Done in collaboration with Prime Sports NFT, a sports NFT division under Prime Sports International (PSI), the NFTs will be a series of 10 limited edition digital collectables and is currently going on auction via digital NFT marketplace OpenSea until 11 July. Owners of these NFTs will have access to an exclusive opportunity to share the pitch with Safee, a framed print-out of the NFT and access.
The NFTs were designed by local artist Nicholas Chuan, who previously worked with companies including UEFA, Red Bull Racing, Liverpool FC, and FC Bayern. According to the press statement, the NFT was launched as a creative venture to increase his engagement with his fans.
The “SEPULUH” NFTs also include a partnership with the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia, where a portion of the proceeds will go towards promoting, advancing and protecting professional footballers’ interests in Malaysia.
PSI's spokesperson told A+M that Safee wanted to elevate the level of engagement with his fans through the NFTs. This came about with Prime Sports NFT pitching the idea to the footballer, which he was very keen to explore.
Multiple artists' portfolios were proposed before Safee handpicked Chuan. According to the spokesperson, the creative concept came about during a process of multiple meetings and sharing sessions between artist and athlete. From the sketch to the end product, Safee was involved in the creative process to realise his vision for SEPULUH.
While the spokesperson declined to reveal the monetary value of the investment, he said that as this is Safee's pilot project, there isn't a financial ROI expectancy. The mission with SEPULUH is to realise a creative venture for Safee and more than that, to give fans the opportunity to own a meaningful part of his story, the spokesperson added.
Sali said: “My vision for ‘SEPULUH’ was to capture my fondest memory in the Harimau Malaya jersey via digital art and enable fans to own a piece of my story as a collectable. My fans have been the pillar of support throughout my career and the ‘SEPULUH’ NFT opens the doors to forging closer bonds with them.”
Yong-Chul Yun, the founder of Prime Sports NFT, said: “Globally, digital assets are increasingly being rooted in the sporting world as means to fundamentally change how fans interact with their favourite teams and athletes.”