The Next Evolution of Fan Engagement: ONSIDE Alpha Masks

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Launching the first NFT digital collectibles for the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022, Southeast Asia premier football tournament

The emergence of Web3 has brought about new opportunities for sports properties, with non-fungible tokens (NFT) and digital collectibles being the next evolution in fan engagement.

In Southeast Asia, SPORTFIVE and Be Media, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, have partnered for the first time to jointly launch 'Onside', the first NFT digital collectibles for the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022.

Living on the Polygon blockchain, fans will be able to own digital products such as stylised country Alpha Masks and iconic match moments from the competition and gain rewards and real-world experiences, identified as ‘utility’.

Delivering Engaging Digital Content

Passionate fans and massive crowds close to 100,000 packing the stadiums. Deafening noise and exhilarating atmosphere matched by competitive footballing action on the pitch. This is the scene of every edition of the AFF Championship, an international football tournament held every two years in Southeast Asia since 1996 and one that is often heralded as the "crown jewel of ASEAN football".

It is a tournament that has massive appeal in the region with an ever-increasing number of fans accessing the content and watching the games through TV and digital platforms. To create interesting content to reach out to the digitally savvy fans, the 2020 edition of the AFF Championship saw an introduction of a unique and vibrant new visual identity for the various national teams, in the form of Team Masks that reimagine ASEAN nations as superheroes. The concept of these Team Masks was born out of the unique rivalry that is inherent in ASEAN football. Each mask was inspired by the nicknames of the individual national teams and visually crafted to personify the respective football federations.

Playing up on the team rivalries, these Team Masks were used across all the AFF Championship channels and social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, as they come to life in animated videos, pre-match head-to-head content and post-match stats. Fans were also able to interact with the masks as filters on Instagram.


Venturing into the Web3 space

For the 2022 iteration of the competition, SPORTFIVE is introducing a new way for fans to share their football passion in the Web3 space by transforming these masks into NFTs which will be launched on digital collectible platform,

Built to make digital collectibles accessible to all and developed with fan experience at the heart of the action, Onside will become the home of digital collectibles for the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022. With the new Onside digital collection, fans now have the ability to turn from just supporters to actual owners of their favourite moments of the beautiful game. ​They will be able to own iconic moments from the tournament, as well as support their team with the Alpha Masks.

Kicking off the Onside collectibles are the Alpha Masks – the imagery that has become the cornerstone of the tournament. The visual evolution of the social filters that were used by millions of fans across the region during the last tournament iteration has taken a step further into the Web3 space – and fans are now able to own a piece of history through

Alpha Masks are fans’ opportunity to champion for their country and team. Each mask was inspired by the nicknames of the individual national teams and has been evolved into the Alpha mask to be minted as a genesis asset. This genesis NFT collection will have a baseline version to establish the lineage and each and every individual Alpha Mask will be an adaption with its own distinguishing colours and animation. Every single Alpha Mask is unique. Each one features its own distinctive animations while paying homage to the team it represents.

It’s not just about owning these Alpha Masks digitally. The utility that comes with the purchase of the Alpha Masks is what really makes the collection special - purchasing a mask will give fans the chance to have a unique way to gain experiences around the tournament itself. Whether its walking pitch-side during halftime, getting their hands on the official match ball or even getting additional behind-the-scenes access to their favourite teams - the Alpha Masks will give fans the chance to bring them one step closer to the game.

The Team Masks have undergone a creative and meaningful evolution since their creation

The Onside NFTs is sold in ‘packs’ like conventional trading cards, similar to the model taken by The Australian Football League (AFL) with AFL Mint and the National Basketball Association (NBA) with NBA Top Shot. Fans interested in purchasing the digital collectibles can purchase their Alpha Masks - the first officially licensed NFT ‘drop’ at

During the tournament that starts on 20 December, fans will have an additional benefit of adding to their collection. The second phase of the collection will include moments from each game, and upon purchase of the packs that moments will come in, fans have a unique way to gain experiences around the tournament itself as well.

We are thrilled to partner with Animoca Brands and Be Media to jointly launch this exciting project to further bring fan engagement experiences in the region to the next level.

Robert Müller von Vultejus, Chief Growth Officer, SPORTFIVE

LEARN MORE about the Alpha Mask and how you can purchase them.

Beyond the Match
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