With the imminence of the 2022 World Cup, FIFA has just released FIFA+ Collect, an NFT collection and platform built atop Algorand, FIFA’s official blockchain for this year’s World Cup. The collection — announced by FIFA earlier in May — provides an opportunity to own, collect, and eventually trade some of the most recognizable and polarizing World Cup moments in the form of digital collectibles. These football moments can include infamous goals, glorious goalkeeper saves, and many other unforgettable World Cup moments.
Figure 1: FIFA+ Collect Snapshot, accessed September 26, 2022.
Given the spotlight on Ethereum's most recent update, the Merge, we believe that it’s worth monitoring how alternative smart contract platforms are positioning themselves to continue being relevant. In particular, given that the World Cup is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world and is only a few months away, we believe the launch of FIFA+ Collect will be an interesting use case for NFTs as soccer-themed digital collectibles.
“Just like sports memorabilia and stickers, this is an accessible opportunity for fans around the world to engage with their favorite players, moments, and more on new platforms.”
– Romy Gai, FIFA’s Chief Business Officer.
It’s worth noting that the current sports memorabilia industry should not be ignored, with a global estimated value of $227.2 billion as of 2021. Within the specific niche of World Cup collectibles, powerhouse sticker maker Panini reached the $1 billion milestone in 2018 (when the last World Cup was played). With that in mind, it seems fair to assume that initiatives similar to FIFA’s have the potential to unlock a substantial consumer market for NFTs, with their Genesis Drop accruing almost 50,000 purchases within the first four days following its launch.
Investment opportunities in the various industries crossing over to the crypto/blockchain space are still somewhat cloudy for a good chunk of traditional investors. But there is a catch: due to this lack of clarity—similar to the ‘90s with the first companies exploring the internet and in the early 2000s with social media—being aware of the competitive advantages that early adopters might have against big tech companies presents a potentially good indication of who the long-term winners will be over the next few decades.
This is why we believe that investment products that can capitalize on the success of platforms providing value across different use cases of blockchain technology are worthy of investors’ attention. The next wave of NFT use cases has the potential to unlock mainstream adoption, especially the ones in which—much like FIFA+ Collect—the onboarding of new users doesn’t require them to be native to crypto’s best practices or custodial procedures.
For more insights about NFTs and crypto-based technologies changing how we live, work, and play, consider reading our Digital Culture Primer. To keep in touch with everything investors should follow in the crypto asset class, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter.
 The secondary marketplace for this particular NFT collection hasn’t been made available at launch, but will allegedly be opened after a two week waiting period after it.
 NFTs are tokens for unique assets that can act as proof of ownership over digital assets.
 Source: Market Decipher, Collectibles Market and NFT Market Size, Statistics, Growth Trend Analysis and Forecast Report, 2022 - 2032, accessed September 16th, 2022.
 Bloomberg, Iconic Soccer Sticker Maker Panini Explores Sale, accessed September 16th, 2022.
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