Tennis Australia Press Release, November 24, 2022
The Australian Open (AO) has announced an extensive rewards program for holders of its hugely popular AO ArtBall NFTs. Designed by Tennis Australia and Web3 studio Run It Wild, the rewards program is one of the most generous on the blockchain and gives AO ArtBall holders an unprecedented number of tickets to tennis, live sport, and entertainment happening in both the real and virtual worlds.
The Australian Open was the first Grand Slam to enter the metaverse when it minted 6,776 unique AO ArtBalls in January 2022, with the award-winning project the first of its kind to incorporate live match data.
Each AO ArtBall is linked to a 19cm x 19cm plot of a tennis court surface and if the winning shot from any of the 400+ AO22 matches landed on that plot, the NFT metadata was updated in real-time to highlight the match information and the holder received benefits such as limited-edition wearables.
As part of the AO ArtBall rewards program, every holder will be able to claim a pair of complimentary Seven Day Ground Passes for week two of AO23. Given there are 6,776 AO ArtBalls in circulation, this represents the largest release of tickets to an AO membership program in the history of the event. Holders of more than one AO ArtBall will be able to claim multiple pairs of Ground Passes based on the number of balls they own, capped at 20 tickets.
Other benefits include access to other major international sporting events, Web3 conferences, behind the scenes streams at the AO, limited edition merchandise, and more.
“As one of the world’s biggest sport and entertainment events, we are always exploring opportunities to innovate, and we’re excited by the additions planned for AO ArtBall 2023. We look forward to welcoming AO ArtBall holders to experience the AO this summer,” said Cedric Cornelis, Chief Commercial Officer Tennis Australia.
“Last year we set a new precedent at the intersection of tech, art, tennis and live data. This year we’re breaking new ground in offering all holders a deeper fan experience. We’ve shifted gears to build out a sustainable membership platform for the future,” said Adam De Cata, Founder of Run it Wild and CEO of NFT Tech.
“AO ArtBalls offer new ways to experience sport and keep fans connected to the game beyond the 14 days of the tournament. We’re offering fans truly unique experiences and creating memories that last a lifetime,” said Ridley Plummer, Senior Manager Metaverse, NFT’s, Web3 and Cryptocurrency Tennis Australia.
“We don’t believe any other NFT project is offering Grand Slam tickets and the range of member benefits on this scale, to all holders. As an established project, in constant dialogue with our community, we’re optimistic about the next chapter and remain committed to announcing more exciting initiatives for our members.”
Fans who missed out on purchasing an AO22 ArtBall NFT will have the opportunity to become an owner and to benefit from the next round of exclusive rewards program when AO23 ArtBalls are released before the tournament starts. Investors wanting to benefit from this round of rewards can attempt to purchase an AO22 ArtBall on a secondary marketplace such as Opensea using a digital wallet.
Benefits for AO22 ArtBall Holders:
- AO ArtBall Ground Passes – A pair of complimentary Seven Day Ground Passes for Finals Week at AO23 for each AO ArtBall.
- United Cup – ArtBall holders will get access to select United Cup matches in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The United Cup is the first mixed teams event for equal points and equal pay, taking place across from 29 December to 8 January.
- ArtBall Supersight – Designed to deepen the fan experience, ArtBall Supersight is an exclusive suite of streams and viewing tools including Player-cams, 3D Stats Explorer and AO personalised match highlights. With access to ArtBall Supersight, all holders will have behind the scenes access to AO23 from anywhere in the world.
- Enhanced Match Point experience – In advance of AO23, every AO ArtBall will be re-rolled to determine its on-court position. Depending on the results of the random draw, holders in less desirables plots such as in the middle of the court will have the chance to secure Match Points and benefits from their new plot during AO23.
- AO Academy – AO Academy is designed to help fans navigate the new exciting world of Web3. It offers a busy roster of conference tickets, meetups, and networking events and in 2023 will also include starter memberships to crypto education platform Collective Shift.
To find out more about AO ArtBalls and the rewards program, please visit the official website.