Premier League giants Liverpool FC have entered the digital collectibles market by launching LFC Heroes Club.
After assessing the market over the last 12 months, feedback from fan questionnaires and engagement with the Spirit of Shankly supporters group, the Reds have linked up with famous auction house Sotheby's to launch two categories of digital collectibles – a set of 24 unique ‘Legendary’ 1 of 1 NFTs, and a series of generative ‘Hero Edition’ NFTs that combine multiple player illustrations to produce a unique digital collectible for each fan.
The Legendary and Hero Edition digital collectibles will be available to purchase during a three-day sale from Wednesday, March 30 to Friday, April 1. Within the sale window, the ‘Legendary’ 1 of 1 NFTs, which consist of 24 legendary heroes, will be made available to purchase through a live auction.
The three-day sale will be run and be managed on an energy-efficient blockchain called Polygon as part of their sustainability initiative The Red Way.
“The LFC Heroes Club drop is a first-of-its-kind initiative, which seeks to bring a new, exciting and innovative way for supporters around the world to engage with the club," said Drew Crisp, senior vice president of digital at Liverpool FC.
“We always strive to adopt new emerging technology for the benefit of fans and club, while also being very conscious of our impact on the environment. This is why we have chosen to work with Sotheby’s due to its capability to create NFTs on an energy-efficient blockchain," Crisp added.
“We wanted to create a really accessible collection of NFTs that are truly unique to LFC, and simply give fans an opportunity to explore this new and trending topic, and most importantly, give fans the choice to buy one should they wish,” he said.
During the sale, fans will have the opportunity to own a unique randomly generated ‘Hero’ Edition, which will be revealed once the sale comes to an end - like opening a pack of football cards. These will be priced at around £56 with the club stressing that these NFTs are not to be seen as investments and a cap will exist on the amount of blind pack NFTs that can be bought.
The club have specified that fans can purchase the NFTs with debit cards, instead of cryptocurrency.
Half of Liverpool’s proceeds from the ‘Legendary’ 1 of 1 auction will go to supporting the LFC Foundation towards their charitable and community projects, including their education and employability programmes, inclusion and special educational needs and disability support. An additional 10 per cent from LFC’s limited edition ‘Hero’ sale and 10 per cent of all future resale royalties also will go to LFC Foundation.
The LFC Foundation will also create their own LFC Foundation Heroes NFTs to celebrate the staff members who made significant contributions to the club’s charitable service in the community.
“To collaborate with Liverpool Football Club, one of the most successful and storied football clubs in the world, for this first-of-its-kind NFT collection marks a turning point in how NFTs can be used to engage fan communities with tailored releases and unique concepts specially designed for their supporters," said Sebastian Fahey, Sotheby’s managing director for EMEA and executive lead for Sotheby’s Metaverse.
“Together we have created a new digital art collection, which celebrates LFC heroes and leverages our web3 technology to enable the club’s passionate and global supporter group to be a part of this exciting initiative for the long-term,” Fahey added.
The Liverpool FC-Sotheby's partnership is one of the up-and-coming tie-ups between Premier League teams and the crypto or blockchain startups. This is the first since Manchester United announced their strategic link-up with Tezos (XTZ) last month.
Featured photo: AFP / ANTHONY DEVLIN