The changing consumer habits and the evolution of digital technology caused the appearance of a stream of innovations, ranging from virtual reality and data analytics to connected devices. They have new sources of growth for the sports industry sectors.
Experts point out that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution, alongside Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), driverless vehicles, robotics, intelligent machines, and others. More and more, and mostly because of its huge potential in terms of security, transparency and collaboration, blockchain is gaining more and more space in different industries.
Among those industries is sports, one of the world’s most valuable, expected to reach over $600 billion by 2022. Blockchain is slowly getting embedded into sports in several ways which, if successful, will help improve not only the industry but also the sports themselves.
Regardless of the sport, fans are among the most important assets that any club or player, in case of individual sports, can have. Knowing this, more and more growth strategies include increasing the engagement of the fans and, in some cases, even having them take a role in important decisions.
Taking soccer as an example, some of the most important clubs in Europe, including Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AS Roma, Atlético Madrid and more, signed partnerships with Socios.com. This platform allows for fans to purchase tokens in order to take part in some club decisions, which can include jersey design, charity initiatives, and more.
Another example of blockchain/crypto adoption comes from the Portuguese soccer club Benfica, as starting this season is accepting cryptocurrency payments in its official online store, which includes purchases of match tickets.
In this day and age, sports are filled with monitoring and sensors, in order to capture every possible detail related to a player. If properly analysed, this data provides valuable information that can be used to enhance the performance of the team/player, and even predict several scenarios.
Among those scenarios is injury prevention, which can be a truly helpful tool. It goes without saying that injuries are the root of huge problems when it comes to sports, not only from the team’s perspective, but also from other perspectives.
For example, if a player has serious injuries, lawyers and insurance firms can get into the picture, leading to a lengthy process that can turn to be majorly expensive. Sutliff & Stout, a law firm specialised in the field of personal injury, has an interesting article outlining these costs.
Trailblazing in eSports, the future of sports
For its global audience of digital natives, used to having everything they covet on demand, eSports is for entertainment what cryptocurrency is for money: the natural order of things. Most fans in this segment are too young to remember the previous time when games were played offline and money was almost exclusively physical.
Already there are signs of a flourishing relationship between the eSports and cryptocurrency industries, with an influx of investment fueling the projected wave of crypto assets focused around eSports and blockchain. For example, just last year, Dreamteam closed a $5 million seed round with Mangrove Capital Partners and secured partnerships with major players in the industry.
“The huge growth in eSports popularity mixed with the fact that gamers eagerly accept the newest types of technology is creating the perfect storm for Blockchain. Using smart contracts for tournament wins, player salaries and sponsorship money, create the eSports needs for the fraud-proof environment required to sustain their growth.”David Waroquier, partner of Mangrove Capital Partners
Sports are always getting better, more competitive and with better players taking part in them. With the implementation of the right tools and technologies, the entire ecosystem can improve even further, and blockchain promises to have an important role in the near future.