In a world first, a youth soccer club in Vancouver Island, B.C. has taken to the NFT market to help save their community’s playing field.
<aside> 📢 To learn more about the initiative and explore purchase one of the club’s limited NFTs, visit the collection on https://opensea.io
Peninsula Soccer was founded in 1974 with the aim of bringing together ****diverse communities at a grassroots level through sport and shared values. Currently, it has approximately 600 players from the local area, predominantly aged between 5-18. Their playing fields are the backdrop for their young athletes to interact, play, and engage in team sports.
Over recent years, increased rainfall has caused hundreds of cancelled hours in practice time, game play, and outdoor activities. This has resulted in kids staying at home inactive and away from the physical, mental, and cross-social benefits they find on the field. "I hate it that training and games get cancelled all the time. Our coaches tell us that practice is important, but every time it rains, it gets cancelled." said Lily Edgell, U13 team member.
In an effort to fund the construction of a new weather-proof turf field for its players, Peninsula Soccer began its outreach for investment in more traditional ways. Peninsula Soccer has now made the exciting jump to exploring NFTs as a creative way to secure funding.
After conversations with branding agency Frosty, Peninsula Soccer created a collection of 5,000 NFTs, each representing one virtual square meter section of artificial turf of the club's future field.
"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."
An example of NFT Unit #1592 available for sale.
Available on OpenSea, one of the largest NFT marketplaces, the sale of these NFTs (which the club are cleverly referring to as Non-Fungible Turf) 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.
5,000 individual tiles are for sale on OpenSea.
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."