Running it back this season appears challenging for Dapper Labs’ officially licensed NFL All Day NFT collectibles platform, as sales struggle to gain pre-season momentum compared to the year before.
The project, which made its rookie debut last fall, took Dapper Labs’ lucrative formula for NBA Top Shot and applied it to the gridiron. Both projects offer tokenized video highlights as NFTs that can be bought, sold, and traded on Dapper’s marketplace.
As anticipation peaked for the upcoming NFL season in August of last year, sales on NFL All Day surged to $10.3 million, according to CryptoSlam. However, this time around, NFL All Day is looking at an 87% drop with $1.3 million in sales this past month.
Despite the crypto bear market, NFL All Day had a breakout moment last September while the NFL’s 32 teams jockeyed for position during the regular season’s start. On several Sundays that month, it triumphed over the Bored Ape Yacht Club as a top collection on CryptoSlam’s 24-hour NFT market charts.
It wound up being NFL All Day’s best-ever month, recording $18.4 million in sales across more than 520,000 total transactions. At the time, Dapper advertised its NFT collectibles on the official NFL Network channel, featuring the Kansas City Chiefs’ phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes in promotions.
While the two-time Super Bowl MVP continues to make moves in the crypto space—Mahomes collaborated with the anime-styled NFT brand Azuki recently—NFL All Day’s drop in sales suggests the average sports fan may not share his excitement.
Falling short of expectations during a soft launch in 2021, Dapper moved to renegotiate a deal it had with OneTeam Partners, a joint venture created in part by the NFL Players Association that specializes in group licensing and marketing, per The Block.
Dapper executives reportedly overestimated NFL All Day’s Revenue expectations and wouldn’t be able to pay the minimums it had agreed to with OneTeam Partners. After a months-long process, the two firms reportedly established new terms.
Neither Dapper nor OneTeam immediately responded to a request for comment from Decrypt.
The Vancouver-based Dapper pink-slipped 51 employees in July to further cut costs after laying off 20% of its workforce in February and 22% in November.
Still, NFL All Day continues to introduce new features. Its digital collectibles now feature in-stadium audio, and certain NFTs dubbed “dynamic Moments” can evolve with a given player’s performance, according to the platform’s website.
In addition, NFL All Day introduced a team-based collecting experience and collectibles that it says are more accessible for those participating for the first time. Unlike other NFTs on its platform, the common collectibles are not limited to a pre-set mint count.
For a while, it seemed sports fans were likely to become early adopters of crypto.
A survey from Seton Hall University found last year that sports fans are twice as likely to have owned digital assets, whether that’s coins like Bitcoin or NFTs. And as the NFL season kicks off on Thursday, NFL All Day’s sales could put that interest to the test.