Australian Open Metaverse Winning Shot ‘AO Art Ball’ NFT Soars 4,000%

By Phil Stafford February 02, 2022 In Australia, Crypto News, Ethereum, Gas, NFTs

The singles champions at this year’s Australian Open (AO), Ash Barty and Rafael Nadal, pocketed a cool A$2.875 million each for two weeks’ work – but they weren’t the only big winners of the tennis world’s first Grand Slam of the season, completed last weekend.

Fans attending matches in the metaverse had the chance to buy an AO Art Ball non-fungible token (NFT) linked to a specific spot on centre court that marked the winning shot of both the men’s and women’s championships, along with all other finals matches in the tournament.

At no point did we anticipate we’d sell out the public drop in three minutes. As a result, we’ve set the bar extremely high for what NFTs can become in the future.

Ridley Palmer, metaverse and NFT project manager, Tennis Australia

The NFTs were released via a public drop where users could pay to mint an AO Art Ball from the 6,776 available. Fans could therefore literally buy a piece of the action via an NFT that gave them “property” rights to a 19cm x 19cm square of Melbourne Park’s Rod Laver Arena. They stood to win big should the last bounce of the ball fall into their square on the deciding point in any final.


Nadal’s NFT Surges 4000%

The price of bids for the NFT marking where men’s champion Rafael Nadal’s winning shot landed surged more than 4,000 percent during the tournament final, while the AO Art Ball NFTs generally have recorded US$4.4 million (A$6m) in trading volume since early January, according to OpenSea data.

Mens Final – Nadal’s winning shot

Nadal’s AO Art Ball NFT, meanwhile, has yet to change hands – meaning its expected value has escalated from around US$700 (A$981) to US$8,438 (A$11,836) in ether. The latest offer is worth 3.2 ETH, almost 4,168 percent above the floor price.

Barty’s NFT More Than Triples in Value

The day before, on January 29, Ash Barty became the first Australian to win a home Grand Slam in 44 years in taking the women’s title.

Two days later, offers on the AO Art Ball for Barty’s victory shot were coming in at least 1,230 percent above the floor price. That’s more than three times the original price paid, according to OpenSea and Etherscan data. The original minter sold the piece for 0.298 ETH, then worth about US$780 (A$1,107). But the value placed on it by bidders has reached as high as 1.3 ETH, or US$3,632 (A$5,094).

Womens Final – Barty’s winning shot

Keep in mind, though, that high gas fees for transactions on the Ethereum network are additional to the price of minting an NFT.

Phil Stafford

Phil Stafford

Phil is a long-standing Australian journalist with specialised experience in business, finance, travel and popular culture.

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