NHL’s foray into NFTs deemed a latecomer into declining market

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The National Hockey League (NHL) introduced its digital collectibles platform, NHL Breakaway, on November 15. The league’s attempt to enter the NFT space, labeled as “digital collectibles highlight community,” seems to be a latecomer to a trend that has seen a decline in interest and value over the past two years.

In cooperation with the NHL and its partners, Sweet revealed that it utilized the hockey league’s extensive highlight archives to create an immersive experience for users. The platform enables fans to obtain packs comprising highlights, uniquely packaged with various camera angles and the natural sounds of the game.

Tom Mizzone, CEO of Sweet, remarked on the collaboration, stating that in this groundbreaking partnership. They were not just launching a platform but were forging a new era where gamified and social digital collectibles would become a bridge to unforgettable experiences in the sport fans love.

Contrary to its counterparts like the NBA, which ventured into the NFT realm with NBA Top Shot, the NHL’s decision to avoid the explicit mention of NFT in its press release and marketing materials indicates a certain awareness of the fading allure of NFTs.

The league’s belated entry into this market echoes the struggles of NBA Top Shot, which faced a 94% decline in sales during the early stages of the 2022-23 season.

Not only does NHL Breakaway encounter a shrinking interest in NFTs, but it also joins an industry where up to 95% of NFTs may be currently deemed worthless, according to a report by dappGambl. Even the first ETF targeting NFTs, the Defiance Digital Revolution, closed earlier this year after a substantial decline in value since its inception.

The NHL’s timing and approach suggest a lack of creative thinking and a failure to identify the waning popularity of digital collectibles. Despite the league’s efforts, NHL Breakaway faces an uphill battle, given the current landscape where both public interest and investor value in NFTs are minimal.

Acknowledging the risks associated with this venture, the NHL’s official X (Formerly Twitter) account remained silent on NHL Breakaway, leaving the announcement to its PR account.

The league’s decision to enter the NFT game seems ill-timed, highlighting a missed opportunity to focus on initiatives that could better advance the sport.

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