NHL Launches Digital Collectible Platform for Hockey Highlights

The NHL has officially announced its digital collectible platform, NHL Breakaway.

Built with blockchain tech provider Sweet, the site allows fans to buy packs of NFTs containing clips of hockey action. Breakaway, unveiled on Wednesday, also includes the ability to trade highlights with other collectors and complete on-platform challenges for real-life rewards and additional digital goods. A marketplace to buy and sell individual NFTs is expected to launch soon.

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NHL Breakaway debuts as collectible NFTs continue searching for stability when it comes to trading activity. NBA Top Shot saw $1.1 million in marketplace sales in November, down 66% from that month last year and 95% from November 2021, according to Cryptoslam! data. But, Mizzone said, sports as a category is stronger than others in the world of Web3.

“The sports vertical is 100% the opportunity in the place for digital collectibles,” he said. “We want to be the platform that really breaks open the idea of digital collectibles for everyday hockey fans.”

Mizzone added that Sweet plans to do more when it comes to officially licensed, NFT-backed sports offerings. The two companies, along with the NHLPA and NHL Alumni Association, first announced the partnership in June 2022.

Breakaway has put an emphasis on accessibility, with $9 packs and the free trading functionality added before a real-money marketplace. While an NFT platform today doesn’t come with the promise of potential revenue like it might have two years ago, the NHL remains committed to the concept.

“We’re in this for the long haul,” said Chris Golier, NHL group vice president, business development, innovation. “We feel strongly that this is something that our fans were asking for and wanting, and it’s up to us to deliver in terms of a product and a vision…. If we do it the right way, this will be around for a very long time.”

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