This article will show you how nonfungible tokens can be used to increase fan engagement in sports. Nonfungible tokens have seen a great deal of popularity since CryptoKitties was released in 2017. The sector is expected to move more than $800 billion over the next two-years.
Picture-for-proof NFTs include the Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Play-to-earn Gaming Projects. NFTs are also attracting attention from the sports sector, with professional leagues establishing their own platforms that allow fans to interact with their favorite players or teams. But, that will be covered later.
NFTs are non-transferable and unique pieces of code that are stored on the Blockchain. These strings of alpha-numerical codes can be linked with assets like artwork, digital or physical goods. NFTs can be created by a process called minting. Creators can limit the number of NFTs that they wish to mint, creating scarcity.
Because physical assets are built with finite resources, scarcity has been a constant phenomenon. Digital goods are easily reproduced so scarcity is not an issue. This has been changed by NFTs, which have led to a digital market for collectibles that is growing rapidly.
What are the uses of NFTs for fan engagement?
Fans feel so strongly about their favorite team or player that they engage with them in all possible ways. You can engage by watching live games, purchasing merchandise, or signing at events. Sports leagues and teams have the opportunity to increase revenue by allowing fans to be closer to their favorite players and teams.
Particularly sports leagues have realized the importance of fan engagement and created platforms that allow fans to trade, buy, and own digital keepsakes. The NBA Top Shots NFT marketplace is a well-known example. Here, fans can trade, buy and sell basketball clips. The platform’s video clips are called NBA Top Shot moments and show a different highlight of a basketball game. The marketplace was launched by the NBA and Dapper Labs (creators of CryptoKitties) in 2020. Within a year, it had generated more $230,000,000 in sales.
Many video clips can be purchased in packs similar to physical trading cards such as Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon. Gamification is also possible with different rarity levels, which range from “common” up to “legendary,” which is a standard in role-playing game systems. Rarer clips will be more expensive than more popular highlights, which increases their value as collectibles.
When it comes to creating their own engagement platforms, the NBA isn’t the only one. The National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball are developing their own NFT platforms.
The concept of fan engagement platforms is not only being used by sports leagues. Non-sports leagues are also using it. Fanzee, for example, is an upcoming platform which raised $2 million to create a marketplace and ecosystem that allows sports fans to complete challenges like quizzes and games that will increase their fan base and trade NFT collectibles.
Gamification is a feature that’s similar to NBA Top Shots. Sports clubs have the ability to create interactive challenges based on past matches. This allows them to gauge how closely their fans follow the game. Fans can also earn NFTs and experience points based on how they interact with the game. Fans can earn prizes based upon their rank by increasing their experience points.
Gaming is a great way of driving engagement. People will be drawn in by a unique and entertaining platform experience. There’s got to be a story though, even if it’s a lighthearted one like GoblinTown.” Max Luck, ecosystem growth lead at the interoperability-focused Flare Network, told Cointelegraph, adding:
“NFTs are quite unique in their ability to keep communities engaged and active — or’sticky’ in this case, especially with secondary markets springing up across different ecosystems as well as the potential for NFTs being used in various gaming metaverses. This is a great opportunity for memes.”
What are the implications of fan engagement platforms for the sport industry?
Fan engagement platforms bring real-world industries like collectibles to the Web3 space. Nonfungible tokens can be a great way for younger, more tech-savvy users to connect with their favorite players and teams. They also create additional revenue streams for leagues.
Luck believes that NFTs can be a great way for young fans to connect with their favorite players and teams. “NFTs act as marketing tools that have the potential to bring in new fans to the game,” Luck said. This is especially true for younger fans, who can share their excitement and experiences with their friends at school and college by collecting collectibles on phones.
“Tech can now drive discovery. Unlike previous generations who might have watched sport with their families at home and built their support there,” Luck said. “The success in attracting newcomers would depend upon how easy and accessible platforms can make it for them get their first NFTs with UI/UX — as well as how expensive the costs.”
If digital assets are properly used, they could make a big difference in how close fans feel to their favorite sports teams. Fans will find it easier to follow the athletes and teams they are most passionate about. This will allow sports organizations to make use of digital assets to their advantage. In the coming years, it won’t surprise that most leagues will have their own NFT platforms so fans can interact with blockchain-based assets.
Instead of trying to make a quick buck by selling tokens, it is important that the focus be on engaging the fans. These platforms will see greater adoption if they are focused on fan engagement. This is because fans are more likely to refer new users to them. This will increase user retention as fans will use these platforms to enjoy their own entertainment, not for profit. If there is one thing that the bear market taught us, it is that speculative users disappear when the market slows down.
Cointelegraph spoke with Felix Le Breton (digital revenue manager at Team Vitality in France), about how NFTs could be a great way to attract young players, provided you avoid the speculation aspect. The young generation is familiar with digital ownership, so it is easy to get on board.
Platforms that focus on user engagement and retention, as well as improving user education about NFTs, will have the best success in fan engagement platforms. An average of 76% avid sports fans are open for learning about NFTs. This presents an opportunity for sports organizations to offer blockchain-based assets.
NFTs are a way to bring offline sports activities online. Fans used to collect trading cards, sign T-shirts, footballs, and trade printed pictures of their favorite players. Blockchain technology will allow younger fans to connect with their favorite players and teams through new digital channels.