While the controversy surrounding world No.1 Novak Djokovic‘s expulsion from the tournament for failing to vaccinate has not died down, the Australian Open is launching a series of commemorative NFTs.
6 commemorative collections
“The Australian Open has teamed up with NFT and Digital Collectible platform Sweet.io to release the AO Decades Collection, featuring six commemorative NFT collections celebrating the iconic decades of the AO.
With more than 40 pieces available to own, fans and collectors have a unique opportunity to acquire a piece of AO history”.
reads an announcement on the tournament’s official website.
These are 6 unique collections that each represent a decade from the 1970s to the present day.
“Each decade drop will contain era specific collectables – including a Commemorative Ticket, a 3D Umpire Chair, a 3D Tennis Court and a ‘Legendary Moment’ featuring a highlighted match from that specific era with the likes of Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Martina Navratilova showcased”.
“The Australian Open launches the sports and entertainment calendar each year, and is the biggest sporting event in the world each January”,
Ridley Plummer, Tennis Australia’s Metaverse and NFT Project Manager, told the press.
The launch of the NFT Australian Open collection
The first release from the 1970s will be launched on Monday 17 January at 10 AM CET containing four NFT collectible items. As well as capturing legendary moments from the Tournament’s history, the pack also includes a commemorative ticket, a 3D tennis racket, an umpire’s chair and a 3D tennis court.
The latest modern-day version will be released on 27 January, three days before the men’s final of the tournament on Sunday 30 January.
The sale will use the innovative Sweet.io platform on Tezos, which focuses on social engagement between fans and successful sports, fashion and entertainment brands.
“We were delighted to work with the Australian Open and help bring these pieces of tennis history to fans across the globe. We love this idea of turning IP into digital memorabilia and tying that memorabilia back to an experience”.
said CEO of Sweet Tom Mizzone.
Sport and innovation
With this new initiative, the Australian Open confirms itself as a tournament with a strong focus on new technological innovations. In the 2020 edition, the tournament hosted the Fortnite Summer Smash, an eSports event with a prize pool of $100,000, with players from 12 countries.
In 2021, the US Open launched a series of collectible cards that could be purchased on the specialized marketplace Bitski.