The news that professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is launching an NFT collection with crypto exchange Binance has caused a surge in people searching for NFT-related search terms, according to a price analysis firm.
CoinGecko says that searches for ‘celebrity NFTs’ have increased by 1,250% while the keyword ‘Binance’ grew by nearly 500%. There has also been a 376% increase in searches for ‘Ronaldo’ in the last seven days – but the Portugal star has had a busy week. On Tuesday, he was released by Manchester United following an outspoken media interview and then, on Thursday, he became the first male footballer to score at five Fifa World Cups.
Last week, Binance announced a “multi-year” partnership with Ronaldo – widely regarded as the greatest player of his generation – which would involve the launch of his first ever NFT collection. The collection will feature seven animated statues with rarities ranging from normal to super, super rare.
It’s not unusual for sports stars to dabble in the world of cryptocurrency and NFTs. In May, F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo became a brand ambassador for OKCoin while athletes such as golfer Bryson deChambeau and former skateboarder Tony Hawk have released their own NFTs. But the news that one of the world’s most marketable sportspeople, with millions of fans worldwide, was entering the NFT space drags the crypto sector into a whole new dimension.
‘Celebrities have become integral to success of NFTs’
“I worked closely with Binance to develop a collection that gives me a special way to not only connect with my fans, but to bring them into the game in a new and deeper way while rewarding them for their support,” Ronaldo said when the collection was launched.
“My fans have been such a huge part of my success and I’m passionate about building a fan-centric economy to allow fans to own a unique piece of sports history. Together with Binance, I want to welcome fans into Web3 through the world of NFTs.”
Bobby Ong, COO and Co-Founder of CoinGecko, says: “Given the level of influence and popularity of celebrities, they have become integral to the success of NFT projects. Fans and followers want to spend on collectibles and experiences created by their favourite stars, and this includes digital collectibles like NFTs.”