Zug, Switzerland, 6 July 2023 – The Cardano Foundation marked the launch of a new technical collaboration supporting both the US-based sports brand, Epoch Sports, and the full-stack apparel ecosystem, Merchadise. The initial distribution of 6000 Limited Edition Commemorative Jerseys took place during the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, one of the largest sporting events of the year, happening once every 4 years.
The limited run commemorative lacrosse jerseys—all authenticated on the Cardano blockchain—were sold and distributed between 21 June 2023 and 1 July 2023. Each jersey features a near-field communication (NFC) Epoch branded patch with a digital NFT version of the jersey embedded, therefore inextricably linking the physical garment to a secure blockchain to prove the jersey’s authenticity. These NFC patches not only allow consumers to register their purchase, but provide them with access to exclusive rewards and special offers.
Epoch Sports and Merchadise plan to release the remaining NFC-enabled Commemorative Jerseys, with connected NFT’s, on the Official 2023 World Lacrosse Championship’s web store. The limited quantities will start shipping later this month.
The Cardano Foundation’s technical collaboration with Epoch Sports and Merchadise will drive blockchain adoption in the licensed merchandise industry while enhancing the protection of licensed intellectual property (IP). NFC chips, securely linked to a blockchain record in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), will replace traditional licensed intellectual property hologram tags on sports apparel, guaranteeing authenticity for purchasers and empowering license owners to combat counterfeiting. Cardano's scalability, cost-effectiveness, and speed enables businesses to deploy such solutions with ease.
With Epoch Sports as the Premier Merchandising Sponsor of the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship and Merchadise as the technical partner, the Foundation provided support for the implementation of the 6,000 jerseys of this use case. A reference of all on-chain records can be found at Pool.pm, a Cardano blockchain real time visualization tool.
Commenting on the landmark collaboration, Frederik Gregaard, the CEO of the Cardano Foundation, said: “Our work with Merchadise and Epoch Sports showcases the utility and accessibility of Cardano’s blockchain: any merchant can adopt blockchain solutions to give reassurance and confidence to customers that they are buying genuine articles. Diversifying blockchain adoption is a core part of the Cardano Foundation mission, and it’s fantastic to see more and more companies putting blockchain solutions into practice.”
Merchadise’s CEO, Alex Phelan, said: “This exciting collaboration with the Cardano Foundation marks a significant milestone in licensed apparel, setting new standards for intellectual property protection, while also supporting fan engagement. By harnessing the power of blockchain technology, Merchadise’s customers can be assured of the authenticity of the products they purchase, while also gaining access to a range of possible offers and supports, simply by scanning an NFC chip.”
James Micelli, Principal of Epoch Sports, said: “Partnering with Merchadise and the Cardano Foundation for these commemorative lacrosse jerseys showcases how we can increase authenticity and intellectual property protection in the sports apparel industry. Through this innovative use case we can see the immense potential of blockchain deployment in empowering consumers, and elevating league/team/sponsorship value, while combating counterfeiting at a whole new level. We are currently working with several global sports leagues and teams, and one can expect to see this technology more widespread in the very near future.”
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