Following the lead of major league baseball, basketball and various football codes, the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour is on the verge of launching NFT programs in concert with digital platforms Sorare and Autograph.
In a deal yet to be finalised, players stand to earn revenue based on the sales performance of NFTs using their name, image and likeness (NIL).
Autograph was co-founded last year by American football player Tom Brady as a platform for athletes and celebrities to market branded NFT collections, with former golf superstar Tiger Woods – among other sports celebrities – an equity holder and board adviser.
PGA Shoots for Fantasy Sports Par
Until now, Sorare has focused on soccer and acquired NFT video partnerships with major associations in Europe and the US. However, its main product is a digital fantasy sports game based on NFTs.
A deal with the PGA Tour for fantasy trading cards could lead to Sorare expanding into other sports. One of those is tennis, and to that end the company has signed multiple grand slam winner Serena Williams as an adviser.
Golf Perceived as ‘Crypto-Friendly’
With its appeal to a wealthy audience, golf is one of the more crypto-friendly sports. Market research shows that 37 percent of PGA Tour fans own crypto, compared to 32 and 27 percent of NBA and NFL followers, respectively. Another indicator is that golf startup LinksDAO raised US$11 million earlier this year to build a course.
Unlike team sports, the PGA needs only athletes’ individual approval to use their NIL. Golfers will have to “sign up” for Sorare to mint their trading cards or for Autograph to sell NFTs featuring their highlights packages.
NFT Royalties Tied to Performance
PGA Tour golfers who opt in will earn a lump sum based on their performance at the previous year’s FedEx Cup, the sport’s season-long points competition. Additionally, they will earn pro-rata royalty payments based on the market performance of their respective NFTs and trading cards. Golfers can still launch their own NFT collections, but they will not be allowed to use Tour-licensed images.
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