Starting from June 9, fans of the Croatian national football team will be able to purchase the Vatreni jersey as an NFT. And it won’t be a regular static digital image NFT, but rather a 3D virtual jersey that your avatar can wear playing fantasy football in the metaverse.
This marks the new phase of Vatreni entering the world of web3, which began in early 2022 with the release of the Vatreni token, continues with this NFT drop, and will be followed by blockchain and crypto partnerships and benefits for token holders.
Germans Croats raised 2.5 million euros for metaverse football
The Vatreni virtual jersey was created in partnership with The Football Company, a German web3 startup with Croatian founders. Ante and Josip Krišto, two brothers and serial entrepreneurs, launched their web3 startup in Munich at the end of 2020, and football legends Robert and Niko Kovač were among the first investors to back up their project.
The Football Company recently raised aditional 2.5 million euros of funding in a round led by Danish fund Dreamcraft Ventures; other participants in this round were DapperLabs, web3 Studios, BLN Capital, several angel investors and professional footballers Joshua Kimmich and Cesc Fàbregas.
Their mission is to bring football into metaverse, says Ante Krišto:
We are die-hard football fans and we respect football’s legacy and culture, yet we want to use cutting-edge technology to provide fans with the most advanced and authentic experience possible. We want to connect the football world to the metaverse. Our product, The Football Club, is a blockchain-based fantasy football platform that is free and extremely easy to use.
NFT 2.0 is a 3D jersey for your avatar
The Football Club (TFC) sells tokens that represent physical objects (such as jerseys) as 3D animations that players can use to customize their avatars. TFC is also the world’s first football metaverse based on avatars, licensed competitions, and collectibles.
The revenue comes from launching collections of tradable digital items — fans can buy, sell or collect these and can earn rewards by managing the fantasy teams.
Josip explains why their approach is a new level of NFT use cases:
We can also call it NFT 2.0. For us, NFT is more than just collectible cards, video clips, or works of art. TFC users don’t only identify themselves by their username and profile photo; instead, they take on a new persona, an avatar.
They use this avatar to introduce themselves to the rest of the global community, stating which club they support, as well as their values and way of life. The entire user experience and the entire TFC ecosystem is based on avatars.
30,000 users and 600,000 euros in a few weeks
TFC was developed on Flow, a blockchain built by Dapper Labs, the developer firm behind the NFT project NBA Top Shots, which is also one of TFC’s investors.
According to Dapper Labs, Flow was built as a blockchain on which the open metaverse will be based and one that can support large scale decentralized apps. This blockchain is also a more environmentally friendly solution, as minting one NFT on Flow requires the same amount of energy as one social media post. This is precisely why numerous sports organizations chose Flow for their blockchain projects, including the NBA, NFL, UFC, and La Liga.
The Football Club has reason to be proud of its achievements as well: in collaboration with partners, they have released four NFT collections, earning more than 600,000 euros in a few weeks, and have already drawn 30,000 football fans to their platform. According to TFC virtual sports merchandise will become a multi-billion dollar industry thanks to the metaverse, and some German Bundesliga clubs have already inked contracts with them.
TFC and Vatreni: bringing communities together and streamlining the user experience
It’s hardly surprising that TFC was the ideal partner for developing a variety of web3 activities centered around the Vatreni token. Ivan Ćubela, the Vatreni token’s project coordinator, explains:
The token was the first step, and now we have developed a website where all the benefits and opportunities for token owners can be found. This will streamline the user experience—token owners will be able to find everything in one place, while blockchain technology is in the background.
We’ve partnered with TFC becausewe have a lot in common. We’ve started with the NFT drop of the national team’s virtual jersey, and in the future, the owners of the Vatreni token will have certain benefits and advantages within the TFC platform.
The web3 is being adopted by all major sporting organizations to improve interaction with fans, says Ćubela and adds that such partnerships are important because they connect communities working on different projects, simplify the use of technology and bring value to everybody involved:
Given that technology is still in its early stages and that the user experience is not ideal, our idea is to go one step further and create an infrastructure to which projects like TFC can be added in the future, adding value to all of those who are involved and support the national football team.
It’s a long-term process with a number of obstacles to overcome, including the speed with which web3 projects evolve, the internal rules of a particular organization, and the habits of fans. The end goal is to take advantage of new technology to improve the experience of everyone involved, to make room for new things, and to enter into a new digital world together.
June 9 and the launch of the 3D NFT jersey you can wear in The Football metaverse will mark the first step.