We are becoming more familiar with the acronym NFT. We know what they are, and what they really are: NFTs are unique pieces that cannot be duplicated or replaced. With NFT we mean a way to uniquely, securely and without doubt identify a digital product created on the Internet. The NFT can be any digital object: video, image, GIF, text, article, audio… When a digital object is certified using NFT, it is as if there is the author’s signature on it, and one cannot say that it is not original or that There are other copies if they are not signed with the NFT.
However, in the world of sports – as reported by Sports Pro Media – the value of the NFT market will grow to $75 billion by 2025 and this is largely due to the booming sales of sports icons. Moreover, recent economic studies have predicted that in 2022 NFT transactions will exceed $2 billion with its purchase of 5 million people.
Collectible NFTs, new digital assets linked to ‘ticket members’ and ‘virtual access tokens’ are just some of the NFTs that have seen a real explosion in the sports world in recent months – explains Leonie Ziliu, attorney in charge of the sports section of the Rödl & Partner study. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), i.e. certificates in a digital format that are not interchangeable, exchangeable or exchangeable thanks to the use of blockchain technology, have become a potential financial source for the entire sports industry. Especially so, it is no coincidence that tennis star Serena Williams recently joined the board of directors One of the main fantasy football platforms on the blockchain and, in fact, the football world, played, played, virtual or simulated, will be one of the key sectors in which NFTs will develop.”
For football clubs, NFTs can serve as new revenue execution revenue streams as well as classic sponsorships, ticket sales and TV rights while increasingly maintaining their fan base with new forms of entertainment and user experience. In light of all this, it is clear to what extent these digital assets represent a huge potential for clubs, companies and associations. But beware, it is not that simple. On the one hand, if sports clubs are to adapt and implement their technological knowledge and skills to the trends and demands of new markets, on the other hand, they must be very attentive to the legal implications associated with these new digital resources.
“One of the potential legal implications related to the world of NFT in the sports industry and specifically in the world of football is that related to sports sponsorship contracts – explains lawyer. Leon Ziliu of Rödl & Partner – Specifically, sponsors are and will increasingly require a respondent for a guarantee that the visibility given to their brands And their logos and tokens in the real world correspond to the same exposure in the virtual world. For example, a sponsor’s logo located on the players’ entrance tunnel on the playing field must also be present in the same virtual context as the fan travels in augmented reality.”
After that, there can be many legal implications inherent in selling NFTs, specifically those related to copyright – asserts expert Rödl & Partner – it is in fact appropriate to point out the fact that NFT buyers are limiting themselves to acquiring the metadata file code using a business, Such as an image of an athlete caught red-handed making a sporting gesture, which may be subject to copyright protection. By purchasing the metadata, the buyer does not acquire the work itself and therefore does not have any intellectual property rights to the original work.”
In addition to this, legislation on image rights. Rödl & Partner experts specify that a club intending to sell NFT in connection with an athlete’s image to third parties must ensure that it obtains the relative right to economic exploitation of the image from the player himself.
“Finally – concludes lawyer. Leon Ziliu – there are legal implications for consumer protection. The latter cannot ignore the basic information related to the act of buying and selling these digital assets. On the one hand, there is a need to make the general terms and conditions of sale accessible and understandable to the consumer, and on the other hand to deal With the complexity of the matter which does not allow the written application of consumer protection regulations. For example, the so-called “right of withdrawal” of the consumer does not apply to the sale of NFT. In fact, once the buyer purchases the NFT, he no longer has a way to terminate the contract and return the asset with refunds of the amounts that It was spent later.