The sporting industry has been intercepting the cryptocurrency markets for many years, but its potential was only realized during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most sporting events during this time were postponed and ticket sales declined dramatically.
Blockchain technology was the solution, enabling organizations to explore new ways of interacting with fans and generating revenue in a digital environment since physical contact was limited.
Cryptocurrency is revolutionizing the sports industry through sponsorships, sports NFTs, fantasy sports, fan tokens with loyalty rewards, payment for players, and purchasing tickets. The nature of the blockchain ensures customers are the focus, activities are transparent, and accessible to everyone, eliminating the possibility of fraud. This is how crypto is revolutionizing the sporting industry.
Payments For Tickets, Merchandise, And Players
Many famous sports clubs already accept cryptocurrency as a payment method to purchase tickets and merchandise. The novelty of digital currency is that it can be used to purchase conventional products online or in real life. The Tennessee Titans were among the first NFL teams to accept crypto, followed by NBA superstars, the Sacramento Kings.
The San Jose Sharks from the NHL accept cryptocurrency payments as they believe it is an excellent approach to combat ticket and payment scams. The fact that the team is accepting Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and a number of stablecoins shows that crypto transactions are becoming much more of a norm than ever before.
Now, many famous sportsmen are requesting their payments in cryptocurrency because it is a superior payment option providing speed, lower fees, and extra security. This payment method is advantageous as the cryptocurrency players can gain from increases in value over time. Players can decide to withdraw the profits or hodl for a greater investment reward.
Sponsorships And Collaborations
Various prominent sports teams have seen the potential cryptocurrencies have to reach a wide audience, and as a result, they have increased their marketing expenditure to collaborate with up-and-coming cryptocurrency platforms to increase their own brand awareness.
Some of these partnerships include:
- A sponsorship agreement was signed in 2014 between ESPN Events and the US Bitcoin payment processor BitPay as a means of promoting Bitcoin.
- In 2018, CashBet partnered with Arsenal Football Club as the team's official blockchain sponsor. The sponsorship intention was to advertise the release of the CashBet coin, a cryptocurrency created especially to be used on CashBet's online gaming website.
- In 2020, eToro became a major sponsor of more than 12 Premier League Football Clubs to promote their cryptocurrency trading service.
- In 2021, Aston Martin was the first Formula One team to collaborate with a cryptocurrency company. The crypto company Crypto.com provided brand visibility for Aston Martin F1 cars on their platform of over ten million regular users.
- The Los Angeles Lakers' home venue, the Staples Centre, was renamed after Crypto.com bought the naming rights in a $700 million agreement. This was one of the most expensive naming rights contracts in sports history.
How Cryptocurrency Is Changing The Sports Industry
One of the hottest topics at the moment is sports NFTs (non-fungible tokens), these are one-of-a-kind digital assets comparable to digital trading cards.
Sports NFTs are revolutionary for organizations, leagues, and players because they can be used as virtual trading cards, in-game items, and gaming collectibles that players can purchase and exchange. Every unique NFT is verified using blockchain technology so that it maintains its value and cannot be duplicated.
Manchester City, the current Premier League champion, is an example. They released NTFs to mark their championship triumph. They are doing this as an effective and lucrative way to communicate with their estimated 500 million global supporters.
Fan tokens are another type of cryptocurrency taking the sports world by storm. These tokens are purchasable by fans and provide VIP access to special content, goods, and events hosted by clubs they support.
These tokens are used to foster more interaction between teams and supporters as well as thank supporters for their commitment to the team. We have already seen this sentiment expressed by the Manchester City Fan Token and Juventus Fan Token.
Cryptocurrency allows sports fans to join loyalty programs associated with their respective clubs. These programs allow fans to earn rewards for participating in the team website as well as creating, sharing, or supporting team content. The points, or Bitcoins earned, can be used in many ways including online shopping.
Fantasy sports have gained tremendous popularity over the last 20 years with a market now valued at over $18.6 billion. Fantasy sports are competitive online games in which users assemble a virtual team based on the statistics of actual athletes.
Then, users play their teams against other teams to earn fantasy points, players also manage their squads like a professional sports league by adding, removing, and reselling players to maintain their statistics.
Game designers have frequently come under fire for bragging about fictitious winners or presenting excessive rewards in an effort to incite "fear of missing out." Due to this, fantasy sports have become well known for their susceptibility to gambling fraud, point-shaving, game-fixing, and data modification solely intended to benefit the game's developers.
Due to the absence of visibility in the sector, blockchain technology is an ideal fit as it accurately tracks team data, winners, and awards in an unchangeable manner ensuring statistics cannot be altered.
Betting On Crypto Sports
Cryptocurrency is revolutionizing the sports world in numerous ways. Namely, providing fast transparent payments in practical, everyday situations. It encourages fan engagement with their teams through loyalty reward tokens and NFTs symbolizing brilliant performances.
Furthermore, blockchain technology ensures that all payments and statistics are encrypted, transparent, and immutable making fraud close to impossible. Blockchain is exactly what the sports industry needs, introducing sports to a whole new audience. As the ETH merge approaches, we are bound to see more sports NFTs and payments coming to light.
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