Miami Marlins, Magic City Apes launching NFT art display – Sports Business Journal

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The Marlins are partnering with the Magic City Apes, a group of Miami-based NFT holders, to introduce a new artwork display at loanDepot park. On June 3, the Miami Marlins Bored Ape NFT Art Display will allow fans to view approximately 20 pieces of NFT Bored Ape art displayed on digital columns throughout the Promenade Level in a first-of-its-kind experience at a MLB game. Additionally, fans can meet the Magic City Apes — that is, meet the holders of these Bored Ape NFTs — by purchasing tickets to a pre-game party experience at loanDepot park’s Recess Sports Lounge ahead of the June 3 game against the Giants.

The partnership — not a sponsorship, as no cash is being exchanged — is “an innovative way to combine culturally relevant groups here in Miami,” said Marlins Senior VP/Sales & Partnerships David Oxfeld. The Magic City Apes are the Miami-based subsection of The Bored Ape Yacht Club, the year-old NFT collection owned by blockchain tech firm Yuga Labs. Roughly 75 of the 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs live in Miami. Oxfeld, who led the partnership effort from the Marlins’ side, has a friend who owns Ape #1,800 and played a key role in establishing the partnership for the Magic City Apes. Oxfeld would not name the holder of Ape #1,800: “A lot of these guys like to stay anonymous,” he said.

There are 18 columns throughout loanDepot park’s 360-degree Promenade Level, each of which will display the NFT artwork. “There’s probably never been a place that you can go to at one time and walk a lap in 10 minutes and be able to see 20 different Apes displayed,” said Oxfeld, who consulted MLB Eexec VP/Business Development Kenny Gersh — the league’s NFT guru — ahead of the partnership.

Gersh: “My belief is we as a sport, throughout the entire league, can benefit from reaching out to these engaged communities and getting them to engage with baseball. Miami is a hotbed for Ape’s in particular, and also the NFT and crypto community in general. So this is something that really makes a lot of sense, to tap into that passion and that engagement and bring some of that into the ballpark.” Gersh said he foresees more of these partnerships on the horizon: “I think you will begin to see a ton of overlap between these two worlds and have them sort of feed off each other. This Marlins partnership is a great example of that. It’s something that I like to encourage around the league and something that, at the league level, we’re also exploring.”

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