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A Sports Project Closes Its Doors 😰
Featuring a new podcast, and the first big sports NFT platform to shutter its doors.
This news went relatively under the radar last week.
NFTU is closing down, after less than 15 months in operation.
What was NFTU, you may ask?
A Top Shot-like collectible platform, featuring cards and highlights from college players, many of whom went on to the NBA (Carmelo Anthony, Ja Morant, etc.). Hence the “U” in the name (University).
Similar to other sports platforms, NFTU released tons of packs over time featuring players of various rarities - and even had some pretty fun crafting challenges, including a ticket system that I really loved.
But sadly, the platform failed to gain traction, and has only accumulated $598k of secondary volume over time (for context, thats what Top Shot does in a week).
The platform’s parent company - Recur - had it hand in many other brand pickle jars, including Nickelodeon and Paramount. But they have recently pivoted away from the IP game, and have instead focused on a white label brand builder.
Recur was formed in the 2021 craze, and initially raised $50M. The rights to the players and teams on NFTU were all individually licensed (unlike the NBA and NBAPA that work together to license out ALL their properties).
A sign of things to come?
Listen, I thought NFTU was pretty cool. We even promoted them!
Recur is a tech startup and it needs to show numbers to its investors. By signing individual licenses (many of which were likely short term, with small revenue promises), they kept themselves flexible.
Recur isn’t dead. They just made the hard call to kill one of their platforms. And we should applaud them for it!
But the move is potentially the first signal that the collectible side of sports NFTs is not sustainable. And who knows what type of precedent this sets.
The silver lining is that we’ll finally get the answer to the big question: what happens to our sports NFTs if the company that made them closes down?
We’ll find out June 30th when it happens.
**Editor’s Note: There will NOT be a Saturday edition of the newsletter this week. I’ll be on a canoe trip in the backwoods of western Canada.
Also - Phil is taking over The First Mint Twitter account at the end of the week.
🎙️216 - How to Fix Top Shot, The Worm NFT, LeBron Super Team, Phil’s Curb Alerts
By the time you listen to this, the game 7 talk on this show will be old news! But fear not, because we spent the second half of the show discussing how Top Shot could be fixed, and talking about the problem with releasing too many Rookie legendaries. Phil's also takes us through his personal journey of trying to throw furniture out on the curb in his neighborhood.
In This Episode:
2:45 - LG’s pink t-shirt
11:00 - Toronto’s history of animal memes
16:00 - Phil’s BBQ garbage story
19:30 - The sunken part of Phil’s couch
23:00 - Do you own expensive furniture?
28:30 - Game 7 thoughts
39:00 - Referee’s burner account
46:30 - Brooks Koepka, master clapper
50:00 - Don’t hug the opposing team
54:00 - Nick Nurse breaking news!
1:00:00 - LeBron’s super team of old guys
1:05:00 - Top Shot went back on their word again (shocker)
1:17:00 - Better leadership at Top Shot
1:29:00 - Thumbnails > Moments
1:34:00 - Rookie Legendaries are a mess
1:40:00 - Phil is taking over TFM twitter
Links mentioned on the show:
🔥Hot Take of the Week:
This is a hypothetical question, really.
Because we all know Phil is a self-admitted “cheapo” who only buys NFTs for $1 or less.
And the winner…
🏆 May 31 | Pooky Balls (Soccer Betting)
Cost: Range from $25 to $1,600
Time: 9am ET
Thoughts: This is a new one called Pooky, where you buy “Balls” and use them to enter betting contests. The balls have various attributes that contribute to your final score, and you have to allocate your resources wisely. Worth a try for free!
⚾ May 31 | MLB Rookie ICONs
Cost: $100 per pack
Supply: 1,880 Packs / 10 cards per pack
Time: 1pm ET
Thoughts: This drops will contains the new format of “INSERTS”, which reflect the past, present and future of MLB. This *may* sell out. Candy market is a tricky one.
🏉 Ongoing | AFL Mint Round 9&10
Cost: ~$29 per pack
Supply: 375 Packs / 10 cards per pack
Time: On now.
Thoughts: The first four drops in this series from the AFL (Aussie Rules Football) all sold out pretty quickly, but this one has been slower! Just over 50% gone.
Enter our NFL ALL DAY Contest
We got $150 worth of Moments of your choosing to hand out in the contest below.
Steady this week in the charts, as Top Shot saw a nice bounce after last week’s rookie legendary drop.
On the Buyer side, a large drop for a few platforms (ALL DAY, Sorare NBA, Candy Digital), and very little growth. But hey its week by week mmk?
We posted some savage questions last week:
On the opposite end of that one:
Last, some great answers when it comes to “tickets”.
**This is not financial advice. Nothing in this newsletter, podcast, or publication should be considered financial or trading advice of any kind. Please do your own thorough research and make your own trading decisions. This is not advice.”
About The First Mint
A web3 sports community. Collectibles, NFTs, and Metaverse.
Tweets and Newsletters are not endorsements.