The NBA Sacramento Kings and ConsenSys are taking bidding to a whole new level. With Treum, a Consensys-backed supply chain product, they’ve launched the first blockchain-powered live auction platform for in-game memorabilia.
The platform went live yesterday, January 15, during the home game between the Kings and Dallas Mavericks in Sacramento. It enabled fans and supporters to participate in a live auction of game-worn gear. In this case, it was the jersey worn by Buddy Hield, the Kings’ guard, that was auctioned off during the game.
The NBA gear is verified and authenticated by the Ethereum blockchain. Then Treum establishes a transparent audit trail recording the gear’s transaction history, and its associated transactions, such as future sale, loan or showroom exhibition.
The platform is currently available through the website Kings.com/Auction and the Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center app.
NBA’s press release reads:
“By using this platform, every auctioned item will be authenticated, and a transparent audit trail of product history will be established, so fans will be assured that each piece of gear is authentic.”
There were 73 bids on Buddy Hield’s jersey, which was auctioned off at $1,090. The number of fans watching remains available even after the sale has ended. The proceeds raised from the auction will be sent to support Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. Unless specified, proceeds from future auctions will go to the Sacramento Kings Foundation.
Basketball and blockchain – a promising partnership
This isn’t the first time the NBA has been using blockchain. Last year, they announced the launch of NBA Top Shop, a blockchain-based collectibles platform.
The Kings weren’t shy about promoting their new platform. On Twitter, they announced the partnership and called for fans to place their live bids
Want the chance to take home a game-worn @buddyhield jersey tonight? 👀
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) January 15, 2020
Sacramento Kings Chief Technology Officer, Ryan Montoya, commented on how the NBA team has been integrating blockchain technology. He said:
“We are excited to announce another blockchain first as we strive to continue to enhance the fan experience. We have integrated blockchain technology into our business across multiple platforms, including our reward program, and now our fans will have the opportunity to securely purchase authentic game-worn merchandise in real-time using an innovative blockchain-based solution.”
The Head of ConsenSys Business Development, Bradley Feinstein, talked about the digital era and how it has increased access to consumers. Still, at the same time, it has hindered trust in the industry, decreasing verifiable provenance. He pointed out that:
“As the Ethereum blockchain continues to gain traction as a new foundation for global collaboration by providing trust and transparency, we’re unlocking more profound ways to provide visibility into complex global supply chains and empower consumer behaviors.”
Digital token as proof of ownership
The highest bidder of the live auction, which will begin right before a game tip-off, will receive a digital token as proof of ownership, as well as a certificate of authenticity.
On the Kings’ auction page, it reads:
The token is the digital twin of the physical item and provides the following benefits:
* Digital proof of ownership for this specific item.
* Shows the history of the item’s journey from the locker room to you.
* Stored in your crypto wallet for safekeeping.
* Seamless transfer of item’s ownership from Kings to you.
The token will also serve as an audit trail when there is a change in ownership. It will also contain verified data on the game, such as the time and date, the season and the player.
The US sports memorabilia market is currently valued at $5.4 billion annually. However, there are no industry standards for authentication of items, to protect fans from counterfeit merchandise. Therefore, through this partnership, the Kings and ConsenSys are trying to increase the resale potential for authenticated merchandise on secondary markets. The live auctions will also provide a different kind of fan experience.