Legendary soccer player Lionel Messi has announced a partnership with Ethernity protocol to launch his first-ever NFT (nonfungible token) collection called “Messiverse”. The tokens feature four digitized artworks produced by Australian artist Bosslogic, who previously worked with entertainment giants Disney and Marvel.
Blockchain platform Ethernity will be launching four digital collectibles celebrating the greatest footballer of his generation, Lionel Messi, on August 20. The token will be authenticated by Messi himself and mark his foray into the digital assets domain.
Three tokens from the collection have already been revealed. While a fourth will be unveiled later this month by creative agency Impossible Brief. This NFT will be authenticated by both Messi and Copa America.
The first token in Messiverse is titled “Man From the Future” and it features the Argentine legend against a blue background, sporting blue laser eyes. The second NFT is titled “Worth the Weight” and portrays Messi as Atlas, the Greek mythical Titan who was condemned to carry heaven upon his shoulders. The last artwork in the series, titled “The King Piece”, shows a golden version of Messi surrounded by chess pieces and a ring of soccer balls.
This is not the first time a digital token has attempted to capture Messi’s outstanding career on the blockchain. Ethernity dropped a collection celebrating Argentina’s historic win against Brazil in the Copa America final in July. This was Messi’s first major international victory as the captain of the Argentinian football team.
Although football clubs and championships are still experimenting with NFTs, they are already making huge strides in the sport’s fan communities. For collectors, they are equivalent to rare trading cards that hold actual value in the crypto market. In addition to this, they are also a great source of revenue for athletes, who get to monetize themselves directly without the need for a third party. Also, anyone minting NFTs can sell their offerings through a digital marketplace -- sidestepping the hassles of dealing with brokers, auction houses, and marketing agents.
Therefore, it’s becoming increasingly common for soccer players to solidify their brand identity via tokenized assets. Before Messi, Ethernity partnered with football superstar Pelé to launch a digital version of his trading cards. Elsewhere, leading athlete image rights firm Polaris Sports teamed up with Zilliqa blockchain to release 10 collectibles featuring prominent soccer players like Diego Costa and James Rodriguez.