Club Necaxa has sold 1% of the Mexican soccer team for $1.5 million, using NFT technology. Necaxa co-owner Al Tylis said the winning bid came from North America, and was one of 12 to meet the organization’s $1.3 million reserve price.
The winner receives a blockchain token entitling them to owners-level benefits and the ability to sell their stake. “It’s really just using the blockchain technology—using a digital asset—to represent something that other investors are already a part of,” Tylis said.
Tylis was part of a group that recently bought half of the 97-year-old club in a deal valuing it in the low nine figures. The first significant U.S. investment in a Liga MX team also drew a collection of celebrity investors, including actress Eva Longoria, model Kate Upton and athletes Mesut Ozil, Justin Verlander, Richard Hamilton, Victor Oladipo and Bode Miller.
On a recent Sporticast episode, Tylis said that regulatory limitations prevented the club from a larger fan-ownership offering. The team opted to host a sealed bid process rather than using the OpenSea digital marketplace, drawing attention from around the world. More than 400 people registered their interest in the NFT auction.
Even as the initial NFT fervor has waned, Tylis sees further potential for the tech when it comes to fan connections.
“Ultimately, there’s no reason why tokens can’t create different layers of ownership, different rights, different opportunities to engage, different discounted stores, access to the players, access to the club in certain ways,” he said. “I just think there’s a lot of deeper angles that you can ultimately take.”