Sports Industry


10 super important ways how the blockchain will be used in sports

10 super important ways how the blockchain will be used in sports
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How will the blockchain impact sports? You hear this question quite often nowadays! The question is not if it will impact sports but more so to what extent. The short answer is that there are loads of different applications spread all over. It will indeed have a huge impact.

1. Ticketing

Counterfeiting and fraude are huge problems in the ticketing industry. You probably are aware yourself of all these vendors outside the stadium flagging their for sale tickets. Do you know whether they are for real? No! Since asset ownership (and a ticket is an asset) lends itself ideally for blockchain technology, ticketing should benefit. With this technology tickets can now be safely stored in the blockchain and show who is the rightful owner of the ticket.

2. Rights

Sports broadcasting rights of big events, image rights, content rights, you name it! Enormous sums of money are involved nowadays in acquiring and exploiting rights. However, simultaneously there are loads of infringements of people who are not owner of these rights. What to think of all infringements of images on the internet? At the same time, the media landscape is changing. Not only are our viewing habits (streaming, pay per view etc) and distribution platforms changing, increasingly people like you and me can also produce content and distribute it.

The blockchain is ideally suitable for rights holders to track rights they have licensed. Moreover, they also can use the blockchain to facilitate rights payments. Authentication of online users will become much easier and middlemen no longer will be needed. A win win for everybody who owns certain (sports)rights.

3. Anti-doping

Doping is still a hot issue in many sports as performance enhancing drugs are banned but used nevertheless. Scandals continuously plague several sports. I am sure you remember a number of Russian hackers entering the database of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) in 2016 and leaking and possibly tweaking some data of several athletes. The blockchain may be an ideal solution for protection of these data, whilst simultaneously providing transparency. A cover up from or manipulating data is no longer possible from an administrative point of view. The blockchain lends itself for structured testing and recording. Once results are checked they will be engraved forever and protected from manipulation.

4. Analytics

Increasingly athletes and clubs are using sensors in order to gather their own data. These data can be used to analyze and improve performances or map performances for scouting purposes. This can be a competitive advantage and it is for this reason that more and more athletes and clubs use these data solely for their own purposes. Data can be valuable and therefore needs to be protected. As athletes and clubs are proprietary owners and analytics are valuable assets, the blockchain is ideally suited for these data. Moreover, it also gives the athlete the opportunity to monetize these data at his or her convenience by selling them to other parties if such player wants so!

5. Player and club participations

The blockchain offers unique solutions for investing in clubs/stadiums or athletes. Quite often these are lacking the financial means to give their sporting careers, club or stadium a boost. Small investors will now be able to take a share in their favorite athlete or club as kind of a crowdfunding platform, call it tokenization if you want. The return could be a certain % of the athlete’s or club’s future income. By investing in it you have become an owner of a valuable asset here! The shares in this asset can even be traded as the blockchain keeps track of the rightful owner.

6. Fan engagement

The blockchain is also ideally suited for better fan engagement. Clubs will now be able to create unique tokens (these can be considered as valuable assets) which can be used for all kind of fan related purposes. What to think of access to exclusive content? Or use it as votes for appointing a new manager of the club? Or maybe purchasing club specific merchandise or entering a loyalty programme? The possibilities are endless. Every vote or transaction will be administered by the blockchain and set in stone!

7. The sports betting industry

If there is one industry where the middleman plays an important role, then it is the betting industry. Your “bookie” is the man who facilitates the bets and sets the odds. Transparency? Huh?! What do you mean transparency?The betting industry? The blockchain has the potential to completely remodel this industry. It could entirely wipe out the role of the bookmaker and a new peer-to-peer betting system could be developed with much more transparency and with much lower costs involved.

8. Fantasy sports

Fantasy sports have grown big in the last couple of years. Turnover levels are already in the billions of dollars. However, this industry is plagued by fraude, which has resulted in some players leaving the game. They no longer trust some of the platforms. This lack of transparency can be resolved by the introduction of the blockchain, which is rapidly gaining traction. Blockchain transactions are secured this way, transparency improves, assets are safe whilst fund transfer is also running smoothly.

9. Sports collectibles

Sports memorabilia and collectibles are a huge market. Who doesn’t want a signed jersey of their favorite athlete. The problem is that this industry is hugely suffering from counterfeiting. The blockchain again can solve this. Officially licensed collectibles can now be transferred with a token certificate of authenticity. All these certificates are stored in the blockchain.

10. E-Sports

The E-Sports industry is growing at a stellar pace. However, with its many stakeholders (think about players, sponsors, organizers, managers, publishers, advertisers etc), it is far from transparent at the moment. The blockchain might come to the rescue here! By offering a decentralized platform with all the stakeholders under one roof and with peer to peer transactions, this industry might hugely benefit and rapidly filling in a leaderships role as far as the blockchain is concerned. Think about trust levels, secure payments, sponsorships, distribution of prize money, transfer of players etc.
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