The English Premier League (EPL) has filed two cryptocurrency and NFT trademarks in the U.S., a sign the world’s most-watched sports league is gearing up to expand its brand into the digital scene.
The trademarks were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week and brought to light in a tweet by licensed trademark attorney Michael Kondoudis on June 6.
The Premier League is the top level of professional English football, comprising 20 teams.
The two filings pertain to the U.S. use of trademarks associated with the league, one centered on the league’s name and logo of a “lion wearing a crown in three-quarter view” and the other regarding a “loving cup trophy” adorned with lions on each handle and a crown on top.
The trademark filings are expansive in scope, and cover the creation and sale of digital assets, virtual clothing, cryptocurrencies, and media files verified by NFTs. They also include the use of Premier League trademarks in “virtual, augmented, and mixed reality software.”
An NFT is a digital asset that represents the ownership of media, often digital illustrations, profile pictures, or music. They are minted on public blockchains like Ethereum or Solana, and each token is unique.
The market for NFTs has grown in recent years as more companies cast their hats into the ring. One of the most notable NFT projects in the sports world is NBA Top Shot, launched in 2020. The collection recently surpassed over $1 billion in sales, according to CryptoSlam.
While demand for cryptocurrencies and NFTs has cooled in light of a recent decline in the overall crypto market, NFT sales are still on pace to exceed the $20 billion in volume recorded last year. The space has been a growing area for celebrities, artists and cultural icons to connect with their fans and cultivate a sense of community online.
The application of digital currencies is becoming increasingly common throughout the sports world, especially among football clubs. Last month, Arsenal announced a partnership with Unagi as part of their free to play game where player cards could be purchased as NFTs.
The game allows its users to keep player cards as collectables, sell them on an open market for in-game currency or trade the cards with other players. For fans of football, it could be a sign of what’s to come in the future for the Premier League.
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