🎉 2022 Shortlist


Entrant: Fanaply

  • Best Engagement Through NFTs or Digital Collectibles



This year, leading sports, music and entertainment platform Fanaply and the New Jersey Devils teamed for several NFT releases, including two 1/1 auctions, the “NJD EST 1982” Coin and the “NJD 3x Champ” Coin. Both NFTs were sold exclusively as a 1/1 collectible in an auction-style format on Fanaply.

The “NJD EST 1982” Coin honored the origins of the Devils’ with a one-of-a-kind coin that was awarded to the highest bidder. The winning bidder also gained two full Season Ticket Memberships to the Devils 2021-22 Season - a package that significantly bundles digital artwork, a physical collectible and memorable game experiences. Additionally, the “NJD 3x Champ” Coin paid homage to the team’s three-time Stanley Cup-winning legacy.

This collaboration represented the first-ever partnership between an NHL team and an NFT platform. By the close of both auctions, the partnership saw the successful launch of two exclusive auction-experiences that rewarded a passionate fanbase.

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

The NFT scene has exploded in the sports world over the last twelve months and teams are attempting to move quickly to stay-up-to-date with increasing fan demand while constantly servicing their evolving needs. Fanaply offered a fully-integrated solution for a team looking to engage with their audience in an environment where attention is at a premium.

In creating this partnership, Fanaply and the Devils were looking to reward their fans with an experience that went beyond just a live sporting event. In the coming months, teams will continue to build on this type of partnership and look at this particular opportunity as a source of inspiration when conceptualizing their own ideas. The Devils were at the forefront of this movement in the sports world and its impact should not be understated.

Objective: NFTs have entered into the mainstream consciousness over the last year at an exponential rate and can have a powerful impact on how brands, teams, and leagues interact with their fans. The New Jersey Devils turned to the team at Fanaply to create an opportunity for their fans that wouldn’t just reward them for their loyalty, but also give them a shot at experiencing something that was both exclusive and revolutionary. All fans of the team had the opportunity to participate in an auction that called back to some of the glory days of a storied NHL franchise. Additionally, Fanaply and the Devils created a “Shop Local” NFT which donated proceeds to local businesses in the area.

Strategy & Execution: Although the NHL season was in the midst of the postseason, the Devils were eliminated. During this time, the team was looking for ways to keep its fans engaged and optimistic for the season ahead. Thinking ahead of the curve, the Devils created a partnership with Fanaply that saw them become the first NHL team to create an NFT - a craze that had exploded onto the scene in the last year . The modern sports fan is interested in something that can go beyond just live sporting events. Although no live events were taking place for the team, the Devils were able to drive fan and media awareness during their offseason - a feat that is not the easiest. The subsequent creation of both coins gave the most ravenous fans a chance to bid on something brand new, exclusive, and enticing.

Results: Both auctions were widely successful and generated numerous bids for these exclusive coins. Team executives were additionally delighted with the earned media pickup as a result of this partnership - with the Devils being the first team to create an NFT. The announcement saw features in notable outlets such as Bleacher Report and SportTechie among many others and the landing page generated over 6,000 page views. One of the NFT’s itself saw the winning bid go for a substantial figure (disclosed in subsequent sections). Additionally, the Shop Local NFT drop was designed to support local business in New Jersey as a portion of proceeds were donated back to the community - a positive PR effort for both brands.




Grant Dexter
Co-Founder & CEO

Mike Rosenthal
Co-Founder and CPO

Andrew Roach
Director of Account Management

Celebrate in Las Vegas

Join us for the 4th Hashtag Sports Awards™ presented by Budweiser on the evening of July 12, 2022 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.