The Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball team has launched an NFT Collection, which will feature on LED video boards around its Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena as part of the venue’s Public Art Program.

The Cavaliers recently acquired three basketball-themed pieces which will form part of the program. The NFTs (non-fungible tokens) were purchased from independent artists on Foundation, a platform for live auctions of digital art and NFTs, using ETH cryptocurrency.

The team said that the collection, which can be viewed online at nft.cavs.io, will continue to expand and grow. The first three NFTs to be added to the collection are Transcendence, Lemon Dunk and Brick Squad, with the works currently displayed on rotation on the Canyon LED inside the glass atrium at the FieldHouse.

The Canyon LED spans four storeys and features eight million pixels. It can be viewed through the glass by passers-by in downtown Cleveland and is separated in the centre by the venue’s Overlook Bar.

Nic Barlage, president and chief operating officer of Rock Entertainment Group, the recently formed umbrella identity for the Cavaliers and the FieldHouse, said: “The genesis of the collection is born from a desire to use our platform to authentically engage with the global, contemporary art community and its diverse fan base.

“We want to empower the independent artists who drive this community forward and amplify their work in both a physical way at the FieldHouse and virtually to our worldwide audience. We’re excited and proud to add NFTs to the over 100 physical works that make up the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Public Art Program.”

The program features site-specific commissions created for the FieldHouse that are designed to convey a “spirit of sportsmanship and resilience”. The initiative was launched in September 2019 with the grand opening of the transformed venue and the program features more than 100 pieces of art from nationally and internationally renowned artists.

The Cavaliers recently partnered with technology company Recur to mint the team’s first-ever NFT, the Cleveland Cavaliers Locker Room. Over 50 of these inaugural NFTs were gifted to corporate partners at a special ‘Art of Business’ private event earlier this month.

Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash