The sports industry is facing a variety of important obstacles. From decreasing revenues, to struggles with connecting with an increasingly changing fan base as well as issues in generating accurate, valuable fan data insights.
However, with a concerted push towards digital adoption, many sports organisations are rapidly finding that the implementation of innovative technology, like blockchain, is offering effective solutions to their most immediate challenges — as well as opening novel opportunities for growth…
Blockchain in sports
The sports industry is changing. New disruptive revenue models and the evolving behaviours of fans are seeing sports teams and leagues around the world relying on innovations such as blockchain technology to transform their business models in the current digital age.
While blockchain is a new concept to some, it is now being adopted and embraced by many. Several major sports teams and leagues are seeing this technology create new revenue streams and a unique way to engage with their current fan base while seeding new ones.
How sports teams can implement blockchain into their club today
There are a number of ways to implement blockchain solutions within sports teams which provide the ability for teams or leagues to engage with their fan base and add a new set of revenue streams to their business.
Tokenised fan interactions
Fan Tokens are one of the biggest trends to emerge from the partnership between sport and blockchain. These digital assets can be issued by a sports organisation or club during a Fan Token Offering (FTO) which gives fans exclusive opportunity to play a part in the life of a team and access to unique perks. This FTO gives the team an immediate capital injection on top of traditional membership sales, or as a value-add to traditional memberships.
Fan tokens are like digital membership cards produced and driven by blockchain technology. These fan tokens are a finite resource which are able to be bought, traded and sold by users, which creates a unique economy for the team or league.
Tokens can be purchased by someone in standard fiat currency eg. USD, AUD and then interchanged for items such as team merchandise, collectibles, exclusive interactions and more.
Learn more about how fan tokens work and the benefits they can bring to your sports organisation.
Digital collectibles (NFTs)
Digital collectibles are unique digital assets that are backed by blockchain technology, giving them additional security, verifiable ownership and immutability to the owner.
Digital collectibles cannot be copied, destroyed or forged and can to be uniquely tracked in a transparent manner to prove ownership. They elicit demand by their ability to be provably unique or rare and as such drive consumer interest.
Sports teams can create unique digital collectibles for their fans in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which represent. Teams can offer them (NFTs) as rewards for positive behaviours, such as attending a game on match day, which fans exclusively own.
We have written an article on the various potential use cases of NFTs for sports teams here.
Loyalty/ rewards programs
Understanding fan data in depth and engaging with fans is essential to the growth of sports organisations with much room for improvement and opportunity in this space still existing.
Connecting further with fans and providing better experiences to drive revenue and growth is at the forefront of many sports organisations and their sponsors. However, current solutions are limited by complex registration steps, rules and lack of transparency.
Blockchain loyalty solutions offer a more complete loyalty program that incentivises increased fan engagement, encourages profit-building behaviours, and provides verifiable engagement data for sponsors.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of using blockchain for fan loyalty and rewards and the inherent benefits it could bring to your team, its fans and sponsors.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major economic impact on the sports industry, blockchain-based solutions are providing professional clubs and organisations with new ways of unlocking latent value whilst retaining fan loyalty.
While sports teams need to be cautious with how they implement blockchain into their organisation and fan channels, the potential to not only generate new revenues for teams while also building a new level of fan interaction offers a bright future for sports teams and their fans.