LaMelo Ball, the Charlotte Hornets’ star, has teamed up with PUMA to release the third model in his signature shoe series, the MB.03. This shoe, which features an eye-catching midsole design that extends upward to the shoe’s mid-foot and unique, organically shaped padding at the Achilles and a heel scoop, embodies Ball’s “Not From Here” design philosophy. The MB.03 comes in a daring “GutterMelo” colorway, a tie-in with NFT collectible firm Gutter Cat Gang, with the heat-map color gradient of the Gutter Cat mascot on the tongue aligning with the pattern on the synthetic overlay.
The Web3 Twist
What sets this sneaker launch apart is the Web3 twist that it takes. Before the shoe is available on the market, the Puma MB.03 “GutterMelo” will debut as an NFT on OpenSea starting from June 29th. The NFT can be purchased with Ethereum or by credit card. Once a holder of the NFT, you will be eligible for an early shot at grabbing the physical version of the shoe in a limited time window from July 18th through August 20th. The cutting-edge NFT is priced at $175.
The Intersection of Sneakers and NFTs
LaMelo Ball and PUMA are pushing the envelope when it comes to the intersection of sneakers and NFTs. Playground Studios launched the LaMelo Ball Collectibles in 2021, marking the official dNFT (Dynamic NFTs) collection for the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year, LaMelo Ball. Fans minted 8,070 of these dynamic NFTs in the lead-up to the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Award announcement, classified into four distinct tiers, each tied to a unique facet of LaMelo Ball’s career, specifically in-game performance metrics.
A fan ecosystem evolved around these dNFTs, with post-match stats of LaMelo’s games being integrated on-chain, adding a dynamic dimension to the fan experience tied to the ownership of these digital collectibles. These stats were sourced from the reliable Chainlink Sports Data Feeds, a trusted source for tamper-proof data.
More To Come
Keep your eyes peeled for more MB.03 colorways coming later this fall in the 2023 season, and if you’re a LaMelo Ball fan, remember that the Puma MB.02 “Be You” is launching on June 9th. The MB.03 “GutterMelo” release showcases how the worlds of basketball, fashion, and crypto can merge to create a unique and innovative fan experience that pushes the envelope.