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Blockchain and Sports: A Comprehensive Guide

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If you have been following – even in the remotest way possible, advances in banking and investment, you must have heard of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Indeed, since its invention in 2009, blockchain has extensively experimented with cryptocurrencies, but sports? 

Well, the global sports industry is fast realizing the potential that lies in the adoption of blockchain. Today, startups such as Fight to Fame have come up with interesting use cases for blockchain in the sports industry. 

This article will look at some of these use cases and the benefits of blockchain for sports. We’ll also look at how blockchain can impact different areas of operation in the sports industry. 

Blockchain use cases in sports

#1. Fan Engagement

Continuously engaging fans is key to making them happy and keeping them consuming sports entertainment. Also, without fans, the sports industry would not succeed. Blockchain’s transparency and speed can be leveraged to enhance the customer experience in the sale of tickets and merchandise. 

#2. Smart Contracts 

Smart contracts were designed to enable automated transactions. This is particularly useful when transactions involve complex arrangements. On the business side of sports, there is a myriad of processes that can be automated using blockchain. For instance, sports investors can enter into agreements to finance athletes and, in turn, use them as tokens for future profitability.

#3. Sports Betting

While betting has existed for ages, blockchain ideals can transform the way fans bet. Since betting is similar to investing, digital tokens and cryptocurrency derivatives can be used in place of fiat money. This paradigm shift will not only create new possibilities, but it will also make betting more sophisticated and exciting.

#4. Anti-doping Control

Considering how doping adversely affects gaming, solutions that can intelligently address the issue are most welcome. Blockchain won’t be the panacea to the problem, but it will significantly enhance the integrity of doping tests. This can be achieved by maintaining test results on a public land immutable edger. In such an event, we might begin to see more accountability from athletes and their promoters when it comes to the use of performance-enhancing substances.

#5. Securing Athletes’ Data

Blockchain, being an immutable public ledger, can be used as a secure decentralized database for storing athletes’ information. Allegations of sportspersons changing their particulars over the course of their careers – usually done to gain some form of advantage – are common. But with an athletes’ registry backed by blockchain, such cases will be a thing of the past.

#6. Memorabilia Authentication

Badges, trophies, cups, signed merchandise and other memorabilia have great sentimental value in sports, which makes them prone to counterfeiting. Blockchain can be used to assign identity and verify the authenticity of such memorabilia.

#7. Tokenization of Sports Teams

Blockchain has made it easier for sports teams to tokenize their assets, such that investors can easily purchase these tokens from their favorite teams. Just like with traditional share purchases, this can be used to boost the liquidity of teams.

Benefits of Adopting Blockchain in Sports 

The sports industry will derive the following benefits from blockchain: 

  • The creation of new revenue streams through enhanced watching experiences, team tokenization, loyalty programs, and more
  • Easier crowdfunding for athletes which can be achieved through income share contracts between athletes and their fans
  • The creation of new betting models that might attract new audiences
  • The development of new incentives models that can be used to enhance fan engagement

How Blockchain Will Impact Fan Identity

The idea that fans can have digital identities is exciting. These digital identities can form a basis for crowdfunding, fan recognition, and digital collectibles. With such identities in place, the path to stardom will become clearer to many fans. And since superfans can be verified, there will be much more prestige associated with being a notable supporter. Fans will be more loyal, and teams will be able to better identify and reward such loyalty. As you can see, blockchain will elevate fan identity to a whole new level, where serious fans can be separated from casual followers.

How Blockchain Will Impact Incentivizing and Rewarding Fan Interaction

First, since it will be easier to identify fans, rewarding them for their interaction will be pretty straight forward. We will begin to see the rise of loyalty programs that can both identify and reward high levels of engagement. Tokens earned through loyalty programs can be redeemed for tickets or even exchanged for money. 

How Blockchain Will Impact Memorabilia Authentication

Just like fans, memorabilia can also acquire digital identities. For example, manufacturers can collaborate to create a standard for encoding the particulars of given memorabilia. These particulars can then be maintained on a blockchain ledger. Once this is achieved, verifying the authenticity of a trophy or medal will be as easy as looking upon the blockchain. 

How Blockchain Will Impact Digital Collectibles

Blockchain will give sports organizations the ability to generate digital collectibles and sell them to collectors. The beauty of it is that organizations will have control over the scarcity of collectibles. On the other hand, fans will have the ability to verify the authenticity and reputation of a collectible before buying it.

How Blockchain Will Impact Crowdfunding

With blockchain, crowdfunding will certainly become easier for athletes and sports organizations. Athletes and sports organizations can create tokens and sell them to fans, who can then redeem these tokens in the future for money, tickets, or other available options.

How Blockchain Will Impact Gaming and E-sports

Gaming has significantly grown in the recent past, and organizations are scrambling to satisfy consumer needs with new and exciting innovations. Introducing tokenization in blockchain-based games will change the game as players will now be able to trade the tokens among themselves or in the open market. 

The adoption of smart contracts will also transform betting by reducing payout time and transaction costs. This can be achieved through direct payouts for betting proceeds.

How Blockchain Will Impact the Tokenization of Teams

The tokenization of teams will become easier than ever before. Sports organizations will be able to create tokens that represent company ownership and sell them to their supporters. This will enable teams to grow even without relying on corporate sponsorship, as is traditionally the case.

Final Thoughts

The applications of blockchain are gradually expanding to industries beyond finance. As it’s adoption begins to sip through the global sports industry, changes in fan identity and engagement, loyalty programs, crowdfunding for athletes, and the trade of collectibles are inevitable. It will be a thrill to watch how the two spaces evolve together. 

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