Blockchain in sports explained

FacebookLinkedInTwitter
Blockchain in sports

Blockchain in sports is an emerging Web3 trend that’s been drawing more and more attention in recent years. Web3 technologies have demonstrated their potential for disrupting traditional sectors like banking and finance. The world of sports looks like a new frontier, primed for some Web3 driven innovation. This is especially true in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the way many fans experience sporting events and connect to their favorite sports clubs and athletes.

Blockchain and other Web3 technologies can be used to great effect to support the evolving relationship between sports organizations and their supporters and to introduce new ways for fans to express their support. At the same time, by embracing blockchain, sports organizations can access new tools to drive stronger fan engagement.

Here’s how using blockchain in sports can benefit clubs, athletes and fans.

Better loyalty programs

Sports organizations could use Web3 technologies to power better loyalty programs that incentivize and reward fan engagement. For example, we already have NFTs that are not just digital collectibles, but can also offer additional perks, such as exclusive access to events and other rewards. A Web3-based loyalty program could easily track fan participation across various activities and reward fans accordingly.

Fan tokens

Speaking of fan participation, Web3 technologies give us a way to take this to a whole new level with fan tokens. Fan tokens, issued through fan token offering services such as socios.com, are fungible utility tokens designed to empower fans to have more agency in the future of their favorite sports organizations. This is because fan tokens are officially issued by sports clubs and they allow for their holders to vote on matters concerning their favorite teams – for example which kit the team should wear in a friendly game. Additionally, fan tokens can also provide VIP access to their holders.

For clubs, fan tokens can be a source of additional revenue and a way to foster more meaningful relationships with their supporters.

Crowdfunding

Following the emergence of services like Kickstarter, the power of crowdfunding has become quite apparent. Moreover, one of the biggest crowdfunding success stories comes from the world of e-sports. For over a decade, one of the biggest annual e-sport events, Dota 2’s The International, has had the bulk of its prize pool generated by gamers purchasing skins and other digital in-game items.

Now, few have the necessary infrastructure to replicate that model. This is where using blockchain in sports becomes a game changer, as the technology is uniquely suited to support crowdfunding at various scales. Token sales and NFTs are some of the tools that can be utilized to run crowdfunding campaigns.

NFT ticketing

In recent years online ticketing services have allowed sports organizations to more easily reach their global fanbases. Thanks to online ticketing, fans no longer need to buy tickets for live events locally. You can be in another country and still be able to buy tickets for a game of your favorite team.

However, online ticketing comes with its own set of problems, as it is an easy target for bad actors. Fraudulent services selling fake tickets, resellers buying large quantities of tickets from official marketplaces only to resell them at exorbitant prices and so on. And while these challenges are not unique to online ticket sales, the greater accessibility and global reach of online services have only exacerbated the issues.

Web3 technologies bring powerful tools that can help combat those issues and make online ticketing services safer and more reliable. Blockchain’s immutable nature makes the technology perfectly suited for creating better authentication services, which could drastically reduce fraud cases.

Memorabilia

Those same authentication mechanisms can be leveraged to track and prove provenance of team kits and other memorabilia. For example, football jerseys are very popular among football fans, but there’s always the risk of buying a cheap fake from a dishonest vendor. The purchase of a counterfeit means that the fan is getting an inferior product, while the club misses out on the revenue from a potential sale. With blockchain-powered authentication, fake memorabilia could become a thing of the past. 

The future of blockchain in sports

Blockchain in sports can be one of the most potent applications of Web3 tech. So much in sports revolves around fans, fan communities and fan engagement. The fans, their excitement, their passionate support for their teams and favorite athletes – these are the things that drive the industry forward. And this is why blockchain technology is such a good fit – as it’s ultimately driven by cooperation, it’s perfectly suited for facilitating the creation of strong and passionate communities.

FacebookLinkedInTwitter