How to Win With Blockchain Technology in Sports
From NFT (non-fungible token) art galleries featuring the late Kobe Bryant, to digital trading cards, to the renaming of the Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena — blockchain technology in sports is here to stay. The opportunities within this exciting space are only continuing to grow.
The blockchain, a decentralized publicly-accessible digital ledger used to store and transfer information, grants sports franchises and athletic brands the ability to connect directly with fans by producing unique digital collectibles, granting exclusive access to events, or opening up new investment opportunities while generating additional revenue. If you’re new to Web3, read on to discover how sports and the blockchain are a knockout combo.
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Blockchain Technology in Sports Is on the Rise
Generational shifts in sports-viewing habits are forcing franchises to reassess their approach to drawing in a younger audience. While only 23% of Gen Z identifies as passionate sports fans, Gen Z and Millennials make up the bulk of all crypto purchases. Leagues, teams, and players are attempting to leverage this massive market opportunity with crypto, NFT, and blockchain strategies.
As a result, the sports NFT market size continues to grow, with an estimated worth of $2.6 billion in 2022, as franchises add digital cards, accessories, videos, and other collectibles to their merchandise mix.
Additionally, the rise of sports betting has enabled sports franchises to earn extra revenue by accepting traditional fiat currency along with cryptocurrency. In fact, nearly 36% of all bets placed in Q1 2022 through sports betting and other gambling sites used cryptocurrencies. As the sports NFT and crypto market continues to expand, it’s critical for marketers to develop their own blockchain strategy to take advantage of this exciting new opportunity.
Learn other ways to employ the blockchain in sports by reading How Cryptocurrency in Sports Keeps Fans Engaged.
Mint Your Own Sports Card NFTs
The most common implementation of the blockchain in sports is through the creation of sports card NFTs. It’s easy to see why: people already love collecting physical sports cards, and blockchain technology allows card manufacturers to create and sell digital versions with similar levels of rarity and authenticity as their physical counterparts.
What makes sports card NFTs unique is how physical limitations no longer bind creators. NFTs can be simple replications of sports cards with images and player stats, or they can include in-depth historical details, videos of spectacular plays, a message from the player directly to the owner, or even provide layers of interactivity exclusively available to its owner.
Discover how to create your own sports card NFTs and mint them on the blockchain by reading What Are Blockchain Sports Cards & How Do They Work?
Other Implementations of Blockchain Technology in Sports
Sports card NFTs are the most common method for harnessing blockchain technology. However, there are several other ways to provide digital ownership, enabling you to diversify revenue streams while creating new avenues to connect with your fans.
- Collectible NFTs: Think beyond the sports card. Fans love to collect their favorite players’ jerseys, signed baseballs, and other sports memorabilia. Sports marketers can convert these rare pieces of sports history into physical-backed NFTs, allowing fans to own the items they’ve purchased without holding the physical object in their hands.
- Virtual access tokens: Give fans access to pre-game events, like interviews, behind-the-scenes look at the locker room, the ability to watch a remote recording of team practices, and more.
- Fantasy leagues: Fans can purchase NFTs of their favorite players and use them to compete in fantasy sports leagues and trade with other players to optimize their rosters.
Whether you’re leveraging collectible merch or are looking for advice on the best way to enter the Web3 space, Dibbs can help. Book a demo with us today, and we can help you develop a strategy that fits your brand.
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Read Sports and Blockchain: How Web3 Is Helping Franchises Find New Success to discover how some of the biggest sports franchises are getting in on the blockchain.
Sports and Crypto are a One-Two Punch
When the mainstream cultural power of sports and the high-tech world of the crypto industry combine, the results tend to speak for themselves.
For example, the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain wanted to give fans a unique way to connect with the club. In 2021, they introduced PSG Fan Token ($PSG), granting owners access to meet-and-greet opportunities with players, as well as the ability to vote on changes to stadium designs. The more tokens an individual owns, the greater their voting power. As of 2022, secondary sales volume of the PSG token surpassed $15 billion.
Another team — this time, the Golden State Warriors — also found success as the first NBA team to mint its own NFTs. In April 2021, fans could purchase NFT recreations of the team’s numerous championship rings and other memorabilia to honor notable moments in the team’s history. The Warriors also rewarded NFT holders with additional bonuses with each successive playoff win. The first round of NFTs set a record for the all-time highest sports NFT sale, eventually selling out the entire collection for $2 million.
Check out The 5 Most Successful Sports Crypto Partnerships of All Time and see how the NBA, NFL, and more have seen explosive revenue growth by entering the Web3 space.
Find a Teammate That Will Bring Your Sports Blockchain Project to Life
Launching a successful sports Web3 project requires an understanding of many moving parts. You need the infrastructure to create and support your NFT project, but you also need to know where and when to launch your project so it can drop with the greatest impact.
We at Dibbs have years of experience in the NFT and Web3 space, developing the world’s first real-time fractional marketplace for buying and selling collectibles like trading cards and sports memorabilia. Our expertise in the physical-backed NFT space gives us unique insight into what fans want from Web3 projects, and we’re here to help your brand make a splash with a growing audience of digital collectors. Schedule a demo with us today to discuss ways we can help make your foray into the blockchain a success.
Learn more about Dibbs and other NFT marketplaces by reading The 5 Best Sports Blockchain Companies to Partner With in 2023 to find one that’s right for your sports NFT project.