French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has partnered with Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou to launch an NFT collection on Crypto.com. PSG is home to global superstar athletes such as Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. Jay Chou is one of the biggest popstars in the world, with hundreds of millions of fans globally, particularly in Asia. The ‘Tiger Champs’ collection celebrates PSG’s tenth French championship title and references the Chinese year of the tiger, 2022. The collection of 10,000 NFTs was exclusively released on Crypto.com on June 23rd.
Out of the 10,000 NFTs, there are three subcategories: 8020 Common NFTs, 1970 Premium NFTs, and 10 Legendary NFTs. The legendary NFTs feature the tiger mascot posing with Jay Chou’s 'V for Victory' pose. The Premium NFTs have tiger poses inspired by different player celebrations. And the Common NFTs have the tiger making the 'I love you' hand sign. Each NFT will have a randomly generated combination of traits such as tiger’s pose, clothing, accessories, Parisian background, etc. NFT buyers will be eligible for ongoing sweepstakes over the course of 2022 that feature special Jay Chou and PSG prizes.
This is an interesting strategy but was the NFT launch successful? The NFTs dropped on June 23rd but the sale was extended for a few days. Maybe it’s a clever marketing tactic, but this usually means the NFTs didn’t sell out immediately and more time was needed to promote the sale. If you look at the collection on Crypto.com right now you’ll see that there are 2490 ‘collectibles’ and 581 ‘owners.’ This is a pretty weak, low number of NFT owners considering that PSG has millions and millions of fans across the world. What went wrong?
Like analyzing any marketing campaign or product you are trying to sell, you should ask several basic questions. Is the value proposition unclear? Is the price too high? Are you targeting the right people? Let’s look at these one by one. The value proposition was that you enter sweepstakes to win prizes by owning the NFT. Clearly that wasn’t strong enough to generate massive NFT sales. And the art itself wasn’t amazing enough to stand on its own. The common NFTs were originally priced at $500 and in a bear market, the idea of paying that amount for an NFT without an appealing enough value proposition is dangerous.
PSG’s partnership with Jay Chou is a strategically important tactic to appeal to the team’s Asian fans. And considering Crypto.com’s large presence in Asia, they were likely a good partner to host the NFT. However, if I was a PSG fan who has never bought an NFT before, for me to open a crypto wallet, convert fiat to crypto, find Crypto.com and go through the process of buying an NFT–-this is not an easy task. Crypto.com is a huge exchange, but is not necessarily known as the number one spot to get NFTs. People don’t think of Crypto.com as a destination to discover and buy NFTs when compared to other platforms like OpenSea, LooksRare, or Rarible. And this is all against the backdrop of a dark macroeconomic climate.
Many sports and entertainment brands are eager to experiment with NFTs. Oftentimes, launching a 10,000 NFT avatar collection seems like the right approach. In the case of PSG x Jay Chou however, the fan reception was not ideal. As we can see, having a strong following does not guarantee success in getting people to care about and purchase your NFT.
Sports teams, popstars, and NFT companies can still screw things up. All that being said-–for the purposes of experimentation, all parties involved have learned a lesson about what goes well and not so well with NFT launches. Let’s hope the next launch is more successful!