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Mint your own NFT collection
November 2, 2022

How NFTs can solve these 6 challenges faced in sports

NFTs in sports have the power to create a new fan economy
Olympiastadion Berlin
Olympiastadion Berlin

Dear NMKR community,

Blockchain technology can help to create a more democratic, transparent, and efficient environment for the sports industry regardless of size or stature. The power of decentralization can level the playing field for all participants in the sports industry, leading to a fairer future by challenging a few intermediaries controlling most of the sports industry.

In late October, the NMKR agent, God'spower Effiong gave a keynote speech at the Africa Football Business (AFB) Summit in Kenya. The summit brought together some of the biggest names in African football (US: soccer), including club officials, league representatives, and even a few national team coaches. The tickets to entry at the summit were minted using NMKR.

After my presentation I delivered at the AFB summit in Nairobi focused on the solutions that the Cardano blockchain can bring to Players, Clubs and Leagues using NMKR tools, I could see the fascination in everyone's eyes, while networking industry experts were all about implementation, seeing this solution used in real time” said NMKR agent God'spower Effiong. “My joy is that they're open to following the technology trend so it's time to get to work

NMKR agent God'spower Effiong (center) at Africa Football Business Summit in Kenya

Here are six challenges Effiong touched upon with reasoning on how the NMKR ecosystem can help to solve them.

How can NMKR help football players?

Challenge #1: How can I prove my identity as a player?

What if there was a faster and totally secure way to prove you are who you are without conveying additional details other than the fact that you are who you claim to be? The answer is digital identity and self-sovereign identity (SSI). For example, The Football Foundation Africa (FFA) can store a player's data and add details to an NFT by issuing it as an official player's license. So if you are a player, you can sign a digital contract on blockchain and transfer that official license to the club you are playing for. As an additional security measure, you can connect your digital identity to that NFT license. This solves the issues of fraudulent contracts and allows for a paperless way of signing and transferring a player.

Challenge #2: Who can I trust as a player?

Is there a way to ensure that the stakeholders are paid on time by minimizing financial disputes? 

This can be possible by ensuring that your player's license is only valid when you have been paid. You can link your player's license to a blockchain smart contract, which works as a digital agreement and only triggers once you have been paid. As a result, you can monitor that you are getting paid in line with your agreement with partners, clubs or leagues in a trustless manner, meaning you don't need to rely on a bank or an escrow agent. 

What´s in it for Clubs?

Challenge #3: Negotiations between clubs

It is not uncommon to hear about disputes between football clubs, even after long negotiations. What if there was a way to improve operations in a case when the agreement is made on loaning a player? Let's take a case where club A loans a player to club B. Club A can ensure that they get paid by club B by setting up and signing an agreement using digital agreements called smart contracts. So, whenever club B pays club A, the official NFT player license proving ownership is updated and transferred to Club B on the blockchain. This helps to ensure that both clubs adhere to the terms of the agreement in a trustless manner.

Challenge #4: Digitizing revenue stream for clubs

What if there was a way to monetize assets such as trophies or memorabilia in a museum and reward players by linking those physical assets to digital collectibles? The club can fractionalize its assets and create NFTs that represent those assets. The NFTs can be shown on the club's official account or serve as access tickets to a museum. The club can now tap into a new revenue stream, and the fans can own a piece of their favorite club. The owners of these NFTs can also resell them in a secondary market, thereby earning the club royalties every time it is sold.

What´s in for the leagues?

Challenge #5: Securing through a voting mechanism

What if we could have a truly tamper-proof voting process for selecting the player of the year or the next president out of nominees? This can be done by fractionalizing the vote into NFTs, with each vote representing a certain amount of weight. This is possible by giving the stakeholders some tokens that they can use to vote. It would be very difficult to tamper with the votes as each vote is registered on the blockchain, thereby improving the overall confidence of the voters in the league.

Challenge #6: Secure and safe secondary market for tickets

What if there was a way to prevent reselling of tickets to random people or on shady website that doesn't benefit the issuing league? This can be prevented by creating an official marketplace for the league where the tickets can be resold as NFTs. The advantage of this is that it would allow the issuing league to control the secondary market and prevent scams. It would also help the league to track ticket sales and better estimate the demand for future matches. This way, as the ticket issuer, you can still get a cut every time it is sold and resold. The fans too would be more inclined to buy tickets from the official and digitally verified issuer, knowing that they will get access granted for the game.

Final thoughts

The NMKR Ecosystem can help to create a more efficient transfer system by streamlining the process leading to improved security, trustworthiness, speed, and efficiency. We are proud to be cooperating closely with our partners, the Sports DAO and Football Foundation Africa, to make this future a reality. We are firm believers in the power of NFTs beyond jpegs and memes, and we are confident that they can help to solve many of the challenges faced by the sports industry.