Our previous piece discussed how Slotegrator’s platform gives operators instant access to information and analytics. Today, we’ll look at another type of platform: digital assets. Digital assets are growing in sports and have taken fan engagement to a whole new level. Whether fan tokens, NFTs, or any other digital asset, if it’s part of the sports industry, it is making some waves. The innovation comes from the concept of boosting fan engagement and increasing sports club revenues by creating a platform for fans and sports teams to interact on. While these platforms and subsectors have been in constant development, each has been met with different reactions, but there is one common factor: the sports scene is changing in terms of digital engagement.
Fan tokens are a form of blockchain-based digital assets that grant special privileges to fans that own them. These privileges can include the right to vote on club decisions, VIP rewards, or receiving team apparel, among others. Anyone that wishes to own a fan token must first download the Socios app, buy the in-app currency Chiliz ($CHZ), and use Chiliz to pay for the fan token of the club they want. Immediately after, the owner can enjoy the special privileges and take part in the in-app polls. An example of this is the Arsenal fan token. Owners of their fan token got to vote on which song was to be played at the Emirates stadium after every win. Other polls across said fan token included choosing the design of the official team bus. While all fans would probably want to give their input, only fan token holders possess the right to vote and make their opinion matter.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique non-interchangeable digital assets that are stored on the blockchain and represent real-world items like art, photographs, and videos. Some companies have invested heavily into NFTs to increase fan engagement and awareness. One such platform is Fanzee, which uses TON Blockchain to close the gap between sports organizations and fans. In an article at Finance Magnates, Fanzee’s CEO Ajay Jojo explains how their TON Blockchain is at the nascent stage of NFTs and aims to incorporate not just one, but multiple digital assets, thus giving a more rewarding fan experience.
For those that are not aware, there is a difference between non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and fan tokens. They are both built on blockchain technology, but unlike NFTs, fan tokens are fungible, which means they are interchangeable and can be exchanged for products. NFTs, on the other hand, grant ownership rights by virtue of digital copyright that cannot be exchanged. An example of this is the National Basketball League’s (NBA’s) Top Shots NFT marketplace, where fans can freely purchase, sell, and trade basketball video clips they own.
Gamification is a popular way to engage fans with sports teams by creating interactive activities, like quizzes based on past performances. This challenges the fans to stay abreast of the team’s progress and to test how closely fans have followed recent games. In return, fans can earn points and NFTs based on their answers. The more points a fan earns, the higher their “fan level” is, and this gives them more opportunities to earn prizes. For example, Australia Professional Leagues (APL) use gamification as a key pillar to drive engagement amongst current and new fans in games. Gamification has proven to be a very effective method of drawing in fans and increasing sports club awareness.
Technology has truly changed many aspects of human life, including the world of sports. With the advent of NFTs, fan tokens, and gamification, interacting with your favorite sports teams is now conveniently at the tips of each fan’s fingertips, and this is just the beginning.