User created NFTs to reinvent sports collectibles, tourism tokens and stamp collection

Tony Mathew
9 min readNov 7, 2022


Brands have entered the NFT space in a big way in recent years. The most promiment example is that of Nike which is nearing 200 Million USD in NFT sales, mostly in the form of digital sneakers. Here is the link and a snapshot of the famous dashboard publish on Dune that shows the revenue from NFT sales for some of the top brands in the world :

In most of these instances, it is about brands or celebrities creating NFTs and fans buying them and then reselling them. This blog explores another possible approach to NFTs which will allow users or fans to generate their own NFTs in different contexts (location + event + time) and then keep those NFTs in their collections or offer them for sale to other users on a blockchain platform. Below are some of the the new use cases that can emerge from this approach:

1, Sports collectibles created by fans from match pics captured by them or by collecting geoAR tokens

Before going into this use case in detail, here is a sneak peak on the status of sports collectibles from the pre-digital era to the current NFTs era

Sports collectibles in the pre-digital era : physical sports cards

In the pre-mobile era, the official collectibles for fans were mostly in the form of physically collectible cards that are were launched by the sports federations or some authorised brands who had an official tieup and were running a promotion . Below are few such collectibles from the 90s. Some of the major challenges were : i, preserving the cards for a long time ii, finding the ideal market value for a card based on rarity, demand, etc iii, interacting with other users who may want to buy a card or exchange.

Currently available sports collectibles in the digital NFT era

In the current Web3 era, when it comes to official sports collectibles, the most popular example is that of NBA Topshots / launched by NBA, NBA Players Association and Dapper Labs . It is an NFTs marketplace which allows users to collect and trade popular video clips from various NBA and WNBA matches. As shown in the screen below they offer different match moments as collectibles at diffrent price ranges. Fans can not only buy new mints , but they can also resell later to other fans.

Recently OneFootball launched Aera a similar sports collectibles , starting with Italy’s Serie A . It provides NFTs of top moments in a match and is hosted on the Flow Blockchain

New use case : Fan created digital sports collectibles

A possible next evolution for sports collectibles is to make sports fans the creators by allowing them to create NFTs from the match pics or videos they have captured or from the geo AR fan tokens they have collected.

A, Pics & Videos created by fans : As official match video clips and pictures become widely popular on social media, some of the pics and videos created by fans during a sports match also gain popularity and provide a different view from the official ones. A below example is of a fan pic captured during a qualifier match for 2018 FIFA Men’s Football worldcup between India and Guam . It was clicked by the famous West Block Blues fans from the West block A stand at Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru.

If such historic pics captured by fans that become popular on social media are allowed to be uploaded as an NFT alongside the official match NFTs, then it will have two major benefits : i, Increase the variety of contents available for purchase as NFTs thus making them more interesting to fans. ii, Increase fan engagement by allowing them to convert their creative pics and videos to NFTs and even earn money from them.

B, AR tokens collected by fans : Another approach to sports collectibles is for federations and teams to launch AR tokens. These can be in the form of GeoSpatial AR tokens that are tied to different locations . Then fans can discover them by visiting certain places and scanning for AR tokens and then upload such collected tokens as NFTs. The below video shows an example of such a token that can be created using location based AR like the GeoSpatial API in Google ARCore. This demonstrative example is of a Virat Kohli fan token that can be placed at different locations by his IPL team and can then be collected by fans of Bengaluru team and Kohli from various popular locations across Bengaluru.

As a next step such a collected token can be uploaded as an NFT by the fan who collected it and can continue owning it or even offer it for sale. The fans can be given an option to upload the pic to a distributed storage like IPFS and converted to an NFT or even directly published to an NFTs marketplace. Below example show how the AR Geo token collected in above video example has been uploaded to Opensea to generate an NFT :

Sample of sports collectible or NFT generated from AR token

Major benefits of such an approach to sports NFTs are :

i, This provides a new variety of sports NFTs that are not just match pics but also other creative graphics of players and teams.

ii , This creates an option to engage fans on non match days and off season with quests to discover AR tokens that can then converted to NFTs . Fans with such AR token NFTs can be provided free tickets or merchandise.

2, Location based tokens that are unlocked by people who explore a city or a tourist spot

The second use case of user generated NFTs are the tokens they can collect for visiting various tourist places or cities. Before touching up on this use case, here is a brief history of location related collectibles so far.

Location based collectibles in the pre-digital era : postage stamps, coins and currencies

In the pre-internet era, stamp collection or Philately was a major hobby worldwide that allowed people to keep tokens of different countries. The value of the stamps used to depend on their age and rarity. Coins and currencies collections also had such a location or country element.

An Indian Postage stamp from the time of Indpendence in 1947

Currently available collectibles in the Augmented Reality and Non Fungible Tokens era

The most famous example of location based collectibles is Pokemon Go which is an Augmented Reality based game that was launched in 2016 and became a worldwide craze. It uses mobile devices with GPS to locate, capture, train, and battle virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player’s real-world location.

A great example of Non Fungible token based game is Axie Infinity , which allow players to collect and mint NFTs which represent digital pets Axies.

New use case : User genereated NFTs from geolocation based AR tokens collected by visiting tourist spots or cities

In the current era of Augmented Reality and NFTs, there is possibility of having a globally standardised location based AR tokens concept that allows uers to discover AR tokens on visiting a location and then convert those tokens to NFTs and trade them with other users all around the globe.

This concept revolves around having a common global standard for embedding of AR tokens at various locations , a standardised user interface for apps or games that want to allow users to discover such AR tokens and an option for users to easily mint NFTs from such tokens. For example, below example shows such an AR token based at Indiranagar, which is a major tech startup and shopping hub in Bengaluru, India.

Sample of possible location based AR tokens that can be collected and used to generate NFTs

Benefits of having such location AR tokens that can be converted to Non Fungible Tokens are :

i, A possibility of reinventing stamp collections in the current AR and NFTs era by allowing users to trade these location based NFTs on a global blockchain plaform. A further design will allow the starting value of an NFT to be decided based on the rarity of the token. For example an NFT genereated by a user by collecting an AR token from a less travelled tourist spot like Iceland can have more starting value than a token based on a highly visited place like Paris as the latter will be available in more numbers. Other factor that can be keyed in to determine the price is how far the minting user has travelled to reach the particular location , the date of token collection like whether it is a major festival or event day, etc.

ii, Governments and tourism departments can do city wide tourism quests to encourage tourism by incentivising users to collect varied tokens by visiting different tourist spots. Users can be incentivised with discounted entry fees and other benefits based on NFTs from such AR tokens

iii, Great opportunity for local merchants to run highly targeted promotional campaigns for users who visit their locations for collecting the AR tokens embedded by the brands.

Addendum : Few code snippets relevant to building above sample

1, Google ARCore Geospatial anchor allows to place AR content to a geographical location using latituge, longitude and altitude

// Enable the Geospatial API.
session.configure(session.config.apply { geospatialMode = Config.GeospatialMode.ENABLED })
// Obtain a VpsAvailabilityFuture and store it somewhere.
val future = session.checkVpsAvailabilityAsync(latitude, longitude, null)
// Poll VpsAvailabilityFuture later, for example, in a render loop.
if (future.state == FutureState.DONE) {
when (future.result) {
VpsAvailability.AVAILABLE -> {
// VPS is available at this location.
if (earth.trackingState == TrackingState.TRACKING) {
val cameraGeospatialPose = earth.cameraGeospatialPose
// cameraGeospatialPose contains geodetic location, rotation, and confidences values.

if (earth.trackingState == TrackingState.TRACKING) {
val anchor =
/* Locational values */
/* Rotational pose values */
// TODO: Attach content to the anchor specified by geodetic location and pose.

2, React fronted app for uploading an image to IPFS to use it for generating an NFT

const contract = require('truffle-contract')
const ipfsuploader = contract(IPFSUploader) ipfsuploader.setProvider(this.state.web3.currentProvider)
// Get accounts
this.state.web3.eth.getAccounts((error, accounts) => {
ipfsuploader.deployed().then((instance) => {
this.ipfsUploaderInstance = instance
this.setState({ account: accounts[0] })
// Get the value from the contract to prove it worked.
}).then((ipfsHash) => {
// Update state with the result.
return this.setState({ ipfsHash })
captureFile(event) {
const file =[0]
const reader = new window.FileReader() reader.readAsArrayBuffer(file)
reader.onloadend = () => {
this.setState({ buffer: Buffer(reader.result) })
onSubmit(event) {
ipfs.files.add(this.state.buffer, (error, result) => {
if(error) {
return } this.simpleStorageInstance.set(result[0].hash, { from: this.state.account }).then((r) => {
return this.setState({ ipfsHash: result[0].hash })
console.log('ifpsHash', this.state.ipfsHash)

render() {
return (
<div className="App">
<nav className="navbar pure-menu pure-menu-horizontal">
<a href="#" className="pure-menu-heading pure-menu-link">IPFS File Upload DApp</a>

<main className="container">
<div className="pure-g">
<div className="pure-u-1-1">
<h1>Your Image</h1>
<p>This image is stored on IPFS & The Ethereum Blockchain!</p>
<img src={`${this.state.ipfsHash}`} alt=""/>
<h2>Upload Image</h2>
<form onSubmit={this.onSubmit} >
<input type='file' onChange={this.captureFile} />
<input type='submit' />