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Today, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they have partnered with Non-Fungible Token (NFT) platform Sweet to unveil their first-ever NFT experience, intended for the most passionate Cavaliers fans both in Cleveland and around the world. This partnership between the Cavaliers organization and Sweet is the latest innovation by NBA organizations to interact with their fans. The Dallas Mavericks were the first team to get in on the action, launching Mavs Collectables in December, Now, the Cavaliers now following suit.
Starting today, Cleveland fans can go to mycavslocker.io and claim their very own free NFT Locker, which will “unlock” for the first time when the Cavaliers host the Indiana Pacers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday, February 6. The Locker will act as the fan's virtual showcase for displaying and interacting with any and all future Cavaliers NFT collectibles. Those who attend the game in person against the Pacers will be rewarded with their very first Cavaliers NFT collectible, a “Let ‘Em Know” branded t-shirt, that can be displayed in their Locker, as well as the option to purchase other digital items released that day.
This will tip off a series of collectibles that will be made available to fans who attend home games throughout the remainder of the 2021-22 season. Future collectibles may also include a varsity jacket, sneakers, Cavs branded t-shirts that just might also make an appearance in the physical world, even a mini-fridge that fans can unlock to open a whole new layer of possible collectibles.
“Ultimately, this will be an ongoing promotion, not just for the remainder of this season but for upcoming seasons, meaning fans can continue to build out, curate, and showcase their ‘My Cavs Locker’ into the future," said Mike Conley, Cavaliers SVP and Chief Information Officer. "This offers our supporters a fantastic and fun way to own a digital shrine, showcasing their love for the team. It also is an extension of our commitment to innovate around the fan experience and constantly explore new ways to build deeper connections with those in Cleveland and across the world who fervently support the team.
"This comes as NFTs are increasingly being used in the sports world as digital extensions of the physical memorabilia fans have always craved and collected. A growing number of leagues and teams are turning to digital collectibles to give rare and unique opportunities to fans who want to own the moment or commemorate their game experience. With plenty of home games left this season, fans can get their free Locker, collect these exclusive in-venue-only NFTs, and start populating and customizing their virtual “My Cavs Locker.”
“What’s remarkable about this program is how accessible it is," said Tom Mizzone, CEO of Sweet. "All fans will need is their mobile phone to start collecting this digital memorabilia and completing their immersive Cavs experience – their own personal virtual Locker. We see this as a model for how teams can use this new digital tech to empower their fans to literally showcase how much they love their favorite franchises.”
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Fans who attend Cavaliers games in-person this season will be able to unlock exclusive NFTs to fill their virtual locker.
Going forward, when fans attend a home game, they will have the opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind digital Cavs collectible, allowing each fan to collect and curate their own “My Cavs Locker” experience that reflects their passion for the team. For those who can’t make it to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to claim a game-issued collectible, these in-venue-only NFTs may become available on secondary markets, providing an opportunity for fans to acquire the items they weren’t present to collect.
The NFT Locker experience provided by the Cavaliers organization isn't the first time they've ventured into this digital landscape. In July, they acquired three basketball-themed pieces, which were featured on LED video boards at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as a new addition to the venue’s currently existing Public Art Program. The NFTs were purchased from independent artists on Foundation, a platform for live auctions of digital art and NFTs, using ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency. The Collection, which will continue to expand and grow, can also be viewed online.
Back when they first announced The Collection, it was teased that the Cavaliers wanted to get involved with bringing fans on board in the digital space through NFTs. Well, with their new NFT Locker, they have and fans can own, and be a part of, franchise history going forward.
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