Candy Digital follows up their MLB stadium NFT drops with digital trading cards for college football athletes. The project is called Sweet Futures. This represents a major foray into the world of NFTs for Candy, and the company is hoping to make a big splash with this initial release. The cards feature 23 of the biggest names in NCAA football including NFL-bound Wide Receivers Drake London and Chris Olave.
Each player has 3 sets of cards available for fans. There is a Core set that allows ownership to be distributed among 1,920 fans. The Rare set is only offering ownership to 100 fans. The Epic set will have only one sole owner and the cards were auctioned off to early followers of the Candy Discord channel.
The cards are futuristic-looking and animated on an mp4. They feature the player’s name, position, jersey number, and where they are from. The college team they play for has been obscured from the helmets and jerseys. 2021 marks the first year that college players can market themselves without violating NCAA rules, so this is an interesting concept to me. It will be fun to explore and see how college athletes market themselves and build their fan bases as well as finally profit from their celebrity.
The process of buying a digital trading card has been created so that an average user can buy one with a credit card even though the underlying technology is on Ethereum blockchain. It appears that the NFTs and Marketplace were created using Bitski. Bitski is a a16z venture looking to become the “Shopify of NFTs”.
For someone familiar crypto, it is a bit odd to not just be able to hook up my metamask wallet and make a purchase. Instead, I have to create a Bitski account and link a credit card. The purchase ends up in your Bitski wallet. As an aside, blockchain transactions move slow, so even though you quickly receive a receipt for payment, your Bitski wallet shows that you have no assets. I’m wondering if that creates a lot of calls to the help desk from people that aren’t familiar with the pace of crypto transactions.
Eventually, the trading card is in your Bitski wallet and you can transfer the card to another Ethereum wallet (if you have enough to pay for the gas to transfer).
I love that this is on Ethereum and I can consolidate it with my other digital collectibles. The problem today is that the ETH 2.0 (proof of stake) merge hasn’t happened, so transactions on Ethereum are expensive. The cost of the transaction to buy the digital card was more than the card itself. And if I wanted to remove the digital card from Bitski’s custodial ownership to my own personal wallet, that also costs more than the card itself. This is annoying to me who understands that this won’t be forever for Ethereum. I can’t imagine the feeling it sets for the average fan who is just trying this out for the first time.
The digital trading cards looking like physical cards is amusing to me. It reminds me of when the first iPhone came out and all of the skeuomorphic buttons to make sure users weren’t completely thrown off. I imagine this was an intentional design choice to make sure fans can equate these digital cards to physical cards, but I imagine the future will feature more digital capabilities and have more in-depth functionality. I was surprised it didn’t have basic information such as statistics on the player or their bios. I also suspect that the NFT functionality will be used in future iterations.
All and all, I love what Candy Digitial has done here. I’m excited to see more things from them. I also hope that it inspires creation by other athletes across all sports. NFT trading cards could be an excellent way for athletes to build their own communities and show stats on popularity even if they are not the featured athlete of a team. This is just the beginning.