Jamaica’s bobsled team, which experienced challenging issues when it first attempted to qualify for the Winter Olympics in 1988 is facing similar difficulties with trying to qualify for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. This has prompted Chris Stokes, former bobsled team member and the author of “Cool Runnings,” the book that inspired the 1993 Disney film of the same name, to form a strategic partnership with Jacob York of Electric Token and Rohan Midha, the sponsorship agent for Jamaica’s bobsled team, to raise the necessary funds for the team’s Olympic qualification through the use of NFTs as an equity source.
“NFT” stands for “Non-Fungible Token.” Non-fungible means that the token is unique and can’t be replaced with anything else. NFTs are meant to show ownership of something that can’t be copied. While an NFT can be anything digital, many current NFTs involve using the technology to sell digital art. For example, while anyone can purchase a print of a Picasso painting, there can be only one owner of the original painting. Another feature of NFTs that is attractive to buyers is that they can be structured to pay the owner a percentage each time the NFT is sold, which means that if an artwork becomes popular and increases in value, the owner receives some of the benefits. As the market for NFTs has grown, some have sold for thousands and even millions of dollars.
This initiative, which is the first of its kind to combine authentic Jamaican digital and physical experiences from music and art with the purpose of securing a place in the 2022 Olympics for the bobsled team, has scheduled the NFT drop for later in 2021. The NFT will feature limited edition digital art highlighting the best of the Jamaican bobsled brand: courage, persistence, and claiming a place in the world “regardless of where you are,” according to Stokes and Midha.
Each of the unique collectibles will be a Jamaican-themed bobsled “wrapped in works of digital 3-dimensional art curated by Florian Tappeser, a digital artist and animator at Genies. The NFTs will include designs for each of the six Jamaican bobsleds that will compete in the 2022 Winter Games. Original work by Jamaican artists selected with input from Electric Token, experts in NFT, and the Jamaican Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will support each NFT. NFT artist Gabe Weis will be featured in the first of the initiative’s drops. Weis is known for his unique cubist style, and his work is very popular with established collectors.
The funds raised by the sale of the NFTs will go toward Olympic training, the purchase of world-class equipment, housing, and other critical elements. Stokes said that the biggest challenge now is to obtain top-quality racing bobsleds and runners. Without competitive equipment, talent and hard work are not enough to attain the team’s potential, he added. He also noted that the team wants to have enough funding to implement stable and predictable development programs, and he hopes that the NFT project will help to resolve those related issues.
Midha believes that the project will also move NFTs into the mainstream for artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, and others and allow them to own, manage, and monitor the value of their own brands. He believes this will prompt a shift in power away from commercial interests to the creator.
The qualification date for the bobsled competition at the 2022 Olympics is January 16, 2022.
Source: Revolt TV