- The NFL's Kansas City Chiefs this week launched Chief Bids, a marketplace that will auction team merchandise via the Chiefs app and official website, per a press release.
- The launch commences a multi-year partnership with tech company I Got It, whose platform will enable the franchise to offer game-worn memorabilia, unique fan experiences and VIP opportunities directly to consumers.
- The tie-up weds a large fan base with a mobile platform that could streamline digital engagement, as well as open the door to future involvement in blockchain activations.
The launch of Chief Bids sees a notable sports team using digital auction technology to drive mobile fan experiences. I Got It's platform will exist on the Chiefs app, as well as its official website, allowing for easy access to team-based auctions in real time. The multi-year partnership will offer fans exclusive experiences, game-worn memorabilia and VIP opportunities, and commences with a free sweepstakes for a Tyreek Hill Super Bowl game-issued jersey.
The direct-to-consumer (DTC) element of I Got It's tech could streamline fan connection, as well as help the football franchise reach fans who are increasingly using digital channels to shop. Moreover, by eliminating the need for third-parties, the franchise could assuage worries of fraud that is a significant risk when it comes to collecting sports memorabilia.
"This new partnership with I Got It is very unique for the club as well as Chiefs Kingdom as this type of direct-to-fan auction market for game-used gear has not existed for us previously," Kim Hobbs, Chiefs vice president of partnerships and premium sales, said in the release.
The Chiefs are the latest sports team to partner with I Got It, which is building out its platform across different leagues and through different services. The Los Angeles Chargers and Milwaukee Bucks have their own Bids platforms with mobile and website-based accessibility, whereas teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Saints have integrated I Got It's tech exclusively in their mobile apps. For the Detroit Pistons, the company has created a marketplace dedicated to auctioning team-related digital collectibles, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
I Got It's NFT capabilities could suggest future involvement for the Kansas City football franchise in auctioning the asset. NFT auctions are a booming trend at the moment for brands looking to capitalize on interest in the metaverse. Coca-Cola, Stella Artois, Campbell's and Asics are a few recent names that have jumped in on blockchain-based technology.
Sports-related NFTs in particular are seeing interest, further demonstrating that the digital asset is converging with big advertising players. The NBA's NFT auction site, NBA Top Shot — a partnership with blockchain company Dapper Labs — recently crossed the one million user mark, while the NFL is developing its own platform to offer similar services. Sports fans, however, are displaying equal parts uncertainty and excitement for the long-term potential of the digital collectibles.