For the Love of Sports

For the Fans, By the Fans

An industry that is rapidly promoting the use of cryptocurrency are sports franchises. This may be a surprising industry to see growing activity but when you look closer at the potential within these fan base driven businesses it makes a clear case as to why this is a trend that is quickly gaining momentum in the sports industry.

By implementing some of their revenue producing business activities onto a blockchain, the trust less system excludes the ‘middleman’ in their industry and in turn reduces costs associated with third party management fees. Additionally, real time business operations would enable greater efficiencies and synergies in the management of their cashflows and business data.

Sports Franchise Industry

Use Cases of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

In-Stadium Uses

Subject to the ownership or type of tenure a Team has with their home game stadium, there is scope to roll out blockchain uses throughout a sports stadium facility. This includes:

  • in-stadium purchases; and
  • real time updates on various waiting times such as entry, toilets and food lines during the games at the stadium.

While some Team Apps already provide various line waiting times, it could be made more efficient with blockchain as the informational data flows instantly, resulting in no lag or delay in the analytics making the App feature more reliable for fans to use.

Furthermore, in-stadium uses could include fan engagement while they are at the game; such as photo competitions and digital T-shirt competitions, as submissions of content such as a photo are made original and unable to be replicated if stored on a blockchain.

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Loyalty / Rewards System

Most sports teams operate loyalty / rewards programs for engagement and cross promotion between fans and team sponsors. Monetization of the existing loyalty point programs by creating a ledger system that allows a tradable digital token which is naturally the structure of a blockchain network.

This could be facilitated with a sidechain using software from an existing ‘off the shelf’ blockchain project by creating a Team token that holds real value and enables a new type of digital market place within the sports industry.

The Team token would derive its value from online sales, in-App and in-stadium purchases. An example being a fan can resell their ticket directly to another fan for the Team’s tokens. The individual that sells their ticket for the tokens can then use those same tokens for purchasing merchandise or in-stadium purchases as the token represents a synonymous value across all revenue streams. This would benefit the fanbase but also the business behind the sports Team as it keeps the money in the ecosystem of the blockchain which would be best facilitated by a marketplace on the Team App that allows the tokens to be spent in the various profit centres of the business.

The issuing of these tokens in the loyalty/reward system provides an opportunity to increase engagement with the Team’s community as there is more scope to provide incentives by earning tokens that are monetized and tradable for other items offered by the marketplace on the App.

Additionally, the adoption of a Team Token would put the sports franchise industry on the new frontier of creating ecosystems in business that are interoperable with existing private and public blockchains and legacy systems.

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Security and Data

Implementing a blockchain into the existing systems of a sports franchise brings highly improved security for both the customer and the business. The digitization of the entire retail industry is growing more each year and is becoming the normal process for buying all types of goods and services.

Listed below are examples of where sports franchises can benefit from efficiencies in respect to security and data collection using distributed ledger and blockchain technologies:

  • The encryption of data is the most advanced method of protection and as the digital space continues to exponentially expand, there needs to be adoption of these systems for businesses to protect their customers and their own networks. Blockchain technology brings encryption to business and is expected to be the standard in security as the crypto space develops further. This is a very marketable security layer for any business and will likely be adopted across most industries just as the internet was in the 90’s and early 2000’s.
  • The collection of data has the benefit of being in real time. This can help a business make ‘on the spot’ decisions for key business operations such as inventory control (merchandise, food and beverages during games).
  • Having the consumer fanbase on a blockchain enables collection of analytical data on a global scale. Additionally, the potential sales volume for direct ‘business to consumer’ merchandise sales would see the collection of revenue from areas not previously of benefit for the business and this is made practical with blockchain technology. Professional leagues have a large global following and if fans could purchase merchandise directly on a Team App that is supported by a blockchain, it would make it easier and more convenient for international fans to buy merchandise directly from the sporting franchise as transactions are settled instantly; as opposed to the current cross border payment times that average three (3) days or more and leaves the transaction exposed to currency fluctuations. The direct sales would also eliminate or at least minimize the number of middlemen selling the merchandise in ‘bricks and mortar’ retail outlets and online stores which would create an opportunity to collect the entire recommended retail price or even provide a more competitive price for their fan base.
  • Counterfeit protection is another advantage of blockchain, whereby some blockchain projects are using the existing technology of QR readers which encrypts the data using a digital signature and stores it on a blockchain. The benefits of this apply to the sports industry through the elimination of counterfeit tickets, sports merchandise and any autographed sports memorabilia. This is already being used for other industries such as designer labels and artwork.
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There has been a recent increase in interest from the sporting industry and below we have listed a few examples:

  • Dallas Mavericks
  • London Football League
  • Lithuanian Basketball League
  • Sacramento Kings – mining Ethereum for community education and charity

If this use cases above is relevant to your industry and you would like to discuss further, please reach out to us on for a free, no commitment consultation.

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