee he's betting on a parlay.

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