Web3 is disrupting sports, entertainment, and culture in Asia | Opinion
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The impact blockchain technology is having on the entertainment, creative, and sports industries is profound. Web3 is revolutionizing how fans experience entertainment content and how they engage with their beloved sports athletes and teams. The web3 industry is disrupting sports, entertainment, and culture. This is particularly the case in Asia.
Hong Kong, for instance, has already taken bold steps to embrace the potential of the next internet. Hong Kong announced its eagerness to invest in web3 and shared its plans to become a leader in web3 innovation. Web3 is also fuelling the digital transformation in Southeast Asia, unlocking new opportunities, connecting communities, and accelerating adoption across the region.
In Southeast Asia, web3 is being harnessed to power a range of different sectors but, primarily, the creator economy. Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines have all shared plans to utilize web3 technology to champion the blockchain revolution.
Web3 is already reshaping content creation by enabling creators to curate captivating, and unique experiences for their audiences. With this in mind, web3 technologies are empowering writers, musicians, artists, and other various creatives. Athletic superstars, artists and musicians are also leveraging NFTs to revolutionize the idea of digital ownership.
They can sell verifiable, unique copies of their work to their fans. This breathes new life into sports, music, art, and collectibles by transcending the limitations of physical media and bringing IP and royalty distribution into the digital century. For instance, in 2021, ONE Championship, Asia’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion announced they would be launching a marketplace with NFTs offering exclusive access to real-world benefits like ringside seats, backstage passes, and more to personalize the fan experience.
Web3 and redefined industries
Web3 is bringing the metaverse and virtual worlds to life. These environments are incredibly immersive, and offer users enhanced social experiences and interactivity. Users and fans can attend virtual events such as concerts and exhibitions, interact with one another, and own virtual assets represented as NFTs. The metaverse is redefining how entertainment is both consumed and experienced by blurring the lines between the digital realm and reality.
The Philippine Basketball Association announced the arrival of digital collectibles with topical, gamification, and commemorative purposes to enhance the fan experience. Fans will be able to collect past and present live in-game moments and merchandise from the season on the virtualness platform. PBA’s aim with this is to unlock unique real and virtual world experiences like invitations to seats, player meet and greets, online exclusives and discounts, and more.
The arrival of web3 has redefined the relationship between sports stars, creators, and their audiences. It is doing this by elevating fan engagement through token-based reward experiences, loyalty incentives, and active participation. Fans can earn by participating in community events or supporting their favorite athletes, establishing a symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties.
Take the Resources Capital Football Club. They were the first Asian football team to launch NFT collectibles. The collection featured an exclusive card of the team’s captain and goalkeeper, one of their top players. The winning bidder received special access to all the team’s matches for the remainder of the year. With the launch of the collection, fans were able to own a part of the club and its history.
Reinventing traditions with web3
Web3 is not only improving existing entertainment models but also disrupting traditional business practices. It is transforming existing entertainment models by providing immense potential for synergy and teamwork amongst web3 start-ups and entertainment businesses. These partnerships are fostering innovation, which is bringing about the best of both worlds.
Web3 is disrupting the sports sector, and many would argue it’s a perfect combination. One of the current hottest topics under this umbrella is digital collectibles, which are enhancing the fan experience and enabling teams to achieve new heights of fan growth, drive retention and ROI, and deepen relationships. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) recently launched a series of distinctive digital collectibles.
Digital collectibles are allowing for increased audience ownership by giving them utility, control of their data, exclusive content, different membership packages, and more immersive virtual platforms. The FIBA NFT collection features four offerings, each of which caters to the interests of basketball collectors and fans. From the ‘Fan’s Frenzy’ to the ‘Nation Pride,’ each of the tiers features an array of designs and rewards.
In sports, these digital collectibles are being used to offer exclusive access to content. Sports organizations can further use them as a valuable acquisition and retention tool by rewarding their most loyal users who contribute to growing their community. The sports sector should take full advantage of web3; otherwise, they risk missing out on considerable revenue and growth opportunities. Web3 is a step in the right direction as more fans look for convenience, personalization, and value for money.
Web3 technology is also enabling secure and transparent ticketing systems. These work to ensure fair access to live events and reduce the likelihood of fraud. Smart contracts can also automate ticket transfers and sales, removing the need for using third-party ticketing platforms. Ultimately, web3 is providing new avenues for content monetization, fan engagement and transparent transactions. This creates a more immersive and inclusive experience for all stakeholders.
While the integration of web3 technologies into the sports sector is still in its early stages, the potential is significant. These technologies will continue to evolve, and as they do, we can expect to see more innovative applications. As more fans become familiar with web3 technologies, the adoption of them will accelerate. This presents exciting opportunities for sports organizations and fans but also for technology providers, entrepreneurs, and investors in the web3 space.
The ones who will take advantage of web3 technologies will be the ones to thrive in the years to come. By enabling change in ownership structures, monetization channels, and incentives, web3 can become a more empowering and equitable ecosystem for those within the sports, entertainment, and culture industries. We are already seeing this shift in Asia, and it’s only a matter of time before it is taken up across the rest of the world.
Tim Dierckxsens is the CEO of Venly, a blockchain technology provider creating products to help companies succeed in web3. Venly has been recognized as a digital pioneer delivering groundbreaking innovation to web3 trailblazers. They have recently partnered with FIBA on a FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 digital NFT collection, allowing fans to celebrate their love of basketball.