SailGP’s first foray into the world of digital sport collectibles was unveiled in Chicago, with an exclusive exhibition curated by the @imnotArt gallery – Chicago’s first physical NFT gallery.
Two events displaying all four of SailGP’s NFT collections for the first time were held at the gallery to coincide with the T-Mobile United States Sail Grand Prix.
The events, which took place on Thursday June 16 and Friday June 17, were attended by fans, members of the local community and virtual attendees in the metaverse, who were offered the chance to purchase a SailGP digital artwork.
The first event, on June 16, was a community night celebrating the partnership between SailGP and NEAR, while the second, on June 17, was open to the public. Attendees had the chance to enter a raffle and win free tickets to the T-Mobile U.S. Sail Grand Prix, as well as claiming a free SailGP fan collectible.
Gallery co-founder and CEO, Matthew Schapiro said collaborating with SailGP on the exhibition was a ‘natural opportunity’ for the gallery.
“We loved the fact that SailGP is really designed for viewership and getting new people into the sport,” he said.
Schapiro added that the gallery was driven to collaborate with the league after learning more about SailGP’s partnership with blockchain development platform NEAR.
“It’s about fan accessibility, it’s about bringing fans into the ecosystem - it’s not about NFTs specifically, it’s about digital collectibles and fan engagement,” he said.
“When we learned more about the objectives SailGP had it really aligned with what we were hoping - it was all about driving community and engagement.”
The exhibition events were well attended and successfully attracted new audiences to the sport while driving fan engagement.
“SailGP definitely made a lot of noise in Chicago in terms of awareness,” Schapiro said. “A lot of people knew SailGP was in town and were intrigued by the fact we were working with them and wanted to come and check it out.”
Schapiro pointed to SailGP’s Chicago City Collection artwork penned by Chicago based designer Justin Van Genderen as one of his personal favourites, while the For Good collection was ‘amazing conceptually’, he said.