When theyre not writing ourModern @thletics column, Steve and Daveare the principals atGains Group, a sport innovationfirm that works with athletes, teams and leagues around the world.
* * * * *
NIL, NFT, WTF! There are too many acronyms. It feels like I am listening to a bunch of Marines. Its hard to keep up with all of the letters being casually tossed into sport conversations these days. And when my mom brings up NIL & NFTs in one of her 168-word text messages, I know we have entered a bubble.
I (Dave) am going to do my best to connect the dots between these acronyms and fantasize about what things might look like over the next five years. My goal is to get people thinking beyond NIL means car commercials and high school sports camps! and NFTs are just phone pictures! Ill have the same thing if I just take a screenshot!
Let's start with the oldest issue: NIL, a.k.a Name Image Likeness. Most people think NIL in sports is new but it has actually been an issue in the U.S. courts every 10 years or so since the 1980s. When you look back, seemingly every time a new technology gets mass adoption, it quickly pushes up against previous legal constraints of rights of publicity. The first notable lawsuit was in the 90s when the NBA sued STATs and Motorola over a beeper device that used their data to send alerts (the league largely lost). MLB then sued fantasy owners over the use of game data and player faces (again, the league lost). In the end, the courts usually find that sporting events are very much public eventsbut the never-ending question that well keep having to answer is this: How much of that information should be publicly available? And whatever rights of publicity concerns we had over the last 40 years will pale in comparison to the ones well have over the next 10 as we introduce the power of blockchain technologies.
It is easier to dispute creative works when they are physical products. The law says you cant monetize off an athletes 1) name, 2) voice, 3) signature; 4) photograph; 5) image; 6) likeness; 7) distinctive appearance; 8) gestures; or 9) mannerisms without permission. Commercials, trading cards, video games and the FedEx Ground Player of the Week are all obvious examples of needing NIL rights. But what about the not so obvious? Parody trading cards were allowed in a 1996 lawsuit, which is only a little weird. With the advancements of photography manipulation like deep fakes, granularity of non obtrusive capture like computer vision, and biohacking, the ability to essentially recreate an athlete is going to get super weird.
Right now, NIL means pictures and stats. In the not-so-distant future, this will also include all sorts of creative combinations of private and publicly available data. What does that look like?
In the year 2026 . . .
Living across the hall from the star freshman point guard at Big State (Shoutout to Jesus Shuttlesworth), is an artist with the street name 2YZ, who has 290,000 followers on Discord. The artist puts his army of tech wizards to work extracting novel datasets from publicly available outlets. They use computer vision to ingest broadcast tracking data, they tap into publicly available weather data, they scrape social media sentiments, they grab historical basketball data, and they rebuild their Big State dorm hall in the metaverse. Then they ask the basketball star to provide them biometric data off his Apple watch and have him perform a series of T poses in order to create a realistic zombie representation of the point guard in their new metaverse game: Zombie vs. Coeds. Its a huge hit. Kids not only play it, they also gamble on it, and it makes 2YZ and the point guard 38 ethereum a semester.
This is why its important to think beyond pictures and stats in just a sport-specific context. This fantasy is enabled by advances in technology but powered by data. Data is the omnipresent yet subtle part of NIL that is often overlooked but will soon be front and center. Datas flexibility is what will push the boundaries of what is possible and what is going to fuel the next generation of NIL lawsuits. It also segues well into our next acronym: NFTs.
I wont waste words trying to describe what an NFT is (go here instead) but I will do my best to solidify the connection between NIL and NFT. Right now, NFTs are blockchain-certified static digital pixels or a gifat best. This output should not come as a surprise as the first usage of a new technology is most often just the repurposing of the old. TV was just radio with pictures, websites were just magazines with urls. OTT is just TV online. NFTs right now are just certified Instagram posts. Not to get all Gary V on readers, but the future of NFTs is going to be fascinating once the bubble pops. Once these things go dynamic, the world is endless. And how do you think a digital artifact morphs and becomes dynamic? Data, plus super sophisticated code.
Once you think past static, creators no longer need to offer some sort of physical experience to make them valuable. I dont want a meet-and-greet with my NFT, I want to be able to take my Patrick Mahomes 1-of-1 NFT and use it basically anywhere I go on the internet. I want to use Patrick Mahomes NFT in Madden then drop him in Fortnite. I want to display him as a hologram on my wall when I sleep. I want to listen to his Spotify playlist while I do his Tonal exercises. I want to get secret discounts to the products he advertises, I want better odds on his DraftKings over/unders, and I want it to make a donation to the Texas Tech scholarship fund everytime he throws a touchdown. That is an NFT worth $247,000.
Lets not forget, NIL and NFT are just acronyms that someone made up. They arent even accurate descriptions anymore. Only when you break them down can you really put some new and interesting things together. And when you tear these things apart you see how creative engineering and data science really open up interesting opportunities.
Now I just need to figure out how to get ahold of 2YZ so I can get some help converting my moms old war bonds into ethereum for this new Zombie game.
Question? Comment? Story idea? Let Steve and Dave know at [emailprotected]
- Why Did the CDC Develop a Plan for a Zombie Apocalypse ... - June 1st, 2021
- The Best Locations in Dallas To Hide In A Zombie Apocalypse - Dallas Observer - June 1st, 2021
- The Could You Survive This Zombie Apocalypse? Matrix - The Ringer - June 1st, 2021
- Army of the Dead VFX Boss on Crafting the Perfect Zombie Tiger - ComicBook.com - June 1st, 2021
- The Zombie-Mall Weirdness of Going to the Movies Again - The New York Times - June 1st, 2021
- 710 freeway expansion is a zombie project from another era - Los Angeles Times - June 1st, 2021
- How VFX Artists Made the Zombie Horse in 'Army of the Dead' - menshealth.com - June 1st, 2021
- Biden Won't Give Up on Zombie Infrastructure Deal - The Daily Beast - June 1st, 2021
- The Outrageous Bride magazine that is tapping into new trend for zombie, Goth and even Viking weddings - Business Live - June 1st, 2021
- 'Zombie universities' face drastic action as births fall - University World News - June 1st, 2021
- Zombie heist movie Army of the Dead descends to the depths of mediocrity - CultureMap Austin - June 1st, 2021
- Were Living Through the DLC-ification of Movies and TV - Observer - June 1st, 2021
- Texans Must Now Face 'Zombie Trees' as a Result of the Historic Winter Storm - ourcommunitynow.com - June 1st, 2021
- The Zombie Comedy Killing It On Netflix Right Now Looper - Looper - May 8th, 2021
- Army of the Dead Scene with Full Frontal Zombie Nudity Didnt Make Final Cut: Its Too Much - IndieWire - May 8th, 2021
- Army Of The Dead removed scene with full-frontal zombie nudity from final cut - NME - May 8th, 2021
- Play Days Gone without the annoying zombie hordes with Open Country - PCGamesN - May 8th, 2021
- Ranking All 8 ROB ZOMBIE Movies Worst to Best - Dread Central - May 8th, 2021
- Serial pleasures: The TV series that got us through lockdown - The Irish Times - May 8th, 2021
- George A. Romeros final zombie film is being finished by his widow - NME - May 8th, 2021
- New 'Army of the Dead' Clip Teases New Type of Zombies - HYPEBEAST - May 8th, 2021
- Mystery as zombie nuclear fires REIGNITE at Chernobyl blast site 35 years on sparking fears of another di... - The Sun - May 8th, 2021
- Desi Nostradamus is wrong. The zombies are already here - The Times of India Blog - May 8th, 2021
- The best tower defense games on PC - PCGamesN - May 8th, 2021
- This place in Lancashire is deemed one of the least likely places to survive a zombie apocalypse - Lancashire Telegraph - May 8th, 2021
- What will the end of the pandemic mean for zombie companies? - Raconteur - April 23rd, 2021
- Army of the Dead: How Zack Snyder Is Revolutionizing Zombie Movies - Den of Geek - April 23rd, 2021
- Beware the 'Zoom Zombie'? - Land Line Opinion % - Land Line Media - April 23rd, 2021
- My Breast Implants Turned Me Into A Rapidly Aging Zombie - Scary Mommy - April 23rd, 2021
- Slipknot, Rob Zombie and Mudvayne to headline Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival 2021 - Louder - April 23rd, 2021
- Zack Snyders Army of the Dead VFX Team Used Carole Baskins Tiger to Create the Zombie Tiger - IndieWire - April 23rd, 2021
- Forget Everything and Run review scenic zombie adventure lacks bite - The Guardian - April 23rd, 2021
- Army of the Dead: What Excites Us About Zack Snyders Zombie Epic - ComingSoon.net - April 23rd, 2021
- CGI Zombie Tiger In Army Of The Dead Was Modeled After Carole Baskin's Own Tiger - GameSpot - April 23rd, 2021
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan Shows His Son As A Zombie On 'The Walking Dead' - UPROXX - April 23rd, 2021
- Halo 3 goes horror with a Call Of Duty-inspired zombies mod - PC Gamer - April 23rd, 2021
- Preview: Zombie Hornets try to survive against maybe KD and the Brooklyn Nets - At The Hive - April 23rd, 2021
- An invasion of corporate zombies may still be on the horizon - Sydney Morning Herald - April 23rd, 2021
- Two Teens with Down Syndrome Made Their Dream Zombie Movie. The Documentary SAM AND MATTIE MAKE A ZOMBIE MOVIE is the Story of How They Did It - Now... - April 23rd, 2021
- History will not be kind to Tokyo's 'zombie Olympics' - Nikkei Asia - April 5th, 2021
- Researchers discover "Zombie Genes" in the brain that come to life after death - CMU The Tartan Online - April 5th, 2021
- Geoengineering the climate: The zombie idea that just won't die - Resilience - April 5th, 2021
- Hilarie Burton Worried She'd Make a 'Bad Zombie' On The Walking Dead - TooFab - April 5th, 2021
- The Guitar Zombie Apocalypse Is Real - Premier Guitar - April 5th, 2021
- Call of Duty: Warzone's Zombies Move to a New Location - ComicBook.com - April 5th, 2021
- Corey Taylors Zombie Versus Ninja movie will commence shooting this year - Louder - April 5th, 2021
- Is Zombie Army 4 multiplayer? Heres all we know about the Rebellion Developments release - Republic TV - April 5th, 2021
- What are 'zombie mines'? What do they have to do with Malcolm Turnbull? - ABC News - April 5th, 2021
- The Best Zombie Movie According To Reddit Isn't What You'd Think - Looper - April 5th, 2021
- Zombie (The Cranberries song) - Wikipedia - March 9th, 2021
- How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, According to the CDC - Inside Edition - March 9th, 2021
- The CDC wants you to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. (Yes, you read that right.) - USA TODAY - March 9th, 2021
- Call of Duty's Zombie Easter Eggs Were Too Hard, So Cold War Season 2 Is Simplifying Things - Kotaku - March 9th, 2021
- Resident Evil 3 Did Army of the Dead's Zombie Vegas 14 Years Ago - Screen Rant - March 9th, 2021
- The perfect Call of Duty zombies mode is here, and it's not Outbreak - PC Gamer - March 9th, 2021
- CDC Offers Guide to Survive Zombie Apocalypse and Other Natural Disasters - Complex - March 9th, 2021
- Zombie Soil: The Harmful Result of Industrial Farming | Earth 911 - Earth911.com - March 9th, 2021
- Call of Duty Warzone Crossover With Zombies Teased on Twitter - Screen Rant - March 9th, 2021
- 'Zombie' cicadas could be on your doorstep this summer - Times-West Virginian - March 9th, 2021
- How to Find Flawless Aetherium Crystals in COD: Zombies Outbreak - Screen Rant - March 9th, 2021
- Resurrected The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan tells Conan her best zombie kill nicknames - The A.V. Club - March 9th, 2021
- Warzone yellow access cards - how to survive the new shipwreck zombies event - Gamesradar - March 9th, 2021
- WTOPs Beer of the Week: 3 Floyds Zombie Dust Pale Ale - WTOP - March 9th, 2021
- Indias zombie home fund set to deliver thousands of apartments - The Real Deal - February 20th, 2021
- Zombie infection threat as country unlocks 50,000-year-old viruses - Yahoo News Australia - February 20th, 2021
- Stubbs the Zombie rises from his grave this March for PC via Steam - PC Invasion - February 20th, 2021
- Zombie Hit Train To Busan Is Getting A US Remake - GameSpot - February 20th, 2021
- Rob Zombie says the meat industrys future is unsustainable - NME.com - February 20th, 2021
- Stubbs The Zombie In Rebel Without A Pulse - Yahoo Entertainment - February 20th, 2021
- Batista Wanted To Play A Zombie On The Walking Dead, Rejected For Being "Too Big" - Fightful - February 20th, 2021
- Dave Bautista told he was too big to play zombie on The Walking Dead - NME - February 17th, 2021
- Dave Bautista Offered To Play A Zombie For Free On The Walking Dead - Screen Rant - February 17th, 2021
- Is plurilateralism making the WTO an institutional zombie? - East Asia Forum - February 17th, 2021
- REVIEW: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, Vol. 1 is a Comedic Zombie Apocalypse - CBR - Comic Book Resources - February 17th, 2021
- Don't Eat Pete is a zombie survival game that's available now for Android in Early Access - Pocket Gamer - February 17th, 2021
- Call of Duty Warzone seems to be teasing Zombies - Gamesradar - February 17th, 2021
- James Gunn Weighs In On Whether Zombies Or Vampires Are More Dangerous - Looper - February 17th, 2021
- The Walking Dead back on the march - Stuff.co.nz - February 17th, 2021
- The Walking Dead Turned Dave Bautista Down for a Zombie Role - Superherohype.com - February 16th, 2021
- Army of the Dead Image Teases Zombie Heist Movie - /FILM - February 16th, 2021
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero