Cheque Size vs. Fan Integrity…What Camp Are You In?

Terra Virtua
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When the pound signs are so attractive, but making the right choice has never been so important

Having worked with Terra Virtua and many other NFT businesses whilst I was at Connexi, it was very clear that the power of acquisition lay in the hands of the rights holders — creating a well invested, super inflated, exciting new world/category to make money.

So I asked myself, why would any commercial director not go for the biggest cheque? But the more I got to learn the space, the more it became clear that if you lead with pound signs over product then it can become very damaging, a prime example of where short term gain is not a long term win.

So why did I join Terra Virtua? Was I following the trend, is the NFT space a bubble?

First and foremost, for me Terra Virtua’s proposition is unique, they were founded and launched back in 2018, and have been talking about NFTs/Metaverse before it was a trend. The reason they are different is they genuinely put the fan first along the digital journey. A lot of people talk about fan engagement, Terra Virtua does it — the fan’s journey starts post-purchase unlike a lot of businesses out there.

Secondly, is the NFT space a bubble? I would say it certainly could be, if it is not handled correctly. How many NFT drops have we seen that have failed — plenty! Does that mean IPs should be fearful of entering the NFT space? No, as long as it is done correctly — and every strategy needs to consider projects to be more than just JPEGs.

Understanding the Proposition and Opportunity

As a non-gamer the straightforward NFT game made very little sense to me — why buy something you can’t touch, feel, hold…the idea was beyond me. And I would say individuals/IPs that have not taken the time to understand the proposition and looked at the NFT category with a short term money grab vision, have fallen victim to the pitfalls and ultimately resulted in failed drops.

I was lucky enough to get to know Terra Virtua’s top-line pitch through my time at Connexi, and having introduced them to top Football Clubs and Motorsport teams it was clear that the rights holders had never heard a proposition like it. They witnessed the best product in the market, market-leading thinking all focusing around the fan — putting utility and engagement behind their thinking — suddenly the world of NFTs started to make sense to me, as a fan.

Implementing an Effective NFT Strategy for the Fans

What if I could engage with my team in a different more immersive experience? What happens if I could own bespoke ‘money can’t buy’ memorabilia? What if I can create never been done before, new shareable content with my friends? What if I saw my club going for the best user journey rather than using me as a cash generator, would I be happy? These are the questions I asked myself as a fan, and the answer was a resounding, yes!

In today’s world, the fan comes first. Teams and organisations can’t be seen to be monetising their audience as many did when the gambling world became a lead revenue driver to partnerships. This is particularly important in this new unchartered market where there’s a need to be transparent, authentic and educational. Otherwise, commercial directors will lose out on large revenue opportunities and end up with a lot of angry fans on their hands.

-Rory Stewart-Richardson (Commercial Director at Terra Virtua)

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