Blockchain is an exciting technology that was invented in 2008. Against all odds, this technology has been able to change the way in which a number of professional sectors work all across the globe within the span of just a couple of years. From finance to supply chain management and voting, there are hardly any fields in which blockchain technology has failed to leave its mark. However, when it comes to sports, blockchain might be perceived as irrelevant. This view is shared by many professionals. And it is evident from the fact that the world of professional sports has been slow to embrace the potential of blockchain. Thankfully, this view is slowly changing.
There are many organizations that are using DLTs in sports in recent years to revolutionize the way in which the industry used to function. For example, The Jetcoin Institute is an organization that has made the process of investing in an athlete more democratic. This organization has released ‘Jetcoins,’ which is a cryptocurrency that fans can use to invest in their favorite athletes and get a portion of their earnings.
Jetcoins can also be used to get into VIP events, seat upgrades, purchasing tickets, and many other things. The Jetcoin institute has successfully been able to launch this approach in collaboration with various soccer teams in Italy. Advancements like this have enabled other professionals to pick up on the true potential of blockchain in sports. In this article, we’ll go a step further to explore exactly what that potential can help accomplish.
What is Blockchain?
Before talking about blockchain use cases
in sports, it is vital to understand what blockchain actually means. According to experts, blockchain can be defined as a type of distributed ledger of digital transactions that is open and can efficiently record all transactions in a permanent and verifiable way. As the name suggests, the blockchain technology is composed of blocks.
These blocks are identical throughout the network, and these blocks are used to store information within them. These features allow a single entity to control the blockchain, and it further means that there won’t ever be a single point of failure.
Another important feature of blockchain is that it allows the data to remain transparent as it is embedded within the network. This means that all transactions are made public without revealing the identities of the parties that were involved in the transactions. It is also not possible to corrupt the blockchain.
This is mainly due to the fact that if an individual wish to change some information in any particular unit of blockchain, then he or she would require large computing power that should be enough to override the entire computer network. In theory, this is possible, but in practice, this is a highly unlikely scenario. This is also perhaps the most attractive feature of blockchain.
There are countless other amazing features that provide blockchain with the power to successfully change the way in which the sports industry works. However, all this potential will go to waste if organizations are not open to the idea of change. It is vital for organizations not to shy away from technical development and implement all possible and promising changes that come their way. This includes
using DLTs in sports.
The Potential of Blockchain in the Sports Industry
If we look at the current scenario, there are many ways in which the implementation of blockchain technology can bring in truly innovative ways to function and perform various essential tasks in the sports industry. Some of those ways in which the potential of blockchain can be used for the benefit of the sports industry are mentioned below.
- Solving the Problem of Doping
There is no professional industry that comes without a set of evils. And sadly, for the sports industry, the biggest evil is doping. In recent years, many scandals have come to light regarding this matter. The biggest doping scandal was in 2016 during the Rio Olympics. During that time, a hacker leaked medical files of several professional athletes which showed the evidence of doping in them. This problem has only grown over the years, and many experts have tried to solve it.
Thankfully, with the help of blockchain technology, experts don’t have to worry about doping anymore. Blockchain can be used not just to prevent the leaking of personal medical files, but it can also ensure that all professional athletes are treated fairly by the federation, and no data is manipulated. This technology can also be used to create a system that records test results and prescriptions. This can definitely be one of the most positive benefits of using DLTs in sports.
- Increasing Fan Engagement
If any industry or organization wants to be successful, then they need customers. This is also true for the sporting industry. According to the current tactics, fans who watch professional matches on their televisions and electronic devices are encouraged to purchase official merchandise. There are also other fans who purchase tickets to sports matches. This industry has also been able to successfully harness the power of social media to attract more customers, but with the help of the blockchain, all of this can be taken to the next level.
Sports clubs all across the globe can release their virtual tokens or cryptocurrencies. These tokens can be used to purchase tickets, merchandise, or food and beverage at the matches by fans. The system can also be built by using DLTs in sports in a manner that would allow a peer-to-peer exchange. This would give a boost to the ticket resale market. It would further help in protecting fans from entering into fake ticket markets. Organizations can also roll out loyalty schemes that would help in engaging fans in the long run.
- Benefits of Performance Metrics and Statistics
The sports industry produces a ton of data every single year that goes to waste. And this is why the first thing that organizations should do is to utilize that data by providing athletes with real-life performance metrics and statistics. This data can further help in shaping the training and coaching plans of the athletes. And this, in turn, can improve their overall performance.
Something similar to this has already been implemented by Bravelog. Bravelog is a credible and unchangeable record of biometric and race data. It was launched in January of 2017 with strong support from the Microsoft Azure platform. In the sporting industry, other types of data, including pulse rates and scores, can be stored. This can help the athletes and their coaches to understand the abilities and weak spots of the athletes. This is one of the most promising
blockchain uses cases in sports.
- The Management of Sports Broadcasting Rights
The world has undergone many changes, and one of the most significant changes has been in terms of how people relate to technology. There are many fans who use digital platforms to live stream and watch their favorite sports matches. Because of this, the task of managing sports broadcasting rights has become more challenging and harder than ever.
This issue can easily be solved with the help of blockchain technology. By using DLTs in sports, organizations can easily keep track of their broadcasting licenses. It can also help in identifying unexploited rights. Organizations can also set up smart contracts which can be used to enable automatic payments of broadcasting rights.
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Real Life Blockchain Use Cases in Sports
Now, that we know about the different ways in which blockchain technology can potentially be used, it is important to know about the real-life
blockchain use cases in sports. Some of those use cases are mentioned below.
- NBA Top Shots
NBA Top Shots is a collectibles platform. This platform allows fans to purchase, own, or sell various digital assets. Blockchain technology is used to ensure that all digital assets are unique and cannot be copied or counterfeited. To further increase the engagement of fans, this application comes with smart contract capabilities that allow fans to participate in a fantasy sports game.
- MLB Championship
MLB Championship is a blockchain-based game that is similar to NBA Top Shots. This application allows fans to purchase collectible digital players that are also available for transfer within the same online market. Blockchain is also used to create a fantasy game based on the collectibles.
- Football Clubs Fan Tokens
Football clubs like Roma, West Ham United, Paris Saint Germain, and Juventus offer shares to their fans in terms of tokens. These tokens can also be used to purchase memorabilia, exclusive content, or for voting on various organizational decisions like jersey designs.
Blockchain technology promises significant opportunities in the sports industry. And the future does look promising. This is why the professionals who wish to stay ahead in the game should welcome the blockchain technology and changes that it brings with open arms. It won’t be a stretch to state that the blockchain technology is the key to the future. And the focus should be on not being left behind.
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