The sports industry has realised the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies in the monetisation of fan engagement, attracting sponsors and engaging a global market in ways that were unimaginable decades ago. Passionate fans, each a citizen of digital technology, consume sports and related content beyond the actual duration of a match. Teams, clubs and sporting bodies are innovating to survive in the new digital age and meet fan expectations.
With the limitations brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports industry has responded well and devised new strategies to ensure clubs and fans remain connected in a socially distanced world. The industry has recognised that blockchain is capable of revolutionising revenue streams and the fan experience through increased crypto-sponsorships, fan tokens, non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) or even by entrance of blockchain providers into the market.
So let’s take a look at the how the Sports Industry is being empowered and revitalized by the blockchain technology
There is a global acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a form of hassle-free payments among reputed companies. The sports industry has also started paying salaries to their top players through blockchain technology. The NFL star, Russell Okung is the first-ever American player who has received the partial payment through Bitcoin out of $13 million. Since there is an improvement in the digital technology post- COVID-19 pandemic, the sports industry has decided to follow the new global trend in the payment system. Blockchain technology has benefitted the sports industry to maintain the yearly budget by reducing the transaction fee of any transfer and eliminating all third-party agents.
Fan tokens have become popular among the sports team and their respective fans. It has created an opportunity for clubs to generate additional revenue as well as enhance fan engagement as compared to other competitors. Tokens of sports teams can be brought through FIAT currencies like dollars, pounds or euros that can be exchanged for several merchandises, tokens, VIP opportunities and much more. Popular clubs like FC Barcelona, Manchester City are availing these fan tokens post COVID-19 pandemic to gain more online revenues with constant interaction with their fans. Fans can get access to the behind-the-scenes of their favourite clubs and players with special points and discounts with the help of blockchain technology. Fan tokens are helping the clubs to earn a large number of votes to influence their theme songs, upcoming kits or certain games from their international fan base.
Digital Trading Cards
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) have launched limited editions of digital collectables known as digital trading cards with the implementation of blockchain technology. This makes an opportunity for fans to buy or trade the digital trading cards of their favourite club, in-game assets such as eSports also game memorabilia. The prices differ with various digital trading cards depending on their popularity in the crypt market. Blockchain technology provides a unique digital identity to these trading cards that have the potential to remove the third party between the club and their fans.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the potential of fantasy sports in the global market that has successfully attracted millions of players. The implementation of blockchain technology into various platforms of fantasy sports has enhanced the betting system among world-class players with different cryptocurrencies. The Adoption of fantasy sports is still an unregulated industry but the public platform has boosted fan engagement in several interesting sporting events.
Real-time Sports Betting
The advancement in blockchain technology is encouraging worldwide players to focus on real-time sports betting in live matches. Modern contracts have the ability to remove any intervention from third-party and winners can receive their prize instantly in their digital wallets efficiently. This is one of the smart moves to earn cryptocurrencies in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fitness Data Analytics
The updated blockchain technology showcases several fitness analytics of high-profile players in the sports industry. It helps to track regular performances, medical issues and history of club transfers of several players in a highly secured platform effectively. The players can grant permission to which data is for public and private to improve the management of player analytics.
Strict Doping Regulations
Players cannot alter or remove their past medical issues regarding injuries and doping in this advanced blockchain technology. This is useful for the sports industry management to get access to appropriate medical records of any player that are immutably stored. The drug test results cannot tamper and fans can get access to the necessary data of their favourite players.
Despite the explosion of interest in digital currency, sporting clubs should remain conscious of the risks that this new technology brings. The value of crypto-assets continues to be volatile and despite the phenomenal growth, the legal and regulatory landscape is still uncertain. The lack of stability in this area will require sports businesses to adopt arrangements that hedge a contingency to save money in the event that valuations fluctuate. However, the rise of crypto-assets grants opportunity and excitement for the sporting world.
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