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How web3 and NFTs will continue to infiltrate the sports world

January 12, 2023
minute read
How web3 and NFTs will continue to infiltrate the sports world

The sports industry has always been quick to embrace new technologies, whether it's using data analytics to scout players or streaming games online. The latest trend to hit the sports world is web3 technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and it's clear that they have the potential to shake things up in a big way.

But what exactly are web3 and NFTs, and how will they infiltrate the sports world? Let's take a closer look.

Web3 and the decentralized web

Web3 refers to the third generation of the World Wide Web, which is focused on decentralization and the use of blockchain technology. While the first two generations of the web were centered around connecting people and information, web3 is all about connecting people and value.

One of the main benefits of web3 is that it allows for the creation of decentralized applications (dApps), which are built on blockchain technology and operate on a peer-to-peer basis. This means that they are not controlled by any single entity, making them more resistant to censorship and tampering.

Play-to-Earn and Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

play-to-earn games

NFTs are a type of digital asset that are unique and cannot be exchanged for other assets on a one-to-one basis. They are often used to represent ownership of a specific item or experience, and can be bought and sold just like any other asset.

Play-to-earn or GameFi (for Game Finance) is a business model that allows users to play a game and earn money. These rewards can take the form of NFTs, which can then be bought, sold, and traded on the open market. This model has the potential to create a more engaging and rewarding experience for users, while also generating revenue for developers. The most prominent example would be Axie Infinity, a turn-based card game where you and your Axies (cute creatures i.e. NFTs that you can collect, exchange and upgrade) battle against other players.

One of the key features of NFTs is that they are built on blockchain technology, which gives them the same level of security and transparency as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This makes them ideal for use cases where authenticity and ownership need to be verifiable, such as in the sports industry and play and earn games.

The potential of web3 and NFTs in sports

sports & NFTs

So, how will web3 technology and NFTs infiltrate the sports world? Here are a few ways they could be used:

  • Ticketing: NFTs could be used to create digital tickets that are secure, easily transferable, and can't be counterfeited. This could make the process of buying and selling tickets much smoother and more efficient, while also reducing the risk of fraud. In 2022, the NFL partnered with Ticketmaster to offer commemorative NFT tickets to the Super Bowl, as a way of providing attendees with a “digital keepsake” to remember their experience.
  • Merchandise: NFTs could also be used to create unique, collectible items that fans can buy and sell. This could include things like signed jerseys, special edition sneakers, or even virtual items like in-game skins. One of the most prominent example of these in the past few years are the NBA Topshots, official digital collectibles in the form of video highlights of big NBA moments. Stephen Curry also launched his own NFT collection, allowing his fans to buy digital sneakers to show off in the metaverse.
  • Experience: NFTs could be used to create unique experiences for fans, such as access to meet-and-greets with players or VIP seating at games. These experiences could be bought and sold on the open market, making them accessible to a wider range of fans.
  • Player contracts: In the future, web3 technology and smart contracts could be used to facilitate the negotiation and execution of player contracts. This could make the process faster, more efficient, and more transparent, while also reducing the risk of errors and disputes.
  • Play-and-Earn Sport Games: Fantasy football plays a big role into sport entertainment which was translated by Sorare into web3. There’s a plethora of sport betting or sport prediction apps, which is being transformed by Pooky into a web3 environment.

The future of web3 and NFTs in sports

Web3 technology and NFTs are still in their early stages, but it's clear that they have the potential to revolutionize the sports industry. By enabling the creation of decentralized applications and non-fungible tokens, they could change the way we buy tickets, merchandise, and experiences, while also making the process of negotiating player contracts faster and more efficient.

Or simply find alternative ways to make our favourite sports even more entertaining through GameFi.

As these technologies continue to develop, it's likely that we'll see more and more sports teams and leagues embracing them. So keep an eye out.

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