With the rise of NFT projects, many different publicity stunts are being performed, and the Major League Soccer signs Bored Ape NFT as an athlete.
In a formal news release on Friday, America’s premier Major League Soccer signs Bored Ape NFT to a “professional contract.” Bored Ape NFT, dubbed “Striker,” made its debut on the “virtual pitch” during Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game. MLS touted the signing as “the first digital player to sign with a professional sports club” and promoted the signing.
Major League Soccer signs Bored Ape NFT
The following statements were included in the press release published on the subject: “I’m extremely excited to join Major League Soccer, the fastest growing sports league in North America. In a league with players from more than 82 countries, it is an honor to be the first digital athlete. I can’t wait to get on the virtual pitch.”
This so-called “signing” seems to be little more than a license agreement and/or promotional effort for Major League Soccer and its upcoming All-Star Game. MLS claimed that ge3, a unit of online marketing company Get Engaged, was involved in the introduction of Striker; nevertheless, Get Engaged currently owns BAYC #6045, the NFT that represents Striker.
Blockchain records show that BAYC #6045 is now stored in a wallet that belongs to Get Engaged, although MoonPay actually bought the NFT. Yes, the same cryptocurrency payment system behind the flurry of high-profile NFT “purchases” and wince-inducing NFT ownership promotion, as brilliantly illustrated by Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon’s uncomfortable interaction about their Bored Apes on The Tonight Show in January 2022.
The NFT was purchased by MoonPay for 100 Eth (approximately $250,000) on March 13, 2022. Four days later, it was transferred to a wallet under the control of Get Engaged, where it remained until Friday’s announcement of the cooperation with MLS. Even in the press release’s “Fast Facts” section about Striker, Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape NFT Yacht Club, makes a brief mention of its projected Web3 MMORPG Otherside.
Deal promotes NFT ownership
All of the evidence suggests that this “signing” is really just another clout-grabbing attempt to promote NFT ownership through a well-known name; however, this attempt comes as the NFT market, like other large crypto markets, is rapidly dropping. And that’s before taking into account the anticipated backlash to Major League Soccer “signing” something that is really little more than a smart contract.
When compared to the current financial turmoil the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is going through as a result of crypto brokerage Voyager Digital filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July, Major League Soccer “signing” an NFT also screams of not reading the room.
In December 2021, Voyager Digital became one of the league’s key sponsors. As part of the sponsorship agreement, players in the NWSL were given the opportunity to invest in cryptocurrencies that were exchanged on Voyager’s platform. The agreement was standard sportswashing of cryptocurrency brokers and NFT developers through big sponsorship arrangements, which have become in popularity recently. The NWSL players had cryptocurrency accounts, but they were never paid because of Voyager’s agreement with the league and its eventual bankruptcy case.
Meghann Burke, executive director of the NWSL Players’ Association, was compelled by the circumstance to publicly promise the public that no NWSL players will miss a salary.
The Major League Soccer will enjoy themselves with their virtual player, but doing so at the same time as another significant Web3 player is putting the top U.S. women’s soccer league under financial strain to the point where players may lose money is at best disgusting.
We hope that you enjoyed this article on Major League Soccer signs Bored Ape NFT as an athlete. If you did, we are sure that you will also like to check out our other articles, such as Coca-Cola NFT: The company released 136 digital collectibles for LGBTQIA+ charity, or Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) films are coming: Degen Trilogy.