Taking advantage of sports fans through NFT will not lead to W

Taking advantage of sports fans through NFT will not lead to W – Mail Bonus

In his monthly column on cryptographic technology, Israeli serial entrepreneur Ariel Shapira discusses new technologies in cryptography, distributed finance (DeFi) and blockchain space, as well as their role in shaping the 21st century economy.

Hard-hitting sports fans first got a taste of how digital assets could become the next sporting heritage phenomenon back in June 2020, with the launch of the Dapper Labs NBA Top Shot Moments nonfungible token (NFT) collection.

Since then, the professional sports industry has taken full advantage of the NFT craze. This is not a bad thing at all, as NFTs address the issue of digital ownership once and for all. There is no reason why sports should not benefit from the democratic development that this technology brings. There is also the potential for sports giants – franchises, divisions, institutions – to take advantage of fans as crypto companies have benefited from naive investors in the past. Such opportunism should be stopped before it becomes a habit.

More likely than not, fans simply will not tolerate it.

Taking advantage of the loyalty of fans

Major sports clubs and divisions are valued at billions of dollars and the industry as a whole is worth 620 billion dollars. The foundation of this vast amount of wealth is built on the backs of hard-nosed sports fans, who have a deep emotional connection with players, teams and the sport itself. From $ 15 beers to $ 1,000 tickets and expensive cable-sports packages, fans have long been accustomed to earning a guaranteed income. Revenue is a natural and healthy part of trading, but it must be within the limits of honest trading, not the kind of exploitation we have seen in other cryptocurrencies to date.

The New Jersey Devils became the first National Hockey League team to try to milk NFT hype last year by launching their own NFT to commemorate their previous championships. The Devils, as one of the 32 NHL concessions, could benefit from that credibility and recognition. It is more than acceptable to sell a branded product such as a sweater to commemorate past championships and has long been the norm. But when a billion-dollar professional sports organization creates an NFT that plays on the emotional connections of fans by exploiting their former glory without offering any utility, it has the potential to act as a promotional animal in poor taste.

Connected: What major sports are paying athletes in cryptocurrency?

Using NFT to make more money is, of course, perfectly sensible from a short-term business point of view, but taking it too far could hurt long-term communication with fans, especially given the reputation that NFTs have after 80 % of NFT was fraud or deception, according to OpenSea’s leading NFT marketplace.

NFTs with real value

So, what does it mean to “go too far” in the context of sports teams that release NFT? Probably the best answer is “you will know it when you see it.” When the Chicago Bulls start selling the NFT of some ridiculous monkey wearing a half-million-dollar jersey, most fans might think of it as flipping money. The best way to avoid that perception is to launch NFTs that offer tangible value or usability for fans beyond the cup. Just as other cryptographic projects succeed, the key is to actually solve a problem, not just release a product that literally does nothing but look good and be on a blockchain, and then sell it for a ridiculously inflated price.

The Italian football club Como 1907 found a way to take advantage of the NFT which actually gives its fans an experience. In partnership with Mola, an Indonesian media service that specializes in live sports, Como in 1907 offered NFT, which included a couple of lifetime tickets to watch its home games, two first-class flights to Como anywhere in the country. home, and a three-day tour with tours, Michelin-starred restaurants, theater nights and more.

Connected: Beyond Collectibles: How NFT is Improving the Ticket Industry

With such an initiative, NFTs are in fact rewarding fans for their loyalty with discounts, completely in line with the vouchers and coupons that have been used in industries in recent decades. NFTs used in this way are generating revenue from loyalty, yes, but in a way that is tactful and respectful – and perhaps most importantly from a business point of view, much more scalable because they do not take advantage of short-term promotion.

Professional sports teams have endless opportunities to use NFT that do not involve trying to harness the passion of their fans. A creative and completely different approach to utilizing NFT teams that could be applied in the future involves youth scouting. As youth sports organizations continue to increase their competition level to prepare young athletes for employment, it could be possible to use a platform like Leap to speed up the process and reach a larger group of talents.

The Youth Discovery Forum offers social and game shows to help young athletes, especially those with disabilities, demonstrate their talents and gain recognition and potential testimonials from talent seekers by utilizing NFTs.

Connected: Showtimes: NFT aims to take the stage in 2022 and connect artists and fans

As NFTs infiltrate more and more industries, their use cases in the vast world of sports will inevitably grow. And it is imperative that professional sports institutions do not jump on the bandwagon by exceeding the limits of their fans what they can stand.

Hard-core sports fans will never completely abandon their team loyalty because their favorite team or league takes advantage of developments to earn a little extra income that tries to capture a nostalgic feeling from a team’s past. However, if the NFT project is done in bad faith, the voice of the fan group will be heard and the pockets of the team or league will be affected.

This article does not include investment advice or advice. Every investment and trading business involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of the Cointelegraph.

Ariel Shapira is a father, entrepreneur, lecturer and cyclist and works as the founder and CEO of Social-Wisdom, a consulting firm that works with Israeli start-ups and helps them establish links with the international market.