Akshaya, a leading non-fungible token (NFT) platform, has announced a partnership with the World Tennis League (WTL) to create a new type of marketplace known as a “phygital” marketplace. This marketplace will allow fans to purchase official WTL team jerseys that have been autographed by players and will also include a 3D digital NFT as proof of authenticity. The phygital marketplace combines the Metaverse, a virtual shared space, with NFTs to enable users to claim ownership of both physical and digital assets with verified proof of authenticity.
The phygital marketplace will specialize in rare collectibles, catering to those interested in unique and unusual artefacts. This marks the first time that Akshaya has partnered with a sports organization, although the platform has previously worked with businesses that offer phygital products including jewelry, high-end furniture, and rare artefacts.
Ganesh Raju, CEO of Akshaya, stated that this partnership represents a “fantastic and incredibly rare opportunity” to bring together physical, tactile, and digital experiences for the inaugural WTL event in Dubai. Fans will have the chance to meet some of the biggest stars in tennis, such as Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek, and will also have the chance to have these encounters preserved as NFTs. “Having an exclusive behind-the-scenes in-person meeting with some of the greatest tennis stars of all time is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will be forever preserved as an NFT,” Raju added.
The WTL event will take place at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai from December 19-24, featuring four teams comprised of 18 of the top ATP and WTA Tour players. The NFT market has experienced significant growth in recent years, with a market size of $41 billion in the previous year and expected to reach $80 billion in the coming year. The Metaverse is also expected to see significant growth, with a projected value of over $1 trillion in the next two years.
Remarkably, Akshaya has invested $10 million in the development of its platform, with majority of its funding coming from seed investors and the company’s founder. The platform currently has a presence in 45 cities across India, Bangladesh, and Nepal and has established relationships with potential business partners. These partners will be able to use the Akshaya platform to construct or add their own NFTs. This partnership allows Akshaya to bring the worlds of sports and technology together in a unique and innovative way.
Without any doubt, the concept of combining the physical and digital worlds through NFTs and the Metaverse is an exciting development in the world of collectibles and sports merchandise. By offering official team jerseys with verified autographs and digital NFTs, Akshaya and the WTL are able to provide fans with a tangible keepsake of their favorite athletes while also offering the security and authenticity of a digital asset. This partnership represents a new level of innovation in the sports industry and could potentially pave the way for other sports organizations to follow suit.