Blockchain Set To Super Charge Fan Engagement And ESports Holds The Key

The crypto-currency boom over the past six months has initiated a much wider understanding and appreciation for the influence of Blockchain technology. In fact I’d contend it is the 'vogue' technology of the moment. It possesses the unique ability to create excitement and sever opinion among a developing majority without a full appreciation for its potential or comprehensive knowledge to its precise workings.

In laymen terms Blockchain is an irreversible decentralised ledger which records the transfer of data, but what does this mean for the Sports Industry? The potential, quite simply is endless.
Blockchain technologies enable leagues and teams to develop their own specific virtual currencies/tokens which can be spent by fan on tickets, merchandise and food and drink at games. There is also the potential for peer-to-peer ticket exchanges which can be administered fairly between clubs and fans and bypass the fake-ticket market.

Blockchain will impact sports rights management and asset tracking, particularly as we witness an increasing shift towards OTT, it will provide a trusted, private yet transparent means to monitor athlete doping and has huge potential in transferring biometric performance data into the health, wellbeing and insurance industries. Transparency and the increasing introduction of smart contracts (Ethereum as a great example) will create major growth for the sports betting industry. Once we factor in cross pollination with Gamification and the growth of Esports and multiplayer environments it becomes increasingly evident the blue touch paper is about to be lit.

Aside from big budget titles, the Esports scene can be credited for much of the traction driving the gaming industry forward. The idea of creating professional leagues out of popular multiplayer titles is catching on. The NBA Esports league launch means they join the New York Yankees among the North American sports franchises that are buying into the growing Esports scene. Established professional sports franchises, especially soccer franchises in Europe, have been involved and invested in ESports for a while now thanks to the popularity of EA Sports' massive FIFA franchise.

This fusion of traditional sports and Esports creates huge potential to usher in a new level of events, sponsorship, merchandise sales and betting into video games. What makes all of this even more exciting is the introduction of Blockchain into gaming. The technology that drives cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is now finding applications in the ESports ecosystem.

This growing draw of ESports is prompting developers to give focus to multiplayer gaming which blockchain technology enables. There is so much potential in games that eventually become the focus of ESports leagues. The substantial market of gamers worldwide offers lucrative opportunities for established sports franchises and brands, and encourages their increased participation in ESports.

My prediction for 2018? The rise of Blockchain developed Esports leagues with exponential growth in sports gambling...