Building A Blockchain Sports Empire: Decoding The New-Age Sports
What was absolutely unthinkable has suddenly become the buzziest trend of the modernistic sports ecosystem. In last few years, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are taking the sports world by storm. The emergence of the digital-native fan, as well as the events of 2020, which are expected to decimate ticket income for live events, has pushed both the sports and esports businesses to look for new revenue streams and innovative ways to keep fans engaged while battling fraud and corruption.
Also, this scenario opened the door for new players to change the course of history by utilizing cutting-edge technology. Blockchain is one such new age technological development that has altered the traditional sports industry’s fundamental principles. These modern technologies are distinctively monetising and enhancing fan engagement and sponsorships, which was just a figment of imagination until a few years ago. Further, it has the potential to let sports clubs easily monetize their fan base and increase fan engagement. Blockchain is not a technology for the future but it is also a new age technology that is required and should be fully utilized in the current situation.
Blockchain in Sports
In this fast changing world, the blockchain technology has the potential to let sports clubs easily monetize their fan base and increase fan engagement. Blockchain is not a technology for the future but it is also a new age technology that is required and should be fully utilized in the current situation.
This 21st-century technology is already being used by prominent sports clubs and leagues throughout the world in their digital strategy. Further, sports teams may use blockchain to uncover new revenue streams and build new ways to interact with their fans. Meanwhile, the complete sports ecosystem has never been this open, smooth, and easy to use for either athletes or fans, from fan tokens to fan event tracking and loyalty networks.
Fan tokens being used to increase worldwide fan involvement
One of the key ways blockchain is making a difference is through the introduction of fan tokens in the blockchain ecosystem. These digital tokens act as a club’s virtual currency, which supporters may purchase with fiat (government-issued) currencies such as rupees, dollars, pounds, and euros. Fans can also swap their fan tokens for merchandise, collectibles, and unforgettable experiences. An individual can also use their tokens as a ticket into a safe, private inner circle of fans who share common interests and values, allowing them to participate in fan-driven decisions via a mobile voting platform. By this, supporters and sports fans are accidentally made to feel more linked to their teams by these distinctive emblems, even if they are watching from afar.
Fans on engagement sites are rewarded
The platforms for fan involvement can be built using blockchain technology. By these type of platforms, sports teams and clubs can create loyalty programs. They can also provide supporters points or rewards for creating and sharing content, as well as for collecting points or awards that can be used to buy products, tickets, and digital collectibles. Also, these platforms help to foster a sense of community and belonging among fans while also strengthening the club’s relationship with sponsors. This is because blockchain technology’s open nature enables frictionless sharing of fan engagement data with advertisers, which helps them generate a higher return on investment.
Sorting the issue of ticket fraud out of the equation
For ages, ticket touting and counterfeiting have always been problems in the sports industry. Recently, many sports teams have gradually discovered the perfect solution in blockchain in their search for more effective solutions. Because of blockchain technology’s transparency, anyone can check a ticket’s validity and track it back to the club to ensure its legitimacy.
What are Fan Tokens?
In the era of blockchain, the term ‘fan token’ is quite explanatory as it refers to a token, which can represent value and ownership, that a fan of a specific sports team, owns and gains value from. From this clear explanation, there is a broad spectrum of uses and benefits.
Also, these tokens are finite digital assets that can be bought, sold or exchanged by fans to create a team-based economy. It can also then work as a currency and be interchangeable for merchandise, collectables or exclusive interactions across the globe.
In a blockchain ecosystem, there are utility tokens, and there are security tokens. The fan token is usually a utility token and this again gives a hint at what these tokens can offer — utility. Tokens created on a blockchain ecosystem can be programmed to have many different uses for the fans and can offer exciting benefits and bonuses not possible elsewhere.
Further, other than just the monetization of these tokens for use in a fan token economy, the blockchain aspect of these tokens means they can be used for non-critical voting and other levels of engagement.
Trading cards for the digital age
Earlier, trading cards and souvenirs have traditionally been a lucrative source of income for sports teams. However, a proliferating digital-native fan base (inspired by gaming and esports) necessitates a shift to digital collectables. Aso, clubs can now keep up with shifting consumer trends and promote a broader appeal by issuing digital trading cards and souvenirs that fans can buy and swap according to their convenience. Further, the crypto collectables powered by blockchain enable teams to build one-of-a-kind or limited-edition items that can be verified via a secure and transparent digital ledger. Meanwhile, the limited-edition player trading cards can also be purchased, or fans could receive rewards for collecting all team players.
The blockchain market is extremely volatile and purchasing such assets will always be deemed a high-risk investment strategy. However, these crypto assets are slowly becoming a part of modern-day culture and regulators are also giving them a closer look now.
Having said that, sports fans should realise that fan tokens give them a chance to interact more with their favorite teams and be a part of an exclusive community. The more fan/sports tokens you own, the more influence you have over your favorite team. And higher the chance you have of earning monetary rewards. All this while continuing to get entertained by watching and cheering your favorite game or sportsperson. It could make you a real game changer.
(The author is Mr. Abhijit Shukla, CEO and Founder at Revolution Games and the views expressed in this article are his own)