FC Barcelona is launching the first NFT in its history: an audiovisual digital artwork recreating Johan Cruyff’s legendary stadium moment on 22 December 1973 when the iconic Dutch player 'flew' through the air to score a seminal goal against the Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Miguel Reina. The auction at Sotheby's, the world's premier destination for art, luxury, and collectibles, will be presented in a hybrid online-live auction, and will comprise the one-of-one animated edition of In a Way, Immortal, as well as an additional four NFTs that will each include a still image from the animated version, which captures an iconic moment of the legendary goal.
The high-end piece, titled In a Way, Immortal -inspired by a quote of Johan Cruyff- was produced by the Club in collaboration with BCN Visuals, a strategic innovation partner and Digital Superstudio that developed the NFT’s cinematographic aesthetic. The buyer of this unique artwork will also be gifted a number of VIP Club-based benefits and experiences and will be named a Barça Digital Ambassador. Please find further information on the NFT and its benefits below. The project was made possible with the involvement of the World of Johan Cruyff.
In a Way, Immortal is the first NFT in a collection of ten works that will be presented piece-by-piece over the coming months, with each featuring iconic FC Barcelona moments and characters amplifying the Club’s legacy and historical heritage. The collection is part of the Club’s clear strategic commitment to adopting technology and innovation, and in turn, create unforgettable cultural moments -from the past and present- with the aim of both educating and inspiring its millennial, xennial and generation Z supporters, among others.
In addition to fostering loyalty among a younger audience, one of the project's goals is to redefine NFTs by creating a premium experiential product into a cinematic experience. The future owner of this NFT, who will be called Barça Digital Ambassador, will also be able to enjoy unique Club-based benefits and experiences such as access to training sessions.
Further information related to the auction can be found at nft.fcbarcelona.com, including a countdown to the opening of the online bidding period, which starts today, July 21, as well as a link to follow the auction live taking place on July 29.
More than 10,000 production hours
In a Way, Immortal retells Johan Cruyff's legendary goal in poetic molten gold animation that was created by a 40-strong team of Hollywood’s most talented computer graphics (CG) and visual effects (VFX) artists. The 40-second film is accompanied by an original soundtrack played by a 30-piece orchestra, incorporating real sounds from the Camp Nou stadium and FC Barcelona supporters.
The Hollywood CG and VFX team worked on all aspects of the production, from a digital sculpture of Johan Cruyff to the simulation of golden-coloured fluids, textures and shading, cutting-edge cinematography and camera work. The production of Cruyff’s digital sculpture required more than a thousand working hours and the overall production entailed a total of more than 10,000 production hours.
100% Barça experiences for the owner of the NFT
In addition to being the sole owner of the NFT, the Barça Digital Ambassador will be able to enjoy a number of ‘money can’t buy’ experiences. FC Barcelona will incorporate in the NFT’s smart contract a set of utilities such as Meet & Greets, visits to La Masia, hospitality rights (for a minimum of five years), the right to play at the Spotify Camp Nou and an official handover of the ball before some friendly match.
A Special Live Auction Event at Sotheby's
Bidding on In a Way, Immortal will open online from today, July 21, before it is sold in a live auction at Sotheby’s New York on July 29. The buyer will have the opportunity to pay in cryptocurrency (BTC, ETH, DOT or USDC) or fiat currency. The link to the Sotheby’s sale page is sothebys.com/en/digital-catalogues/fc-barcelona.
For interested bidders outside New York, online bidding will be available during the live auction.
Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona, said: “Barça with more than 400 million followers in social networks is constantly opening new ways to connect with our fans, and we believe that with the Clubs new NFT strategy we found a unique opportunity to continue growing and consolidating the Barça brand. We´re delighted to feature Johan Cruyff in our first FC Barcelona Masterpiece In a Way, Immortal, with Johan having such a huge influence on FC Barcelona as a Club, but on modern Football as it is played today in general. This being captured in such an artistic way is a great from of paying tribute to Johan Cruyff, this iconic moment and to the whole legacy and historical heritage of FC Barcelona”.
Eric Sas, Founder and Head of Innovation at BCN Visuals, commented: “NFTs have too quickly become associated with the explosion in demand for crypto, but with In a Way, Immortal we are bringing NFTs back into the realm of high art. In contrast to the basic NFT GIF, this mini-movie is a genuine piece of renaissance digital art—almost a piece of marble chiseled by the most talented visual effects artists in Hollywood. This project aims to become the new benchmark for the next evolution of NFTs where new digital artworks are akin to the masterpieces of yesteryear.”
Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s Vice President, Co-Head of Digital Art Sales, commented: “The legend of Johan Cruyff has inspired generations of football fans for decades. To collaborate with FC Barcelona, one of the most celebrated football clubs in the world, to commemorate one of the most unforgettable moments in football history is a truly exciting moment for Sotheby’s and for the course of digital collectibles. In a way like no other, the NFT technology has not only unlocked infinite possibilities for digital artists to share their unique work but has also enabled a world-class club to immortalize an iconic sporting moment on the blockchain.”
Jordi Cruyff, added: “The NFT In a Way, Immortal will be forever linked to my father's legacy. He would have been fascinated to see that one of his most beautiful goals with FC Barcelona has been the inspiration to create this unique piece of digital art that we hope will be enjoyed, admired and remembered forever.”
What are NFTs?
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are unique digital items that have revolutionized the way digital art and collectibles can be collected and traded. Each NFT represents a non-interchangeable unit of data—NFTs are often associated with digital files that incorporate rich media, such as photos, videos, or audio—which are stored on a blockchain and can be sold and transferred. The record of each NFT stored on a blockchain is immutable, meaning it cannot be altered, and for the first time provides an irrefutable certificate of ownership for a digital item.
About Football Club Barcelona
FC Barcelona was founded in 1899 and is unique in many ways. The Club is owned by its more than 140,000 members. Due to its very special personality, Barça is recognized as being ‘More than a club’. The team’s distinctive style of play is projected around the world by the best players and coaches of their time in combination with Club’s famous reliance on homegrown talent.
All of this goes hand in hand with its ongoing ambition to become the most admired, beloved and global sports institution on the planet. This mission is supported by such core principles as humility, effort, ambition, respect and teamwork, while the club is also famed for its commitment to society, which is channeled through the FC Barcelona Foundation and its work to educate children through the positive values of sport. Such unstoppable growth in recent years has led to a global reach of more than 400 million fans on social media, being the sports club with the most followers on social networks.
About BCN Visuals
BCN Visuals is an innovation technology company and digital superstudio. The pioneers are best known for winning the best 2021 advertisement in Europe with The Walt Disney Company, creating Coca Cola's iconic Christmas campaign in Times Square and internationally launching Playstation’s new game with cutting-edge technology.
With headquarters in Barcelona and Los Angeles, as well as offices in New York and London, BCN Visuals creates immersive content experiences that blur the line between advertising and entertainment. BCN Visuals have generated billions of online earned media impressions for Netflix, Dior and Amazon Studios amongst many others. The founders, Eric Sas and Alan Company, headlined the Forbes Magazine cover in 2021 and were listed as the 100 Most Creative People, as well as Top 30 under 30.
Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access to and ownership of exceptional art and luxury objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 70 categories which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Design, as well as collectible cars and real estate. Sotheby’s believes in the transformative power of art and culture and is committed to making our industries more inclusive, sustainable, and collaborative.
About World of Johan Cruyff
The World of Johan Cruyff pays tribute to the life and legacy of Johan Cruyff. It’s where all Johan's organisations and initiatives come together; Cruyff Institute (education), Cruyff Foundation (charity), Cruyff Football (football), Cruyff Classics (fashion), Cruyff Library (books) and Cruyff Management.