SailGP, the purpose-led, global sailing championship, is elevating fan experience with digital sport collectables as a key part of its multi-year partnership with leading, community-driven blockchain development platform NEAR.

Collecting memorabilia has always been a key part of sports fan engagement and now through an official series of digital collectables, fans will not only be able to own a unique piece of SailGP history but also SailGP event experiences from VIP tickets to exclusive access on the F50.

Four digital collections will be released, with all of them based on values shared by SailGP and NEAR. The first collection is focused around SailGP and NEAR’s shared ambition for a more sustainable future. Two of SailGP’s striking F50-inspired Earth Day posters will be turned into NFTs (non-fungible tokens), with 10 editions released of each artwork. In tandem, fans who buy one of these 20 NFTs will be gifted a sustainably made t-shirt adorned with one of the Earth Day artworks.

The second collection will be themed around SailGP’s events and local communities and will utilize the locally designed artworks that currently feature in SailGP’s City Collection merchandise. Chicago based designer Justin Van Genderen is the first to feature with his striking design highlighting the sport and speed of the F50 while showcasing the Chicago city skyline.

The third collection will be photo-driven and fan-focused, with SailGP’s award winning photography forming the basis of exclusive digital artworks. The collection will champion the action-packed, edge-of-your-seat moments from SailGP’s racing, from capsizes and collisions to neck-and-neck rivalries right up to the finish line.

Finally, the fourth collection will act as an entry point for fans into SailGP's digital collectables. The NEAR X SailGP F50 icon – created to drive engagement on twitter as part of a shared Season 3 #F50 hashflag campaign – will be distributed to anyone who engages with SailGP by attending an event, downloading the NEAR wallet or completing SailGP’s new single sign across SailGP platforms later this year.

SailGP’s digital collectables journey will begin in earnest in Chicago with an exclusive exhibition curated by the @imnotArt gallery – Chicago’s first physical NFT gallery. NFTs from all four collections will be on display, while fans will also have the chance to purchase a SailGP NFT for the first time. The 60 NFTs created from SailGP’s Chicago City Collection artwork – which will come a piece of official merchandise – will be available to buy, while a image from entertainment collect will be issued to anyone who creates a NEAR digital wallet across the event weekend or uses the QR code to enter the gallery. After two days at the gallery, the collection will move over to the SailGP Event Village at Navy Pier and be on display in the Ballroom.

SailGP head of digital and engagement Daisy Vollans said: “Collecting sporting memorabilia has always been a key part of fan enjoyment and engagement but now, through our first ever SailGP x NEAR digital collectables, fans will not only be able to own a piece of history but also access unique experiences. Once again the shared ambitions and values of SailGP and NEAR have come together to create a unique experience that places fans at the very heart of it.”

NEAR Foundation global head of brand strategy and partnerships Chris Ghent said: “When sports leagues like Major League Baseball dove into digital collectibles, they launched with charitable use cases that grabbed the attention of industry-advocates like Tyler Winklevoss. SailGP has taken those inspirations and is elevating them to be core to its fan experience - not just bolting on another commercial opportunity. SailGP’s tech innovations, built on climate-neutral NEAR, are inspiring both global and local communities from their iconic locations, like Navy Pier.”

Digital Collectible Schedule // T-Mobile United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier

Thursday June 16 + Friday June 17 // 12 - 4 p.m. @ imnotArt Gallery
Visit imnotArt to experience the SailGP x NEAR NFT gallery. Learn more about SailGP & NEAR and claim the free SailGP Fan collectible. Enter a raffle to win free tickets to the United States Sail Grand Prix. Open to the public.

Thursday June 16 // 7-10 p.m. Community Night Music Event @ imnotArt Gallery
A night of Web 3.0, music, SailGP art & imagery, and vibes - a celebration of SailGP x NEAR. Enter a raffle to win free tickets to the United States Sail Grand Prix. RSVP required.

Saturday June 18 + Sunday June 19 // 12- 5 p.m. Pop-Up Gallery, Ballroom @ Navy Pier
Visit the SailGP x NEAR gallery and redeem your free SailGP collectible.