Professional Bull Riders, the bull riding circuit owned by Endeavor, has partnered with SmartMedia Technologies in a three-year deal, which will involve that cryptocurrency-based firm launching a branded non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, and also one fan having the opportunity to take ownership of a bull.
SMT, launched in 2018, has entered into a licensing agreement with PBR to “create a new PBR-branded loyalty and engagement program”, involving digital fan tokens being issued, which supporters everywhere will be able to earn and collect.
Fans will be able to collect tokens, for free, at live or televised PBR events, as a reward for engaging with the series on social media, or through purchasing official PBR merchandise. They will be redeemable for tickets to various PBR events, partner products, licensed merchandise, or for other trading cards and NFTs.
In addition, SMT is also set to unveil a sweepstake where the winner will receive an NFT that gives them honourary status as an official PBR stock contractor – the winner will effectively own a bull.
The fan will have ceremonial ownership of the bull, with their name to be listed whenever the bull appears at an event and to be listed on the promotion’s media properties and online sites. The winner will also have access to six events per year at which the bull is expected to compete.
The sweepstakes will start in early November, and run through to early January, with a winner to be named at the PBR Buck Off on 7 January.
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SMT will also launch and distribute a range of collectible NFTs through the PBR NFT marketplace, with “a focus on digital trading cards featuring PBR’s top riders and bulls, as well as top moments in PBR history.”
Josh Baker, PBR’s chief revenue officer, has said, regarding the partnership: “It brings in a whole new demographic, often a younger one, and introduces them to the sport … Hopefully, they like it, engage with it and stay.”
Sean Gleason, PBR’s commissioner and chief executive, added: “Analysing the NFT market, we knew we needed to find a licensee with the expertise and technical breadth to create a game-changing program.
“Starting with our sweepstakes and first NFT, making a lucky fan an honourary owner of an actual PBR bucking bull, SmartMedia will use NFTs to create the same unique, unexpected and fun experience inherent in PBR events.”
Other Endeavor properties to have recently dipped their toes into the NFT waters include mixed martial arts’ UFC partnering with trading card company Panini in August, to produce the series’ first-ever NFT trading cards.
As well as this, Endeavor itself invested in Dapper Labs, a consumer blockchain company, several years ago. That firm has since teamed up with UFC in a deal that will allow fans to own digital versions of their favourite fighters.