Both athletes and clubs can leverage NFTs to breathe new life into the sector and bring it to speed with current trends. From more engaging experiences to new sources of revenue, there are many ways in which NFTs can benefit the industry, but there’s one in particular that holds a lot of promise: fan engagement.
Let’s explore how the sports industry can drive more meaningful fan engagement using NFTs and discover some real-life, trailblazing examples.
How to use NFTs to foster fan engagement
Taking collectibles to another level
Sports fans are known for two things: their commitment and their love for collectibles. From merchandise and cards to game tickets, most fans have at least a little collection or a one-of-a-kind item they like to boast about to their friends.
Now, thanks to NFTs, athletes and sports clubs can take collectibles to a whole other level. Top Shot, for instance, has created officially-licensed NFTs of the greatest NBA plays and players, each of them with a different rarity level. So, fans can now own, collect, and trade their favorite moments of the basketball season.
This move can redefine the collectibles experience for sports fans and spark a renewed interest in this vintage hobby while driving new revenue streams for athletes and clubs.
More fan involvement in decision-making
What if fans could have a say in what goes on during games? Sure, maybe it’s not a great idea to have them decide the initial formation of your team. But they can choose what song should play when the team scores, the uniform choice for the game, and even the MVP.
NFTs holders can be allowed to be involved in decision-making in sports clubs, which works as a charm in terms of engagement and commitment.
Take Socios.com, for example. This blockchain-based platform sells tokens to fans and, the more they own, the more voting powers they have. This allows for a deeper involvement of fans in sports organizations, providing them with a clear voice in different team matters and enhancing their overall experience.
Exclusive and engaging experiences
Fan tokens also encourage athletes to redefine their relationships with their fans and forge a closer bond with them. NFT holders, for instance, could get exclusive access to content, rewards, meet and greets, online chats, personalized gifts, gamified experiences, front-row tickets, and so on.
Last year, UFC partnered with Chiliz to launch a $UFC fan token granting fans access to exclusive content and opportunities, including VIP rewards, exclusive offers, AR-based experiences, access to in-person events, games and competitions.
These kinds of experiences enhance connection with fans and reward them for their unwavering passion.
The goal line
From a more exciting collectible experience to more involvement in decision-making processes, NFTs offer quite a lot of opportunities for the sports industry to push its limits and redefine its relationship with fans.
Many clubs, teams, and athletes have already stepped into this exciting world, which will most likely reshape the future of sports. And those who are still a bit skeptical about NFTs should start considering embracing them. Unless they want to be left behind.