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Since the emergence of blockchain technology it has become prominent in industries such as the financial sector. However, as the sports world has shown in recent years, the technology can thrive and unlock fan engagement avenues and revenue streams when utilized well. Indeed, successful sports clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester City have incorporated blockchain into their digital strategies. Additionally, leagues worldwide are also exploring how to make use of blockchain to diversify income streams, including fan tokens.

Volker Hartzsch

If the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ was any indication, the adoption of technological innovations can provide more benefits in the sports ecosystem. According to researchers at the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), blockchain can serve a great need at huge sports events. The technology’s transparent data structure is key to unlocking this value, as it allows the secure and reliable exchange of data across multiple levels. For sports events, that means aspects such as ticketing can avoid the pitfalls of illegal distribution, which can disrupt a well-planned event.

For blockchain stakeholders such as Volker Hartzsch, co-founder and director of Block Prime, the intersection of sports and blockchain opens the possibility of innovative ways to enrich the fan experience.

Sample Use Cases

The ticketing aspect mentioned above is a unique process that blockchain can make more efficient. In practice, sports event tickets can be stored on a blockchain, which by its nature ensures that each ticket can be linked back to its owner. As such, with better traceability, the impact of forgery or fraud is reduced.

The use of fan tokens is another avenue through which sports clubs can increase fan engagement. These tokens serve as an entity’s digital currency that is exchangeable for experiences, items and collectables. Tokens can also function as exclusive tickets so that fans who acquire them are allowed to participate in exclusive events. In these and many other ways, fans feel more connected to the teams and clubs they love.

It’s not just the football world that’s tapping into blockchain; golf companies are also looking at how to make the most of blockchain technology. One of the golf industry’s leading names, Callaway, partnered with LinksDAO, a non-fungible token (NFT) country club, to use tech to reimagine the golfing experience. The strategic collaboration looked to explore aspects of marketing and branding that benefit both companies.