ATTN Tennis Fans: NFTs Are Coming To The Australian Open This Year
Presented by Zipmex.
Crypto / NFT 3w

Tennis Australia is the latest sporting body to hitch a ride on the NFT bandwagon.

And they’re making waves to say the least, with the esteemed tennis tournament offering 6,776 NFT ‘art balls’ for the diehard fans in the stands. To produce the collection – a first for a grand slam tournament – Aus Open has partnered with Decentraland, Run It Wild and Metakey.

Basically, each art ball represents exactly a 19cm by 19cm section of tennis court surface, which is randomly assigned as each NFT is minted. Now, and here’s the crazy part, every time a winning shot lands in that specific part of tennis court during the Australian Open this year, the NFT that corresponds to that specific section will be updated with real time match and ball-tracking data.

And of course, there are ‘fungible’ rewards up for grabs as well. If any of the 11 championship points land on an art ball owner’s section, they’ll be given the tennis ball used in the match in a display case along with a certificate verifying it’s authenticity. To top it off, the Grand Slam will also be launching a metaverse via Decentraland, which will allow users to look around a digital rendering of The Australian Open while giving them the changes to talk to high profile players and fellow attendees.

Speaking on the tournaments embracing of the Metaverse, director Craig Tiley said, “With this next wave of technology, global tennis fans will have the opportunity to be part of the 2022 Australian Open in a way never before available… The AO has always been seen as one of the most innovative sporting events in the world and this project is just another example of our team pushing the boundaries to provide our fans with better access and engagement.”

No doubt this will be the first of countless major sporting events to jump on board the NFT/Metaverse train this year. Check out the ‘art balls’ in action below, and while we’re on that note, get caught up on Novak Djokovic’s porn-interrupted court-stream yesterday here.

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Words by Amar Gera January 11, 2022
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