The Sacramento Kings are set to launch their latest NFT offering, as NBA teams continue to experiment with blockchain products. The Kings are selling 20 unique so-called “Laidback Lions,” which will come with real-world perks, like premium seats, clothing and access to a private pick-up game on the Kings’ home court.
“We remain committed to enhancing the way in which we engage with our worldwide fan base,” Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadivé said in a statement. “As the metaverse becomes a reality, we are excited to provide fans exclusive activations that have never been possible before.”
In July, the Kings sold 85 NFTs harkening back to the team’s 1985 debut season in Sacramento, but that was only one in a long line of crypto efforts by the franchise. In 2014, the Kings became the first pro team to accept Bitcoin in its team store, and a few years later, cryptocurrency mining machines were installed at Golden 1 Center. The Kings have also used blockchain tech to power memorabilia auctions and augment its reward program. In April, Ranadivé reportedly said he would offer everyone in his organization the ability to get paid in Bitcoin.
This latest drop is being done in collaboration with blanksoles, a metaverse platform putting an emphasis on sneakers and fashion. People looking to buy Laidback Lions will need a Solana-compatible wallet. The 20 NFTs are expected to be sold for roughly $500 each.
Since the launch of NBA Top Shot, basketball clubs and fans have often been at the forefront of crypto’s growth within sports. According to data released by Nielsen this week, 43% of NBA fans plan to buy an NFT in the next six months, while the average across the U.S. general population was 25%. Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton has been particularly active promoting NFTs; in November, he wore a pair of shoes featuring the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT he owns for a game against the Pelicans.