Wimbledon celebrates 100 years of Centre Court with creation of NFTs

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 (Glorious)
(Glorious)

The All England Lawn Tennis Club is celebrating the centenary of Wimbledon’s Centre Court by becoming the latest sporting institution to release a series of NFTs.

It’s centenary collection dates back to 1920 and includes classic images of stars from Bjorn Borg to John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and Maria Sharapova in the form of photography contact sheets.

The 10 NFTs, which are digital artworks that can be bought and sold but have no tangible form, are being made in editions of 100.

They cost £500 and would-be buyers have to enter an online ballot to win the right to buy them.

Centre Court is turning 100 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Centre Court is turning 100 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Alexandra Willis, from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), said using the latest technology to celebrate such a historic landmark was “a lovely contrast”.

She said: “Not only does it reflect the past, but also the future and a reminder that how fans interact with sport will continue to evolve.

“I’ve been fortunate to enjoy an early glimpse of the artworks and they are indeed beautiful, worthy of hanging upon the walls of Wimbledon.”

The rise of NFTs in popularity has been boosted in particular by football clubs such as Manchester City and former players including John Terry and Michael Owen launching and promoting their own schemes.

Wimbledon’s images have been curated by New Zealand-based digital art firm Glorious Digital which was co-founded by legendary All Blacks star Dan Carter who described Wimbledon as “one of the most prestigious sporting institutions in the world”.

 (Glorious)
(Glorious)

He said: “The AELTC rolls out a flawless tournament year on year, and I have a huge amount of respect for the team. That respect has only increased working so closely with them on the celebration of 100 years of Centre Court. Glorious and Wimbledon share similar values, we take great pride in conserving the rich history of the brand and its legacy. The Centenary Collection allows fans to own a part of that.”

Ballot winners will not know which artwork they have bought until July 10 - the last day of this year’s tournament - when the collection is officially released. The ballot opens today.

The 2022 Championships begin on Monday June 27. For more information on the NFTs look at the collection here.

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