The new decade started with blockchain technology ultimately used in real-life scenarios in the sports world. Many blockchain supporters are excited about the wide variety of potential use cases, but concrete examples are often hard to find.
The potential of technology to support a variety of systems in the sports industry has long been discussed, but just two months after the start of the new year, there have already been several significant use cases where blockchain technology is used to improve offers to fans.
From the crazy continent of football in Europe to the world of the NFL and Major League Baseball, blockchain-based applications are used to improve ticketing, merchandising and interactions between the public and sports teams and organizations.
UEFA EURO tickets on blockchain
Every four years, the best international football teams in Europe compete in the UEFA European Championship, more commonly known as Euros by football fans. The 16th edition of the tournament will be organized by 12 cities across the continent between June and July. The 24 best teams that progress in the qualifications will compete to be crowned the kings of European football.
One of the most difficult aspects for tournament organizers is ticketing, with more than 28 million ticket requests for the 2020 centerpiece in 200 countries.
For the first time ever, UEFA turned to a blockchain-based mobile app to provide fans with a contemporary ticketing solution. UEFA aims to supply and deliver 1 million tickets via the Euro 2020 app.
The application-based ticketing system has certain advantages. Firstly, this will exclude the possibility of replicating tickets. Fans will also not need to visit ticket offices, they will simply need to activate WiFi on their smartphones upon arrival at the stadium, which will then activate their ticket QR codes and allow entry. This decision also eliminates wasted paper.
The main advantage of an application-based ticketing system is the ease of distribution in the large number of countries. Ultimately, UEFA’s decision to use blockchain technology to fuel its ticketing operations is a major boon for the industry. Since football is the most popular sport in the world, the adoption of technology could set the trend for other service providers.
Vote on club affairs with Socios
The blockchain-based fan engagement platform Socios seems to be setting the tone for adoption in the sports world. As previously mentioned, the Socios platform allows organizations and sports teams to launch their own tokens which can be used for various activities on the platform. Users can vote on club decisions and use tokens to access content and souvenirs.
The platform has collaborated with a number of the biggest football clubs in the world in recent years, such as Barcelona, Juventus, Paris-Saint Germain, Galatasaray, Atletico Madrid and A.S. Roma among others.
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Socios welcomed Barcelona to its platform in February 2020, just a week before announcing its entry into the American sports market. Chiliz, the fintech platform that created Socios, has also partnered with the marketing agency Lagardere Sports and Entertainment.
The agency has a significant presence in the United States and Chiliz hopes to integrate a number of new teams and organizations into Socios platforms via Lagardère. The teams involved in the NFL and the Major League Baseball are obvious targets.
Fantastic football powered by digital trading cards
A number of soccer teams have also obtained a license in the digital collection space as part of a partnership with the blockchain platform Sorare, which was announced in February 2020. The platform offers fans cards to trade for blockchain-based players who are used to playing fantastic five-card football. Game. Player cards earn points from their player’s actual performance in real games.
The cards are prioritized, the rarest cards guaranteeing digital scarcity thanks to blockchain technology. Cards can also be transferred to the Ethereum blockchain. According to the platform’s website, more than 38 clubs have been officially approved.
Sacramento Kings Pave Way For Blockchain-Based Deals
Some NBA teams have welcomed the cryptocurrency industry by accepting payments in Bitcoin (BTC) in recent years.
The Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks allowed fans to buy tickets and merchandise using Bitcoin. The Kings have done so since 2014, while the Mavericks began accepting cryptocurrency in 2019.
The Sacramento Kings are probably the most innovative blockchain adopters in the sports world. The organization claims to be one of the most technologically advanced sports brands in the world. The roof of the Golden 1 Center stadium is covered with solar panels, has ridiculously fast Wi-Fi for fans and has a cryptocurrency mining operation in its data center – the procedures for which are passed on to local charities.
If not impressive enough, the Kings also offer fans exclusive souvenirs and other items on a few blockchain-based platforms. In 2019, they launched encrypted collectibles powered by the Ethereum-based platform CryptoKaiju.
Following this, the Kings unveiled a new offer in January 2020 in collaboration with Consensys which allows fans to bid for in-game sports equipment worn by Kings players during live matches via a mobile app.
The market for authentic in-game items is huge, but the authenticity of auction items has always been a trap. The application provides a solution to this problem by opening an auction marketplace which provides authentic items worn by the game in real time.
Lancashire Cricket Club seeks blockchain for tech savvy ticketing
Following in UEFA’s footsteps, English county cricket club Lancashire has announced that it will start selling tickets via the blockchain-based ticketing platform TIXnGO in early 2020.
The club will sell tickets for local and international matches at Old Trafford cricket ground after testing the platform in 2019. As more and more supporters started buying tickets online, the club is using the platform blockchain-based form to fight ticket fraud and improve ticket distribution data.
Technology also makes it easier to resell or transfer tickets to other supporters. The Lancashire decision is considered a first in the world of cricket and can be seen as another sports organization that is beginning to exploit the benefits of blockchain-based technology.
Real use cases speak volumes about adoption
It is encouraging to see a number of organizations actively using blockchain technology to improve their offerings to sports enthusiasts. Whether it’s having access to exclusive content and souvenirs or knowing that tickets purchased are authenticated, sports enthusiasts are slowly being introduced to blockchain-based solutions even if they don’t know it.