Ballon d’Or, the most prestigious award in Football, has entered the Web3 space with a series of Ballon d’Or® NFT collections by French mixed-media artist Léo Caillard. Winners of the 66th annual Ballon d’Or awards were announced on October 17, 2022, and for the first time in its history, winners also received digital NFT trophies in addition to the physical trophies.
Winners of the 2022 Men’s Ballon d’Or (Karim Benzema), Women’s Ballon d’Or (Alexia Putellas), Kopa Trophy (Gavi), Yashin Trophy (Thibaut Courtois), and Gerd Müller Trophy (Robert Lewandowski), received a digital twin of their trophies minted on the Tezos blockchain, immediately making them a Ballon d’Or NFT collection holder.
Each series of the Ballon d’Or NFT collection is based on the mineral “Pyrite”, the stone that forms the base of the physical Ballon d’Or trophy. The France Football magazine, L’Equipe Media Group, Web3 agency “Doors Sport”, the technical integrator “Sceme”, and artist “Léo Caillard”, came together to digitise this precious stone for the Ballon d’Or NFT collection, offering a web3.0 experience to football fans.
First series in the Ballon d’Or NFT collection (True Pyrite NFTs)
Last month, the L’Équipe group, which runs Europe’s most reputable sports newspaper, auctioned 3 unique NFT pieces associated with a 3D artwork by Léo Caillard, as the first series in the Ballon d’Or NFT collection.
Organized on September 15th, 16th, and 17th, the starting bid for this 3-pack of True Pyrite NFTs was priced at 635 XTZ (equivalent to €999 EUR at the time).
The winners of these unique 3D NFTs get VIP access to the Ballon d’Or® 2022 award ceremony at Théâtre du Châtelet on October 17, 2022. Apart from the front row access, each participant of this first series auction will also receive priority in the private sale of “Pyrite Fragments”, scheduled for October 23, 2022.
Second series in the Ballon d’Or NFT collection (Pyrite Fragments NFTs)
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The “Pyrite Fragments” NFT Collection includes 2022 copies of unique NFTs made by crypto-artist Léo Caillard and will be released in three phases.
During Phase 1 (From October 5 to 17), an open giveaway contest took place on the L’Equipe website, and 10 winners won the presale of 10 Pyrite Fragment NFTs.
For Phase 2 (On October 23), a Private Mint of the “Pyrite Fragments” collection is scheduled for the Whitelist members only. During this pre-sale, 1772 copies of the 2022 Pyrite Fragments collection will be available to Whitelist registrants at a fixed mint price of €199.
For Phase 3 (On October 25), the rest of the Pyrite Fragment NFTs will be available to mint for the general public. The public sale price is set at €249 and will remain open until all 2022 copies of the Pyrite Fragments NFTs are sold.
Each of the 2022 Pyrite Fragments NFTs is designed by ultra-contemporary French artist Léo Caillard, known for his ‘Hipsters in Stone’ art series, where he dresses classic statues in “hipster” clothing via digital tools.
Each Pyrite Fragments NFT holder will get access to different levels of utility depending on the level of rarity of his NFT in the collection. The allocation of utilities will be randomly assigned by an algorithm embedded in the smart contract on the Tezos blockchain.
All the 2022 Pyrite Fragments NFTs will have a common base of utilities, including Voting right for the next Ballon d’Or NFT artist in 2023 and its future Web3.0 plans, Promo code on L’Equipe shop and on digital subscriptions to L’Equipe and France Football, etc.
One exceptional NFT in the 2022 Pyrite Fragments collection will provide its holder access to the Ballon d’Or® ceremony for 20 years. Some ultra-rare NFTs in the collection will provide exclusive features, including 50 limited Sorare Football cards, 16 physical pyrite fragments of the original Ballon d’Or 2022 trophy, Box tickets, Meet up with Léo Caillard, and autographed jerseys of football players.
Third series in the Ballon d’Or NFT collection (Exclusive Ballon d’Or® physical auction)
On November 8, 2022, an ultra-exclusive physical auction will be organized by The Journal L’Équipe and the Millon auction house, to showcase a unique digital photo collection by the French daily sports newspaper.
During this event, 2 NFT pieces created by Léo Caillard will also be put up for sale, offering access to the 2023 Ballon d’Or® ceremony.
- Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won 12 of the last 14 Ballon d’Or award.
- French news magazine “France Football” awards Ballon d’Or since 1956, while the women’s Ballon d’Or (Ballon d’Or Feminin) started only in 2018.
- Alexia Putellas won Back-to-back Women’s Ballon d’Or in 2021 and 2022.
- This is the first time player performance from the previous season (August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022), is considered for the award rather than a calendar year.
- Crypto-Artist Léo Caillard is represented by MTArt Agency since 2016.
- Paris-based crypto firm “Ledger” also offered a special “Golden” edition of its famous “Nano” series physical wallet to the winner of Ballon d’Or 2022.
- Eco-friendly Tezos become the blockchain of choice for the Ballon d’Or NFT collection.