Bucks, Brewers launching NFT collectibles: What are they?

All of Wisconsin's professional sports teams will soon offer fans a chance to buy NFTs – but what are they, and how do they work?

If you've been to a game, you may have received a rally towel, bobblehead or other souvenir. Experts say NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – are really just the next generation of sports memorabilia.

"If it comes with cool perks like free Summerfest tickets or free concert, it'll bring fans together with that stuff," said Bucks fan Ryan Zankl.

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The Cudahy native has close to 500 NFTs from a variety of vendors. His first purchase, a Disney item, jumped nearly 5,000% in value over just four months.

"Once I saw that, I was just hooked – and I kept buying and buying and buying, and researching other platforms," Zankl said.

Milwaukee Bucks NFT listings

NFTs are like digital licenses for a particular item. 

"You're creating collectibles. They have a limited run, meaning there's a limited number of them, and they usually replicate something like the real world," said Marquette University Accounting Professor Joseph Wall.

The sports NFT market includes digital trading cards, video highlights and more. Many are offered in limited capacity – a few hundred or a few thousand – which helps drive up their value on secondhand markets.

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"It really is sort of that next generation of memorabilia," said Dustin Godsey, Bucks chief marketing officer.

Starting with Friday's Milwaukee Bucks game, the team is offering 20,000 fans a collectible digital poster – launching "Fear the Deer NFTs."

"The physical pieces aren't gonna go away, but this is just another opportunity for fans who want to have that sort of pride of ownership of a certain piece that is specific and unique to these experiences," Godsey said.

Fiserv Forum

The Bucks plan to offer NFTs to fans with tickets to the remaining three home games first, then online website after that.

The Milwaukee Brewers are also offering NFTs – digital packs of trading cards for players, available on April 12.

If you think about it, Green Bay Packers stock may be similar, too – an original "NFT."

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