FanDuel Says NBA Contest with Top Shot NFT Prizes Was a Hit, Plans More Crypto Prizes

By Daniel Roberts

FanDuel last week offered a free-to-play fantasy NBA contest with NBA Top Shot NFTs as prizes. Now the company tells Decrypt it was its most popular fantasy contest of 2021 so far, and the company’s most popular free-to-play contest ever that wasn’t around a “tentpole event” like the Super Bowl or March Madness.

The daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports betting operator partnered with Top Shot creator Dapper Labs to offer the contest, FanDuel’s first time offering NFTs as prizes. (FanDuel has twice in the past awarded cryptocurrency as a contest prize.) It saw more than 80,000 entries.

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are unique, blockchain-based tokens used as ownership deeds tied to digital or physical assets, from art to music to digital trading cards. On Top Shot, which runs on the Flow blockchain, the NFT “moments” are video highlight clips that include an opening animation and a serial number to reflect how limited the moments are.

Just like with physical trading cards, Top Shot collectors buy packs containing multiple “moments” that can re-sell for thousands of dollars depending on their scarcity. The most expensive Top Shot re-sales have included a LeBron James dunk for $280,000, and a Zion Williamson block that went for $100,000. The NFT marketplace, which doesn’t require users to pay in cryptocurrency, has become so popular in the mainstream that NBA players have been heard saying “Put that on Top Shot” after a big play.

In the FanDuel contest, which covered nine NBA games last Thursday, the top five finishers each received a Top Shot “Holo Icon Legendary Pack,” which sold for $999 per pack when the series was minted in February and again in April; the next 10 finishers (Nos. 6-15) received a Rising Stars pack ($199 per pack when they last dropped in March); the next 55 finishers (Nos. 16-70) each received a Common Base set pack, the $9 entry-level Top Shot pack.

So You Bought an NBA Top Shot NFT. What Do You Actually Own?

In total, FanDuel gave away $7,480 worth of Top Shot packs. A company spokesperson says FanDuel plans t0 offer more crypto prizes this year.

And FanDuel’s not the only fantasy sports name to go crypto. Last month, its rival DraftKings held a fantasy golf contest around The Masters with a rare CryptoPunk NFT worth $70,400 as the prize. (CryptoPunks are ancient by NFT standards, introduced in 2017 by LarvaLabs.) That’s ten times the value of the NFT prizes FanDuel offered—but all in one NFT that went to one winner.