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If Peter Sagan can’t sell an NFT, nobody in cycling can

Once again, the star of pro cycling presents the NFT collection. This time it’s none other than his three-time world champion, Peter Sagan.

This Slovak is no stranger to merchandising his celebrity in interesting ways. Remember when he whipped out his US$21,000 commemorative medal a few years ago?–but this new venture takes things (and certainly prices) to a whole new level.

Before we delve deeper into this very exciting news, let’s do a quick refresher on NFTs (or a quick introduction if you’ve managed to avoid this space so far).

NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are digital objects that can be bought, sold and collected online, made possible by a technology called blockchain. Usually, as is the case with the Sagan Collection, NFTs are digital art (and may contain supplemental data) and are either unique or limited in number.

Anyone can download or copy the digital artwork itself, possession Of the original artwork: It belongs to the person who paid for the NFT and keeps it in their digital wallet.

If this sounds a little strange to you since you just got into the NFT discussion, you’re right. But let’s continue.

Sagan’s NFT collection is unveiled through a new venture called Project Fuerza, creating digital art inspired by the biometric data of professional riders. By signing with Project Fuerza, Sagan joins the likes of Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Rohan Dennis, who already have their own NFTs at Fuerza.

At the time of writing, the Peter Sagan Collection includes 23 pieces of digital art inspired by the most important race data of Sagan’s career. This was inspired by his 100th career win at the 2017 GP de Quebec.

Image: Open Sea.Artist: Ben Barnhart

Or there’s the one from his victory at the 2016 Road Worlds in Doha.

Image: Open Sea.Artist: Nick Hand

And the NFTs in Sagan’s collection aren’t just about cycling. Other interests of Slovaks are also expressed, especially their love of American muscle cars. Here is one such NFT, inspired by Stage 5 of the 2015 Tour of California.

Sagan finished third on the day, saying it was “not the best sprint”. (Image: OpenSea. Artist: Patrick Green)

And then there’s this anachronistic effort entitled “Nature is Beautiful.” This one seems to come straight from the 1980s, both in tone and treatment of its subject matter. Apparently “the shape of a woman’s body is an elevation line” [Sagan’s] Powerfiles from Stage 3 of the 2015 Tour de Suisse”. that’s right.

Image: Open Sea.Artist: Nick Hand

Sagan himself seems happy with his new venture, judging by the words attributed to him in the Fuerza press release.

“Not only was my Fuerza NFT able to capture some of my passions outside of cycling, but I was blown away by the creativity of turning my power data into art,” Sagan never said. time, or in any format. “A lot of my work is so beautiful and I’m excited to share it with my fans.”

What about those fans? They are clearly not very excited. The tone of Sagan’s comments on her Facebook post announcing the NFT drop can best be described as “overwhelmingly negative.”

Here you have a choice:

  • “I am very excited to announce that I am no longer a fan.” – Val Knotman
  • “Aren’t you kidding??? Totally bizarre nonsense and the fact that one of the biggest figures in cycling promotes stuff like this is, to put it very mildly, very disappointing.” – Axel van Soest
  • “Wow… then Sagan’s done! Jumped over the shark.” – Graham Old
  • “Wow, three months too late. No one is stupid enough to buy NFTs anymore. The prices these are listed are a sick delusion.” – Dave Reed

What is the price Dave Reid is referring to?

The cheapest NFT in Sagan’s collection currently sells for 2.3 ETH, which is around US$3,600 at current prices. Both of his NFTs for the Tour of California and “Nature is Beautiful” above can be purchased for his 7.5 ETH (US$11,950), while his World of Doha piece is 100 times more expensive than his 750 ETH, That’s US$1.2 million. No, it’s not a typo.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the most expensive NFT in the Sagan collection. That honor belongs to a piece called ‘Champagne’, which was inspired by Sagan’s first Tour de France stage, his first Tour victory, and his first day on the green jersey.

Image: Open Sea.Artist: Patrick Green

As with all pieces in the Sagan collection, purchasing this NFT gives you access to the biometric data for that stage. But with this you get a lot more.

“The owner of this artwork not only has the license, they actually own this data,” says Fuerza. “With this, [we] It also includes lessons learned from [Fuerza founder] Hunter Allen takes a closer look at Powerfiles and how to best analyze your data and use the WKO software for your Fuerza experience. ”

What is the current price of the “champagne” NFT? Aggressively bubbling 7,474 ETH. That’s about $11.9 million. Yes you read that right. $11.9 million.


A philanthropic explanation for this whole effort may be that Sagan (or perhaps his management) was contacted by Fuerza and saw no harm in getting involved.

Their last job was minimal. Suggest which races to cover, send some data files and make a percentage of all NFTs sold.

Not philanthropic explanation: Sagan and co. Got greedy and jumped on the latest tech bandwagon, but didn’t realize how unaccepted NFTs were in cycling (and less widely).

Most people don’t mind Sagan’s foray into the NFT space. Some may get excited about the opportunity to own some Sagan-themed digital art. However, a fair share will say that the venture has damaged Sagan’s reputation somewhat. As we’ve seen, he’s probably lost some fans already.

Who knows if that matters to Sagan. Perhaps the venture will prove lucrative enough for the 32-year-old to make any blows negligible. Since he launched on the OpenSea NFT Marketplace in early July, Fuerza says he hasn’t received a single offer out of his 1,500 NFTs.

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