Digital collectibles: why, what, how?

Tuesday 11 July 2023 10:00

As a club, Manchester United are always looking at how to improve fans’ experiences.

Whether it’s adding more safe-standing areas in Old Trafford, or giving fans a first-team feeling in the new 2023/24 home kit, finding ways to bring more excitement, passion and connection to your club is at the heart of what we do. And one such way is digital collectibles.

This new technology creates moments for fans that can last a lifetime (and beyond) and is giving them access to once-in-a-lifetime events. How? It’s thanks to new, innovative technology known as blockchains. These permanent records of information are powered by a decentralised network of computers – meaning no one company controls them. That makes them safe, secure records of digital ownership. 

If all that sounds like a foreign language, here’s a simpler way of looking at things: blockchains tell you who owns a digital item (like art or memorabilia), who made it, who owned it before you, what benefits it can guarantee for holders, and how much anyone has ever paid for it. No-one can alter these facts once they’re on the blockchain as blockchains are 'immutable'. And that’s where digital collectibles come in.

Imagine you own a one-of-a-kind piece of digital art: a signed picture of Erik ten Hag. Thanks to the blockchain, you can prove where it came from – so it’s genuine. You can prove who owned it before – so it’s trackable. You can prove how many of them were created to begin with – so it’s unique. And no-one can trick you into thinking yours is fake. Once information is on the blockchain, it cannot be tampered with, and every action is forever traceable.

You can find more guides to blockchain technology here. But why should you care? Beyond memorabilia, what else can this new technology do for fans? Well, it can bring people together from around the world to experience something as a community of global Reds. And plenty of these moments have already been made possible by United and the club’s official blockchain partner, Tezos.

Last week, Manchester United and Tezos released a new series of digital collectibles, each inspired by the club’s iconic 92/93 season. The collection features rare, behind-the-scenes photos from 3 May 1993 – the night legends like Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce lifted United’s first-ever Premier League trophy. And by using blockchain tech, each collectible guarantees rewards for holders – including limited-edition prints from acclaimed artist Stanley Chow, signed by legends from the 92/93 team. But they also unlock experiences, with digital collectibles acting like a ticket to unique events, and the blockchain verifying that this ticket is genuine. 

For the 92/93 collection, those experiences include virtual meetings with legends, but also an invite to a private, face-to-face dinner with 92/93 heroes. And these are just the latest in a long line of unbelievable moments for fans, unlocked by this new technology. 

Here are some highlights:

Digital collectibles have turned fans into legends at the United museum

In June, three fans were added to the history of the club at the United museum. They joined a handful of fans to have their names etched into Old Trafford. How? They were lucky enough to hold Ultra Rare Keys – the rarest digital collectibles released in the first officially licensed collection, The Keys. The blockchain verified that ownership, and United and Tezos unlocked the experience. 

Watch their story here.

Digital collectibles have helped fans play at Old Trafford
In June, three digital collectible holders and their friends and family were invited to Old Trafford for the ultimate experience for a United fan: the chance to play on the hallowed turf in front of the Stretford End. They flew in from America, Australia and Scandanavia to take part. A once-in-a-lifetime moment, made possible because they owned a rare digital collectible.

Digital collectibles have captured the 22/23 season forever
As we get ready for a new season, for some United fans, the biggest wins and greatest moments from the last campaign will stay with them forever, thanks to digital collectibles. ‘Collect United’ awarded fans of the second-ever collection released – The Devils – with new digital collectibles when the men’s or women’s team won at home in the league, with extra rewards unlocked by on-pitch moments – like hat-tricks, clean sheets and more.

Digital collectibles have unlocked exclusive giveaways and a new community for Reds
Community is at the heart of what makes this new technology special. And through the club’s official Discord, digital collectible holders have exclusive spaces that are just theirs. One of these spaces, called ‘Devils-Chat’, is where some of the club’s most engaged fan conversation happens – with entrance only granted to those who own United’s second digital collectible, The Devils. 237,000+ messages have been sent in this chat alone since the community opened in November 2022. And every day, these Reds share stories and their passion for United. 
Lucky Reds enjoy VIP experience Video

Lucky Reds enjoy VIP experience

Special key holders from our first NFT collectibles drop enjoyed a weekend to remember at Old Trafford recently...

So, ready to start this journey into new technology? One where rewards come for holders and each new collection brings you closer to the club? Visit to view the new 92/93 collection now.


See the terms applicable to the benefits of the 92/93 collection.

Manchester United’s officially licensed Digital Collectibles, powered by Tezos and brought to you by Tezos ecosystem companies, are a form of cryptoasset. Manchester United Digital Collectibles have been issued as a collectible item and not an investment. However, it is important that you keep in mind that: 

1. Manchester United Digital Collectibles are not currently regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and are not covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme;  

2. the value of Manchester United Digital Collectibles is variable and can go down as well as up; 

3. tax may be payable on any profits made on the sale of Manchester United Digital Collectibles; and

4. for those Digital Collectibles which require purchase, the decision to purchase Manchester United Digital Collectibles requires careful thought and consideration. You should seek independent financial advice if you are in doubt. You should not purchase any cryptoassets if you do not fully understand the nature of your purchase and the risks involved.