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MLS jumping in on NFTs with ‘art battle’ ahead of Timbers-Galaxy match

Major League Soccer announced that they’re entering the world of NFTs ahead of the Timbers-Galaxy and Sounders-Atlanta matches this weekend.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Were you hoping that the world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) would never enter the realm of the Portland Timbers? Then prepare to have your hopes shattered. ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle reported and Major League Soccer announced on Thursday that ahead of this weekend’s nationally televised matchups — Saturday’s between the Timbers and LA Galaxy and Sunday’s between Seattle Sounders FC and Atlanta United FC — there will be an “art battle”.

What does this battle entail? Each team will have an artist (the Timbers’ artist goes by Mighty Short) who will create an art piece inspired by soccer. Each artist will have 60 minutes to create the unique piece. The pieces will then go up for auction for 48 hours on Bistki, a digital auction house with an art and fashion focus, but also a place that recently featured an NFT with the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence.

“The special NFT art collection is the latest evolution of Major League Soccer’s commitment to celebrating the creativity in our sport and the permission to connect soccer with progressive and exciting art experiences,” said Chris Schlosser, MLS SVP of Media, via Carlisle’s piece. “The live art battle, plus the modern take on a matchup poster, helps create a cultural moment that celebrates our League, and the two great MLS matches this weekend.”

MLS also announced that there will be a second NFT initiative where during each match, they will open up a window to purchase an unlimited supply of the virtual match-up poster NFT’s. These pieces were also created by the artists. In Carlisle’s piece, Schlosser noted that this is just the start.

“This is the start,” Schlosser said. “We think that there are a lot of different opportunities, short term in art and culture and fashion, and then long term thinking about what the future of digital collectibles or digital NFT highlights might look like. Those programs will come to life later.”

You can read Carlisle’s article on ESPN here.