Web3 features are anticipated to play a significant part in the multibillion-dollar sports business, which is experiencing a digital transformation. This idea was emphasized in the “2022 Sports Industry Outlook” of Deloitte, which expects a rise in blending the virtual digital and real worlds and rising markets for NFTs (non fungible tokens) and other innovative technologies.
As per the research, such developments might result in a notable rise in fan involvement. This is a crucial aspect because fan involvement has long been the backbone for securing sponsor revenue, merchandise sales and ticket, and general admiration of a sports league.
Nonetheless, sports fans have shown a desire to have stronger ties with sports leagues as technology progresses. According to the “Stats Perform 2021 Fan Engagement” research, sports fans are not just interested in watching sports now but also want to “live” experiences through the advancement of technology.
Eyal Donath Zafir, an investor and crypto head at Liberty Global Ventures, says Web3 will likely be a game changer in improving fan involvement for sports leagues.
Furthermore, he added that Web3 projects like NFTs, decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) models, and cryptocurrencies might establish how e-sports property owners can use technology to execute revenue sharing, take fan votes into account, and open intellectual property licensing.
However, these ideas are still in the initial phase, and some renowned sports leagues have begun experimenting. For instance, a full-contact martial arts sports league, Karate Combat, has announced the formation of a DAO to transfer control to its fans and athletes.
The creator of Karate Combat, Rob Bryan, said that the whole league — including copyrights, fighter contracts, intellectual property, content, and more — would be transferred to a foundation that will operate as a legal wrapper for a DAO in the summer of 2022.
Bryan emphasized that Karate Combat no longer has equity investors but that the martial arts sports league would be controlled and managed by fans who own the league’s token.
Will sports leagues embrace Web3 models quickly?
Although a few sports leagues have begun experimenting with Web3 models, various obstacles may prevent widespread adoption. For example, for these notions to get on, it is necessary to provide an easy-to-use platform for the mainstream.
As per Zafir, mainstream acceptance will only occur when real-world utility and crypto intricacies are separated from end users.
Zafir also said that presently Web3 has a small number of customers that utilize crypto wallets. Considering this, a DAO model may be challenging for Web2 users, particularly those inexperienced with concepts like the storage of tokens within digital wallets.