Sirwin
Sirwin
Jetcoin is shaking up traditional player funding.

Don’t Write Off NFT’s Until You See What JetCoin is Quietly Preparing

By James J Griffin | BitcoinDad | 10 Jan 2022


Admit it.

You’re a closet NFT fan. At the very least, you’re NFT curious.

Everyone is. You wouldn’t know it from bitcoin twitter, but they are. How the hell are these glorified jpegs selling for so much money? Well, ETH, but you get the drift. 

That shouldn’t be possible. Well, it’s Etherum, so this is just another flawed endeavor like ETH 2.0 and proof of stake in general. We can chalk the whole thing up to a pipe dream and write it off, right? Can’t we?

Well…

Until very recently, I would have applauded your dismissive nature and joined you in throwing the NFT trend on the ash heap of crypto history along with so many rug pulls and failed alt-coins before them. But then I saw what Jet Coin ($Jet) was doing, and I had to admit I’m intrigued.

I have a feeling you’re going to feel the same after we take a step back and look at a little context.

Take Me Out to The Ball Game

Before COVID, I took baseball for granted. It’s a relatively slow game, full of math and statistics. The beers at the ballpark are overpriced and it’s hard to devote more than 3 hours in a row to anything these days.

Then, overnight, it was gone. I had no idea it would impact me the way it did. All of the sports were gone. ESPN went on to broadcast Tetris, Cheese Rolling, and the World’s Strongest Man competitions in prime time under their “The Ocho” brand.

ESPN's the Ocho During COVID Was Bold

I found myself waking up in the middle of the night on the West Coast to watch the Korean leagues play, fully masked, to no crowd. At least they had the foresight to keep the season alive. MLB wouldn’t take that chance.

2020 was a weird year to say the least, but it got me thinking about how enmeshed baseball is in our culture, even if we’re not actively aware of it.

Market Opportunities

Having sold my baseball card collection decades ago because they were a pain to haul around, I’d lost touch with the fervor that market represents. Since I’ve been living vicariously through the collections of friends and fans my age, who now had discretionary income, I decided to see how big that market currently is.

Global Sports Trading Card Market by Type

It turns out it’s enormous.

Global Sports Trading Card Market by Application

The market for sports trading cards is expected to be worth nearly $100bn in today’s terms. That market also happens to be dominated by baseball cards.

If Jetcoin could represent even a tiny fraction of that market with their unique sports NFTs, then we’re talking about real money. A real market. That’s a boast every other shitcoin available can’t make. 

While we may be quick to write off cyberpunk jpegs, or Etherium rocks, the market for sports collectibles is real. It’s legitimate. Can it bridge the divide between physical and digital? Jetcoin has something to say about that.

A New Sports Funding Model

The way baseball megastars make it to the big leagues is in one of two major ways. 

The first is they are discovered at a young age by scouts and their talent is fostered to the point where they can enter the majors at a relatively young age. This would be how Lebron found his way onto Cleveland’s courtside right out of high school.

Most players find themselves in the farm or development leagues. For baseball this represents a quasi professional status, where yeah, there’s a paycheck, but it can’t support you.

If you play for the Lake Elsinore Storm, and the average rent in Lake Elsinore is almost $2,000 a month, your single A ball contract isn’t going to cut the mustard.

Average Lake Elsinore Rent

In short, the money is concentrated (centralized) at the top. That’s anathema to everything a good cryptocurrency stands for, right? 

The Novel JetCoin Approach

JetCoin has set out, in their white paper, to change the way the fans interact with the talent. In selling tokens that can be used to purchase limited edition NFTs (much like you would an autographed baseball card), fans can more directly support players they think are going somewhere.

This helps to solve a couple of problems that baseball faces with their century old farm leagues.

First, it takes some of the talent scouting out of the hands of professional scouts. Centralized power can cause blindspots in talent acquisition for organizations. By distributing some funding, and allowing these otherwise second and third job guys to support themselves while developing, competition should improve.

Second, it helps alleviate the issues surrounding loyalty. Today, a player will play for anywhere between 3 - 7 teams over the course of their career. As Jerry Seinfeld famously put it, we’re rooting for clothes.

By tying fans to players directly through private market NFT financial transactions, fans aren’t rooting for clothes, they’re taking an active financial interest in players they think have a future. Ideally, they’re right and that financial investment will pay literal dividends.

Will it work? 

Well, honestly, in reviewing the materials provided by JetCoin, I have some concerns. 

Let’s get this out of the way. It’s a very interesting project. One that I’d like to see succeed. I can’t think of anything off hand that has used NFTs as anything other than a cash grab or corporate marketing gimmick.

Disrupting development league financing is something new. Let’s see if the player union signs off on it. That’s another discussion.

A Global Approach

Thus far, JetCoin has found sponsorship opportunities outside North America with football. As the planet’s most popular sport by far, making inroads there is good business.

Wigan Athletic F.C. is One Sponsored Club 

To date, Jetcoin has banner ads with England’s Premier League. They have also sponsored several smaller clubs. Football jerseys are much more favorable to advertising than are Major League Baseball jerseys, so again, this is just good business savvy on the part of the issuer.

Conclusion and What to Look For

As with most centralized alt-coins, JetCoin suffers from some significant overhead. There’s marketing, management and their fees, which eat into any potential revenue players will take home. While this isn’t meaningfully different from having an agent, it does mean that perhaps JetCoin isn’t the company to start this from scratch.

JET Distribution Matrix

Would players be better off if an established agency tacked this service onto their offerings? Is JetCoin the right group to do it since they don’t carry the legacy bagage of a traditional sports agency? 

Time will tell, but damned if this isn’t a novel project. One that demands we keep our collective eye on it, so watch this space. 

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James J Griffin
James J Griffin

Freelance writer and real estate professional splitting time between San Diego, CA and Manchester, UK.


BitcoinDad
BitcoinDad

Cryptocurrency is a space that new dads in the 21st century are going to have to pay attention to. This isn't a shift in the economy like we experienced with the gold watch and pensions.

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