At some point early last year, the phrase ‘NFT’ started appearing in mainstream media and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. With figures as diverse as Kate Moss, Snoop Dogg and Andy Murray publishing non-fungible tokens, and Tom Brady very nearly retiring to pursue his business interests – one of which is an NFT platform – clearly the concept is set to be around for some time yet.
Whilst we cannot claim to be in the full-blown NFT game currently, we did – thanks to our friends at Leverade – publish digital trophies for all our 2022 winners at The Sports Technology Awards in May.
Our thinking behind this move was that it would do two things; negate the need to manufacture trophies and enable the winning brand to reward the workers who contributed to the win with a digital trophy of their own. This second point seemed especially important, not everyone on a team can make awards’ night and I think it is important to share the glories of success.
Whilst ‘photos or it didn’t happen’ may be the stuff of the playground, we’ve all met people who have stories which sound a little… shall we say ‘wild’. Claiming to ‘have had trials for (insert name of team)’ is harmless enough as invented social bragging rights but making an equivalent claim in a work context is a different matter. Declaring that you were the creative force behind Gregg’s vegan sausage roll when actually you just sat on the desk next to the executives who were, is a surprisingly hard claim for prospective employers to verify. Conversely, if you did play a part, going unacknowledged is exceptionally unfair.
Our digital trophies were created so that anyone with a legitimate claim for having worked on an award-winning venture had the proof – as well as a nice momentum of their time on the project. Since a digital wallet is an essential part of owning NFTs or digital trophies, not everyone who can take up this opportunity will do. That said, the feedback so far has been really positive; In time, I suspect, this type of portable (non-fungible) accolade will also serve as proof of outstanding past achievements to savvy, prospective employers.
In terms of our desire to cut material-use by doing away with trophies was misguided and wrong. Very wrong. So wrong that the team started looking at me funny when I mentioned it. It turns out that people love trophies; they love receiving them, displaying them and putting photos of them on social media. I now realise that I had not won enough of them personally to appreciate their value, so the trophies stay.
To ease my angst on this we are working with our wonderful supplier, EFX, to increase the recycled materials in ours from 85% to 100%. That makes me feel much happier – probably not as happy as Kate Moss, Andy Murry or the Dogg Father did when they saw how their NFTs performed but we all set our own goals and aspire to those.