Kansas City-based design firm Populous is taking a dive into the world of NFTs with a new partnership involving the Kansas City Pioneers professional esports team.
The five-part non-fungible tokens, called The Arena, make up the first collection of its kind created through an esports team and design firm partnership. The Populous designs follow a character along the path to a virtual esports arena influenced by the Pioneers.
“Throughout our history at Populous, the mission behind the places we design has always been to bring people together for unforgettable experiences,” said Brian Mirakian, Populous senior principal and head of the firm’s esports division. “The Arena NFT collection moves beyond the boundaries of physical space and experiments with the possibilities of how new digital mediums unlock access to powerful shared social experiences capable of building communities in a virtual world.”
Mirakian said The Arena provides a look into future innovation that offers a platform for fans to connect with their favorite teams. The NFTs give fans access to a theoretical futuristic “road to the venue,” the arena competition seating bowl, and a behind-the-scenes Pioneers elite team training area.
The collection also offers a look into the future of gaming in Kansas City, with Kansas City imagery used alongside the Pioneers’ branding, connecting fans to the Midwest spirit, according to a release.
Pioneers co-founder and CEO Mark Josey said the partnership with Populous was instrumental in helping bring vision in esports and gaming to life.
“As leaders of the next generation of consumers, we know that we must meet our fans and communities where they are today, and in the future,” Josey said. “This incredible collection will do just that in providing access to authentic, personalized experiences, and build connections to a community here and beyond.”
NFT tokes for The Arena NFT tokens began to roll out in late April on Opensea.
Populous and the Kansas City Pioneers first collaborated a year ago, hosting the Kansas City Esports Symposium in December 2021.
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