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Free Alpha: Five Enhancements to grow NBA Top Shot

With a heavy focus always being put on scarcity and mint counts; I wanted to peel the onion layer back a level deeper on five enhancements to the Top Shot platform and Top Shot moments that I think would drive additional spend, new users and increased activity. None of the five actually have anything to do with mint counts, sets, artificial bottlenecks or pumping anyone's specific bags. These five enhancements are about evolving the collectibles, improving the experience of being an NBA fan on Top Shot and spending more time on the platform. We will range from "why isn't this done already" to "great idea, but can they do it?"

Ways to Organize Your Collection - These are the must haves here to continue to get adoption of digital collectibles. This is the "why isn't this done already" end of the spectrum. We need three basic functions on our Moments tab and no don't @me about Groups. I want to be able to drive from my main collection page. We need arrange, favorite and hide. Arrange to allow the user to move the moments around in the Moments section in any way or order they want. I don't want to have to filter, I want to be able to manually arrange them any way I want. We need favorites to be able to pick out our favorite moments in our own collection, the same way we do for Wishlist. Pop in a favorites filter and you can easily shuffle in, out or add at your leisure to the best of the best of your collection. The last thing we desperately need is hide. Look I love moments, but there are certain ones that feel cluttered up in my collection. I want to be able to view my collection with the moments I love, not the trade tickets from packs I am holding onto incase I need them to burn or some other purpose first. Let me hide the stuff I don't want to see.

This is a significant advantage I would give physical cards right now. Not just the binders, grading, top loaders, etc; but I can organize my collection at home any way I see fit. I can change it whenever I want. Those commons from the box of Topps I bought? I can stash them in a shoe box under my bed never to be seen again or until my wife makes me put them in the basement. We need the same capabilities of our digital collection in the digital world. People will watch their moments more and engage with their collection more.

Stub Mode - In an effort to pull you into this blog, I took what I thought would be my closing "great idea, but can they do it" and pop it in early on to get your interest, so hopefully this idea lands.

Imagine a concept, add-on or mode of Top Shot, where you can add a digital ticket stub to the moment. Treaticus really had a great concept of this early on with his video of the ticket stubs next to the moments of the games he went to, but you could expand on that. Collecting physical ticket stubs is a hobby as old as time and with tickets moving into the digital world, this would be a huge bump for a moment. Take the moment itself and put it under / over / framed with a ticket stub. Here is the real kicker, you have to digitally own the ticket to use it. Here is the can they do it part. We already tie into Apple Wallet for Apple Pay for example; guess where your digital tickets live? If Dapper could expand the connection of Apple Wallet to the ticket area, you could pull that and merge to the moments. This would absolutely be a big project and you would need ways to potentially exchange expired / old tickets of games that have happened if you want to collect the ticket to add to the moment and did not physically go to the game.

The phase II of this concept would be - when you sell the moment, you sell the ticket with it. That digital ticket's meta data gets tied to the moment meta data and you can sell the pair. Imagine that boost for moments on the marketplace. Picture a Victor Wembanyama Top Shot Rookie Debut moment, with a digital ticket tied to it from that same game and displayed with the moment. Take the Treaticus video and make that easily accessible for users to put ticket stubs on moments of the games they were at. Above is a desktop image, but mobile could really have an amazing visual. I genuinely think this is a game changer and brings in new users.

Moment Viewing Enhancements - Let's get closer back to reality with moment viewing enhancements. We have two in this bucket, with the first being a much needed, basic Next arrow on each moment so you can cycle through your collection. Top Shot already has this functionality, because they use it on Showcases. Let users cycle through their collections when watching moments in their collection. To have to go back to the moments tab, re-sort or click the next one on the list is not the best experience. Another plus on physical cards is the experience of being able to go through your card collection easily. A simple next arrow like the showcase function has is a nice addition to get people watching moments more and engaging with their collections.

The second part of this is maybe a little more pie in the sky, but add a view counter to the moments. Here is one for the "these videos are on YouTube" crowd. Embrace the power of views, in both ways. Some people may be attracted to more views or how much can they get their moment played (this ties to the specific moment/serial, not the moment as a whole). The other side of the coin is that fresh, never played moment. A true 0 view moment could be collectible for people. You'd have to have a metric like if 10% or 25% of the moment has been played it increments the view count to prevent accidental views or have a distinct qualifier of what is a view. I am imagining serial number being paired with view count as a potential elevation of moment data. This would not be retroactive (probably impossible), so it starts when we launch it for a level playing field. Let's go back to our Wembanyama example earlier. Picture a low serial Wembanyama TS debut, now with either a low view count or high view count, depending on your preference for some added criteria on your buys. Oh and that low serial, 0 view Wemby debut has a ticket stub attached to it :) How's that for scarcity?

Captain Forum - Is this a shameless plug since I am a Wizards Co-Captain (big flex)? Maybe, but I can promise you I'm right on this one. We need a forum/dedicated page, outside of Discord and on the Top Shot website that has all 30 NBA team communities and a space for them to enter what is going on nightly/weekly in their communities. A lot of these communities are running giveaways for moments, packs, tickets and more; but unless you spend a 40 hour work week in Discord you'd never know half of it. Most people got a massive Discord unlock this season when the criteria changed to 3 moments per team and not a team set. Take advantage that Top Shot. Take advantage of the curiosity of "I wonder what is happening with those other teams that may have some players I follow anyway?" Let the Team Captains have a space to list their flash challenges or tickets available or burn boards and more. It is going to drive engagement and visibility for the platform. The team communities are one of, if not the best, part of Top Shot. They also have incredibly dedicated and engaged fan bases in each of the teams, so promote the investment in them and give them the forum to promote their communities; along with the added benefits of being a collector on Top Shot. Yes, we can buy our own game tickets, but is that as fun as getting them for free? Absolutely not. The same goes for moments and packs. With the formal absence of flash challenges, quite a few Team Captains have picked up the ball here and run their own (shoutout to the District of Collectors and whoever runs their top notch flash challenges). This to me checks the box of a better experience collecting digital than physical. This is a product differentiator. Embrace and showcase one of our key advantages.

Focus on Content and/or Blog - I'm not trying to put myself out of a job here; but one thing sorely missed is non pack drop content on Top Shot. I am a big fan of brand building and also streetwear. The measuring stick and best to ever do it in my opinion is a brand called The Hundreds. Quick background if you're not familiar - they are an LA based streetwear brand focused on California Culture, California Lifestyle. One of the best things they do is their blog, which has multiple updates daily with stories, articles and more, not just on their product, but on anything that is on brand. It builds a plethora of content and reasons to always check back onto the site and stay engaged with the brand. The best advice I have ever seen about content is "be consistent." Top Shot, if nothing else is consistent on the pack drop blog post, but what else do we get? What else is getting us engrained in the culture of Top Shot? Top Shot to me is a basketball company, it is a digital collectible company, it is a community, it is the NBA, it is fantasy sports, it is investing in the future and so much more that could be built around the brand. We have to tell more stories and pump out more content to draw eyes to the Top Shot culture.

If digital collectibles are ever going to attract new users in mass and grow; we need to target them in the way that keeps them engaged. People are scrolling a mile a minute on shorts, reels and stories because they are addicted to content. Bottom line is we need more content to reach, connect, retain and engage people. One of things I like that the CnC gang does with the podcast is chop up into a few highlights of the weekly podcast each week and tweet them out. Get more mileage out of the content you have. We need more content on Top Shot that relates to the brand and the culture we want to build. I can not emphasize enough how far this will go. Content is king and so is Top Shot.

Until next time, tell more stories, watch more moments and we ride at dawn.

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