Updated July 1, 2021 - 9:17 am
The Golden Knights took their first plunge into the non-fungible token, or NFT, space Thursday.
The Knights created eight NFTs and made seven available in a 48-hour auction at Crypto.com/NFT. The auction ends at 9 a.m. Saturday. The seven NFTs available come with extra benefits, such as tickets to a home game or a jersey. They started the auction priced at $2,000 or $2,500.
The Knights’ eighth NFT is a digital-only version of their “Gold Drip” coin that features the same logo as the one at center ice at T-Mobile Arena. There are 1,500 copies available for $50 each until 9 a.m. Sunday.
An NFT, as Knights chief marketing officer Brian Killingsworth said, is “basically a digital collectible.” It’s a unique “one-of-one” object that in the sports world is akin to an online piece of memorabilia.
The Knights are believed to be one of the first NHL teams to have their own NFTs. The New Jersey Devils became the league’s first team to enter the space in May.
“We take a tremendous amount of pride in trying to be first in a lot of areas,” Killingsworth said. “It’s kind of like our MO to try to be unique and first.”
The Knights prepared for Thursday’s drop for nine weeks.
They knew their fan base probably would be drawn to NFTs because of how successful their physical collectibles have been. Killingsworth said the team’s game-day posters have been a success, and he saw the gold figurine of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury that was given away this year was being resold online for $300.
The NFTs felt like a natural next step, Killingsworth said. They were made in-house. The Knights came up with the idea of pairing each digital item with a physical benefit to make the experience more accessible and make their first drop unique.
“Our goal in this was to blend the excitement of the crypto community with our Golden Knights fan base,” Killingsworth said. “By marrying the physical with the digital, we think our NFTs are a nice blend of both.”
The Knights are hopping onto a growing trend with the auction.
The popularity of NFTs has boomed in 2021. That includes in sports. The Golden State Warriors became the first pro sports team to create their own in April. The NBA has NBA Top Shot, where fans can collect digital artwork of highlights from their favorite players.
Individual players also have entered the space. Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin and Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk have released their own digital collectibles.
The Knights don’t intend this to be a one-time thing, either
“We felt pretty strongly we wanted to come out of the gate with some of our strongest items from last year and convert them into digital,” Killingsworth said. “Our goal is to continue to have future drops now that we’ve learned about the marketplace.”
Here are descriptions for the seven NFTs up for auction:
Shoot Your Shot
Pucks laid out on a black ice surface with a Knights’ branded gold puck standing out from the rest of the group.
Benefits: A full set of warmup pucks from the 2021 season and two tickets to a 2021-22 home game.
The words “Vegas Born” above the Strip.
Benefits: A VIP experience at a home game, including a behind-the-scenes tour at T-Mobile Arena, a Zamboni ride, the chance to watch warmups from the penalty box and two tickets.
Hielo Hielo Bebe
An artwork inspired by the sugar skulls associated with the Mexican Día de Muertos celebration, with subtle hockey elements added.
Benefits: A 2021 Latino Heritage jersey and two tickets to a 2021-22 home game.
An animated slot machine landing on sevens with Knights coins pouring out.
Benefits: A 777 treasure chest from the team’s gold jersey unveiling and two tickets to a 2021-22 home game.
The Knights’ gold helmet with the number 21 to represent the 2021 season.
Benefits: A gold helmet and two tickets to a 2021-22 home game.
The Knights’ gold jersey with the phrase “always advance, never retreat” on the collar.
Benefits: A gold jersey and two tickets to a 2021-22 home game.
Red Light Special
The Knights’ red reverse retro jersey.
Benefits: A red jersey and two tickets to a 2021-22 home game.