Utah Jazz Rolls Out NFT Virtual Locker Room

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In Brief
  • NBA team Utah Jazz jumps into the NFT craze.

  • The virtual locker room combines the power of NFTs with person to person interaction.

  • The National Basketball Association continues its plunge into the NFT metaverse.

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The Utah Jazz NBA team is bringing a new spin on non-fungible token (NFT) use-cases in the sports world with its one-of-a-kind Virtual Locker Room NFT. 

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Announced on Aug 31, the new NFT program from the Utah Jazz brings opportunities for more fan engagement and goes beyond being just a digital collectible or artwork exclusive. The Jazz is rolling out a first-of-its-kind, “virtual locker room.

This creation pairs a digital non-fungible token (NFT) concept with exclusive access to the team’s virtual locker room. The experience entails once in a lifetime interaction with legends from the team.

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Ryan Smith, the owner of the Utah jazz said the experience is groundbreaking for the team and fans: 

“I am ecstatic to be able to offer such a unique and groundbreaking experience for the Utah Jazz fan base and beyond,” Smith said. “This NFT program is our opportunity to show the world that technology is thriving in our state, and we intend to be on the forefront of innovation as we move forward.”

The virtual locker room NFTs come in tiers. The first lets fans tour the locker room virtually. For this, an Oculus virtual headset will be mailed to them. After the tour, Smith himself meets the fans for a virtual 30-minute Q&A.

The second tier is a less expensive option and includes the same tour and Q&A access, though without the Oculus headset. Smith said it’s a one-time opportunity, though the team intends on releasing more NFTs in the future. 

The virtual locker room tour date is Oct 8 and a portion of the proceeds from the new NFT will go towards nonprofits in the state of Utah. 

NFT takeover

NBA teams are all over the latest NFT craze. In early August, the popular NBA Top Shot debuted its new NFT collection during the Summer League Games. Other NFT platforms, such as LegendsOfCrypto signed with Orlando Magic’s Michael Carter-Williams just a few weeks ago. The sports industry sees the potential for the increased fan engagement that NFTs bring to the table. 

The Utah Jazz even hired Riley Demps as lead NFT Project Manager for the team. “When I was hired in April, Ryan Smith asked me to push the limits of technology to create something special in the NFT and Cryptocurrency space,” Demps said. “We have allowed people who are in and out of the Utah market to feel part of a team in the most intimate and realistic way possible. I am so excited for this opportunity to show people worldwide not just what it means to be a Jazz fan, but to be a part of the Jazz family.”

The first NFT from the Jazz will be available on rarible.com from 10 a.m. MST on Sept 7 until Sept 15 unless sold out earlier. Only 30 will be minted. 

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Savannah Fortis is a multimedia journalist covering stories at the intersection culture, international relations, and technology. Through her travels she was introduced to the crypto-community back in 2017 and has been interacting with the space since.

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