Swoops NFTs, A New Take on Basketball with Supporters Gary Vaynerchuk and Jason Robins

Swoops today announced $3.5 million in funding for a new NFT-fueled basketball game that included several prominent financial backers. Venture capital firms Slow Ventures, Red Beard Ventures, and Future Perfect. More notably for NFT investors Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media and VeeFriends fame and Jason Robins, CEO of Draft Kings, are also listed as investors along with owners of the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

While Swoops is not the first NFT project centered on basketball nor the first to enable gameplay, it does appear to be taking the gaming concept to a higher level.

Swoops will empower users to play the roles of Owner, General Manager, Coach, and Player, where they can own, trade, and stake players to be used in cash prize contests.  Swoops is a sports simulation game where players can manage their starting 5 and compete against other members of the community. The gameplay will center on the choice of players users deploy in a game. Users will need to think not just about the individual performance stats of their players, but also the chemistry of their players and the resulting team performance. Swoops is a strategy game based on analytics of both your team and your opponents.

Swoops Press Release April 12, 2022

What it Means

  • Basketball was a key catalyst that launched NFTs into cultural prominence in 2021 driven by NFT Top Shot
  • Rumble Kong League has NBA players such as Steph Curry involved and has proven that consumers will play a blockchain-based basketball game. However, with a floor-priced Kong gong for over 1.3 ETH (~$4,000), playing this game is financially out-of-reach for many people. Swoops represents an opportunity for NFT collectors and gamers that missed out on the Rumble Kong mint to get in early.
  • Swoops offers features that move you beyond in-game activity to management and coaching should appeal to basketball and gaming fans that want more control than Axie Infinity style set-it-and-forget-it gameplay. Since players can win prizes, this falls into the popular play-to-earn category (P2E) which should be another boost.
  • The presence of Gary Vaynerchuk is a big deal for any NFT project right now. He is the most influential person in the space and numerous NFT investors will flock to the project just because he is involved. Gary’s brother AJ just launched a new NFT project called VaynerSports Pass that sold over $8 million in NFTs in just a couple of minutes.
  • Also, having Jason Robbins suggests there could be some Draft Kings integrations on the horizon.

What’s Next

  • Swoops NFT presale is expected later in April 2022 for early supporters followed by a public mint and artwork reveal in May.
  • There will be a “Training Camp” in July as a “free-to-play” version for new users can learn how the game mechanics work.
  • Swoops’ co-founder and CEO Manish Sinha said in an announcement that, “We plan to turn the core assets in sports—the players—into assets that fans can own, trade and stake on…For the first time, sports fans will be able to directly influence the outcome of a game and capture the value that a team owner would. And what ends up sprouting from that is a rich community of owners, commentators, gamblers, and fans—all the hallmarks of a real sports league.” That sounds like an interesting concept and one that could scale to other sports.
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