The Tokenization of sports — Part I

3 min readSep 18, 2021

The first-ever recorded organized sporting event in history, the first Olympic Games in Greece, marked a turning point in human history. Previously, humans were involved in physical activity as a means of survival. From hunting to farming, it was all about survival. But as civilization gradually evolved, sport became a recognized form of physical activity enjoyed by everyone.

The sports industry has expanded tremendously from a mere recreational activity to a multi-billion dollar industry. Over the centuries, it has grown to be a unifying event that has stopped wars.

Since the crypto space started buzzing, there has been a lot of discourse surrounding tokenization. Many Blockchain application technologies (dApp), which were initially created to remedy the problems of traditional finance, have proven to have countless potential use cases outside of legacy systems.

The tokenization of the sports industry is one of those not-so-obvious use cases that has been leveraging these benefits. Many high-level clubs and teams are already using blockchain-based solutions in sports to increase fan engagement and revenue.

As the pandemic caused a global lockdown, there have been many changes in consumer habits, which have shifted attention to the blockchain industry. Embracing this type of innovation is becoming increasingly crucial for clubs’ survival, especially as revenue from ticket sales has been impacted hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like sports, cryptocurrencies have a huge community of users and enthusiasts. The merger of the blockchain and sports means that humans are on the cusp of a new era.

Tokenization, another crypto buzzword?

Tokenization is the use of a blockchain ledger to create a digital representation of an asset or any other tradable right. Tokenized rights represent rights in/from systems in the same manner as stablecoins like Tether (USDT) reflect ownership of one asset worth one US dollar. These tokens may represent partial or entire ownership of an asset, and they can be readily transferred from one person to another and spent on a variety of services.

The tokenization process unlocks previously illiquid assets and converts them into tokens that may be bought, traded, sold, or used by anybody without intermediaries, reducing market friction and allowing limitless possibilities.

These tokens are usually created using smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain that follow several smart contract standards, such as ERC-20, ERC-721, ERC-875, ERC-1155, and ERC-1400. Token issuers select between fungible, non-fungible, and semi-fungible smart contract standards depending on the sort of rights being tokenized.

Tokenization In Sports

The ability to create any form of token at a low cost with minimal effort has opened up an exciting opportunity for players in the sports sector to sell tokens that include ownership rights and functionalities not available through traditional ways. Tokenized commodities and services are produced, distributed, and consumed, laying the groundwork for a token economy.

In a competitive business, sports clubs and organizations are continuously looking for new ways to generate cash. With the rise of online events and changing fan preferences, providing appealing gameday experiences to encourage attendance has become a constant issue.

Furthermore, with disruptions such as the rapid growth of Esports and the fact that most sporting events are currently held without spectators, clubs must diversify their activities and rethink how they interact with their supporters to increase engagement, membership, loyalty, and reach more international fans. All of this and more is possible thanks to blockchain technologies in the sports business.

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