Digital tokens known as NFTs (non – fungible tokens) have taken the entire sporting community by storm. From the NBA (National Basketball Association) to the MLB(Major League Baseball); every sport has an association with these digital collectibles. The popular sport cricket is also not lagging. Rario, an Indian tech company has recently launched cricket’s first NFT platform.
In the first twenty minutes of launching their exclusive and brand new products, almost 100 packs each priced at $500 sold out! Furthermore, this sale was done without any substantial amount of marketing. This just goes on to show the craze of the cricket fans and how successful this business can become.
Ankit Wadhwa, CEO of Rario believes NFTs will be the future of the sport. He says with about 2.5 billion followers of cricket with approximately a billion in India itself, digital collectibles give the unique opportunity for the fans to connect with the game. Apart from viewing the matches on streaming platforms or live, collecting memorabilia is another great way.
However the question here arises, will the various cricketing boards across the globe be ready to agree to share their intellectual property? It’s widely known that the official boards and especially the BCCI (Board for Cricket Control in India) is extremely strict about their media rights. Most boards want to maintain a monopoly of their broadcasting rights. Will the BCCI be willing to share footage or recordings of matches?
Wadhwa believes the change will soon come and several boards will be onboard this project. “Everybody loves to do business,” Wadhwa says. “We are here to create new forms of engagement and allow fans to put their money where their mouth is. Some boards have already indicated they will start engaging in the next couple of months. Others are waiting for regulatory clearances and some want to observe the market. But I have confidence they will all soon come in.”
Moreover, to give credit to Rario, they have managed to get some popular cricketers on board. The former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan and Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana have already signed up with them. Moreover, Shafali Verma, Shakib Al Hasan and Faf du Plessis have also signed deals.