Funding Community Grassroots Through A World First In NFTs: Canadian Youth Soccer Club Strikes A New Fundraising Venture
Non-Fungible ‘Turfs’ scheme aims to create a tangible investment for the next generation of aspiring Canadian soccer players created by Frosty, a creative company founded by former Nike and Burberry executives.
With the Canadian men’s national soccer team well on their way to making history by qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986, the sport has seen a dramatic surge in popularity across Canada.
The national team’s heroics on the pitch have been an added motivation for a youth soccer club in Vancouver Island, B.C. who, in a world first, has taken to the NFT market to help save their community’s playing field.
Every year over 150 hours of playing time are lost as Peninsula Soccer’s fields have been impacted by increased rainfall resulting in ever-worsening damage to the playing surface. The club’s 600 players from the local areas mainly aged between 5-18 have been forced to stay at home more frequently which has resulted in negative impact to their physical and mental health.
In order to take quick action and get the club members playing again, Peninsula Soccer has made the exciting jump to exploring NFTs as a creative way to secure funding.
Together with branding agency Frosty, Peninsula Soccer has created a collection of 5,000 NFTs, each representing one virtual square meter section of artificial turf of the club’s future field. As the first community club to create this, as well as funding their new playing field, their ambition is to inspire other amateur clubs around the world.
“We reached out to a number of large brands and local donors, but appreciated it was a lot to ask. We needed to try something else, more community-driven and more ambitious,“ said Rob Byers, Peninsula Soccer‘s President. “The annual upkeep for the grass fields is costly, and impacts the other resources needed to support the club and its players.” This is where Frosty, who have a local connection to the club and area, and have experience in the digital and gaming space, stepped in. “They pushed us to dream bigger for the future of the club and the youth we serve.”
Available on Open Sea, one of the largest NFT marketplaces, the sale of these NFTs will go directly into the construction of their physical counterpart. The initiative’s goal, through the creation and sale of the NFTs, is to raise $1M CAD to fund the building of the new field. The club will only take the fee of the first sale of each NFT of $200 and the owners of the NFTs are free to further trade, with no commission going to the club.
Frosty’s Greg Stogdon, describes the initiative as a new approach to hyper-local crowd funding. He explains: “The first purchasers of the NFTs are contributing directly to the funds necessary to build the physical turf field in the future— the digital investment has a physical value and direct reward to the young athletes of Southern Vancouver Island. Together, this allows all of the NFT owners to be a part of a positive shared experience between the club, its players, and the youth community at large. This is a purposeful way for NFT investors and collectors to contribute to real world change in the daily lives and well-being of hundreds of kids through fundraising towards the creation of year-round soccer facilities and an outdoor home for play and connection.”
The NFTs are available to purchase with Polygon on Open Sea. Polygon is a natural fit for this project owing to its design as a way to improve accessibility to blockchain to a wider audience. Polygon helps remove the traditional barriers that have prevented the core Ethereum network from supporting community projects like this.
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