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A new playing field: how sport can harness the full potential of web3


By Amar Singh | SVP Head of Content & Comms

September 20, 2022 | 6 min read

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We stand on the cusp of the next age of the internet.

Sporty young man kicking a virtual ball in the metaverse

Web3 businesses and sports bodies have jumped in bed together, but it hasn’t always been pretty.

Just as the rise of social media powered by smartphone adoption transformed our digital experiences two decades ago, the promise of web3 signals a profound transformation in how we interact.

The blockchain – a digital ledger of transactions which is difficult to hack or alter – has incubated a host of disruptive innovations and utilities from cryptocurrencies to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), many of which have entered the lexicon of sports business and fandom over the past few years.

For burgeoning crypto companies, the opportunity presented by sport to reach a passionate, engaged audience is enticing. Meanwhile a sports industry looking to claw back lost revenues after the pandemic, has been quick to identify and embrace blockchain-powered tech to create new revenue streams.

Web3 businesses and sports bodies have jumped in bed together, but it hasn’t always been pretty.

From terminated crypto partnerships, to footballer peddled NFTs that have plunged in value, there have been plenty of missteps.

To understand this state of play better, MKTG Sports + Entertainment conducted a global survey of industry professionals working in more than 30 countries across brands, agencies, and rights holders.

It found one industry, struggling to get to grips with another, and has published the findings – along with a guide to best practice in web3 partnerships – to help bridge the gap.

MKTG’s head of insight, Sandra Greer, said: “When it comes to web3, sports organizations are testing the market and very few are ruling it out. There are barriers and challenges ahead, such as a lack of knowledge and expertise plus how to value, clarity of benefits and the legal implications.”

The study found that 50% of the industry is concerned about negative publicity relating to partnerships with web3 companies such as crypto exchanges, fan tokens or launching NFTs, while almost one in three brand marketers (29%) admitted to having ‘no expertise at all’ in this area.

There are pitfalls to navigate and opportunities to grasp.

Fill in the form below to download MKTG Frontier 2022: Web3 Focus – a guide to help shape your view and strategy on these burgeoning, exciting developments:

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MKTG Sports + Entertainment

Global lifestyle agency that connects brands to passionate communities through engaging human #experiences. Part of dentsu international.

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