Sport is nothing without the fans. But, simply getting fans through the gates of the stadium is no longer good enough as the world has gone digital — sports lovers included. The digitalisation of the sporting experience offers up both benefits and challenges for the industry, especially in terms of global fan engagement, new revenue models and business streams, as well as the added operational efficiencies and sponsor relations. This is where blockchain becomes an interesting digital tool and one effective in revolutionizing fan loyalty in sports.
Traditional fan loyalty programs have been around for years, and have been effective to a point in maintaining fan engagement and stimulating the additional benefits that come from this — such as additional revenues. However, the globalisation of sports teams and the increased international fan base means new revenue streams and potential sponsor attraction is much larger if the right technologies are leveraged.
By utilising blockchain technology to increase fan loyalty in sports (via a fan loyalty platform), teams can incentivize engagement on a higher level by providing real-time payouts and prizes, as well as spendable tokens for team-related goods and services. Having this quantifiable (and provable) engagement is also attractive to sponsors when looking at where to spend their budget, while the token economy can be monetized by the team.
Compare this to traditional loyalty programs, where solutions are not only expensive to start up but also inefficient, and blockchain loyalty programs offer a lot more, for a lot less. Traditional loyalty programs rely on costly middlemen, as well as offer little in the way of transparency and data integrity. Not to mention, the traditional way of fans transacting in a loyalty program brings with it its own costs.
Blockchain technology not only opens the potential for these added efficiencies in the sports industry and the relationship between team, fans and sponsors, but it also does so in a way that offers unrivalled speed of delivery, transparency, security and ownership based on the principles of blockchain.
Blockchain Fan Tokens for the Fan Loyalty Program
Blockchain technology, with its transparency, security, ownership and token economy, offers several ways to benefit the sporting industry and bolster fan engagement. It also can enact new revenue streams. Part of its potential in this industry also comes with the blockchain-based fan token.
These tokens are finite digital assets that can be bought, sold or exchanged by fans to create a team-based economy. They can also then work as a currency and be interchangeable for merchandise, collectables or exclusive interactions.
Within the sporting loyalty program, these types of tokens offer multiple benefits to fans, sponsors, and the team itself. The token can firstly be created and sold to fans in a manner that generates a potentially huge capital injection. Additionally, they become the driving force of the loyalty program offering fans a powerful reward economy, all at a low running cost for the team.
Furthermore, the data captured from transacting with the token in the loyalty program can be used to inform marketing decisions and track, or encourage, engagement with sponsors and provide provable attribution for them. And, speaking of sponsors, there is a niche for their content and products to be rewarded and bought with the blockchain fan tokens through the loyalty platform.
By offering these popular and unprecedented rewards and incentives through a blockchain-based fan loyalty program, the benefits to team, fan and sponsor all tie together to strengthen relationships between all three players. It also opens up several new, different, revenue streams that are applicable in a continually globalising and digitizing world.
How it works
These tokens, and the associated loyalty programs, have applications across the fan base — at events and digitally— as well as with sponsors. An example of the loyalty program in action at a physical event is as follows:
Fans simply register on the associated app and are rewarded with blockchain fan tokens. Straight away, these tokens offer discounts on game tickets. By attending the game and checking in on the app more tokens and badges can be earned. Furthermore, the game-day tokens are also usable for discounts on in-stadium merchandise. Those purchases can even generate further reward tokens which again are spendable on concessions and other stalls.
In this way, the blockchain-powered loyalty and rewards program helps to incentivize fans into undertaking revenue-generating behaviour for the team, and increases fan engagement and fan loyalty in sports.
When it comes to fans, not at the live game, there is similar engagement that can be had, as registering with the app also rewards tokens. Additional tokens can be sought by connecting via social media, engaging with sponsor content or purchasing merchandise. Exclusive or limited edition merchandise can be locked to the fan token and further incentivising can be achieved by enabling fans to purchase tokens in exchange for voting rights and more.
This allows teams to tap into one of their toughest markets to crack — the international fan base which can help skyrocket a team’s market share and bolster profitability.
How Protokol can help
At Protokol, we’re transforming fan loyalty in sports. We do this by creating fan loyalty programs that are centred around driving engagement and providing a solution that overcomes the challenges of the traditional programs. The potential of fan loyalty programs can be expanded greatly with blockchain our solutions, unlocking the path to additional revenue, as well as increased fan engagement.
By creating a solution based on blockchain technology, sports teams benefit from transactions processed, tracked and secured on the blockchain; cryptographically secure data; and an immutable and tamper-proof ledger to offer oversight and data integrity.
Fan loyalty programs utilising blockchain technology benefit teams in traditional ways of course, but also provide integral data and insight into fan behaviour — data which is highly prized and appreciated by sponsors.
To bring blockchain for loyalty programs alive in the sporting arena we offer custom fan loyalty and reward programs for teams to help them achieve all the benefits outlined above. Protokol works with you to create customisable, scalable and secure fan loyalty platforms, that easily integrate with your existing infrastructure.
Blockchain is fast, effective, and shows results quickly with far lower start-up costs than is usually expected in such projects. Discover how a blockchain loyalty program could drive fan engagement, increase fan loyalty in sports and provide a better ROI for your sponsors by booking a free video consultation with our blockchain experts.
Or, to learn more about the application of blockchain in the sports industry, visit our ‘blockchain in sports‘ industry page.
Fan Loyalty Solutions
Increase engagement and monetise fan loyalty while generating a better ROI for sponsors, by providing accurate data into fan behaviour with a blockchain-powered loyalty solution.