Australian media company Basketball Forever has announced an NFT project titled Hoop Hounds which seeks to increase NBA fan engagement and provide substantial real-world utility for the tokens.
Critics of NFTs have consistently taken aim at the supposed ineffectual nature of the tokens, with “right click save” memes doing the rounds. However, more recently there has been an uptick in utility-focused NFT projects, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Top Shot, where holders are provided exclusive access to real-world events and products.
Basketball Forever, the NBA-focused subsidiary of sports media company Forever Network, has developed high levels of engagement on social media in Australia over the past four years and is trying to enhance that approach with NFTs.
Basketball Forever will offer a total of 8,888 different “hounds” — various basketball and NBA personalities depicted as different styles of animated canines — each with unique traits and differing levels of rarity. The company expects the NFTs to be available within the next six weeks.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Basketball Forever founder Alex Sumsky, said that his company was going “all in” on NFTs — saying that the technology is more than just a token tied to a JPG and allows organizations to provide innovative ways to increase user engagement and provide fans with real utility.
Users who mint Hoop Hound NFTs for example receive real world fan memorabilia and collectibles, regardless of where in the world they live.
“In phase 1 of the roadmap, users will receive physical items, merchandise and memorabilia that directly relate to the unique trait of the NFTs that they own.”
If a user mints a hound that’s wearing particular items, they earn the ability to claim the corresponding physical items in real life. Certain traits and hounds will be linked to various NBA season triggers that would see certain holders sent to NBA games including flights and accommodation.
Sumsky added that the physical merchandise and NBA…