How is a football NFT made? The story behind AC Milan’s first digital collectible

The child-sized AC Milan jersey from South Sudan was gripped with blue latex gloves, placed gently on a hanger and readied in the light of the Lidar scanners.

Years earlier, the sweater was on the back of a boy who flooded in his homeland. Danish photojournalist Jan Grarup took a photo of the shirt and asked him to exchange the item for a brand new one. The boy agreed.

At this point, the shirt was digitized in 3D and turned into a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) by a company that AC Milan had hired called Fansea.

An NFT is a unique digital collectible that is tracked on a blockchain to prove its unique authenticity.

The data underlying NFTs is bought and sold at very high prices and can represent anything found online – including art, photos, match highlights and in this case a 3D rendering of the AC Milan shirt from Sudan taken up close. can be viewed and rotated.

On Friday, the club announced it would sell 75,817 versions of the digitized shirt for €45, with the proceeds going to Fondazione Milan, which works to help children in need around the world. The number of items for sale represents San Siro’s capacity.

AC Milan’s first foray into the NFT business – a thriving industry in the football world – offers an inside look at the complicated process that turns real items into digital collectibles owned by thousands of fans.

So, what does it take to turn a physical object into something that can be inspected online in 3D as a work of art? Lidar and photogrammetry technology, as well as a dash of creativity.

“You have to be an engineer to do that,” Fansea founder Alexander Schlicher told me TARGET† “Because you need to know how to set the light, how to set the dust level in the room, how to set the reflections in the room, how to use the scanner and how to process the photos you take. We always have to take the real object and we put that in our studio.”

That level of effort, Fansea and AC Milan hope, will translate into fan interest. For now, interest means money for a good cause. Later, in future endeavors, this can translate into revenue.

That’s what a number of other clubs and leagues, including in Italy, have seen as NFTs and cryptocurrency.

While there are certainly opponents to NFTs as people question the value of collectibles stored online, Fansea believes the level of detail in projects like this elevates them to important works.

“We definitely consider the objects we produce as digital works of art, 100%,” said Schlicher. “People buy it because it embodies a story of a boy in Sudan who wore that exact sweater, suffered from that sweater that kept him on his body while he was wet while he slept, cried, you know.

“So you’d know you’re actually buying a digital original of something that actually happened. We make it as realistic as possible because it embodies all of that and it’s more of a work of art than anything. It’s not just a photo.”

BitMEX, a cryptocurrency exchange that is an official partner of AC Milan, has pledged to purchase a large number of NFTs to support AC Milan Fondazione’s charitable missions. In total, more than 3 million euros could be raised.

“We are delighted to join this innovative project in partnership with BitMEX and Fansea,” said Fondazione Milan Secretary General Rocco Giorgianni TARGET

“Fondazione Milan gives many children the opportunity to access sport as a tool for inclusion. This project will enable many young people, who live in difficult circumstances and may not necessarily have the opportunity to play sports, to become involved and involved in sports projects and develop their talent.”

The NFT is launched first via the Fansea website and then on the Fansea app.

“This is AC Milan’s first NFT venture, a move that emphasizes the club’s innovative nature, combined with a desire to always drive positive change through the power of the AC Milan brand,” the club wrote.

Would you pay money for an NFT? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so let us know in the comments below!

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