Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is bullish on the future of NFTs in the professional sports industry. According to PwC’s “2022 Sports Outlook” report, NFTs will become one of the biggest revenue generators for global sports brands.
In PwC’s report, analysts noted three lucrative opportunities for using NFTs in pro sports. First, PwC highlighted the growing trend of using NFTs in place of physical collectibles.
PwC’s writers believe NFTs could complement or replace traditional sports memorabilia like trading cards, jerseys, and tickets. Since NFTs are already digital, PwC argues they have the potential to enter “metaverse museums” where fans could admire and share their digital tokens.
The second idea PwC pointed out was using NFT technology for season ticket passes. PwC suggested NFTs have many advantages over standard season pass tickets since teams and sponsors could verify membership online. Even if fans lose their physical passes, their info will be on the blockchain.
PwC also claimed teams could add unique features to season passes to enhance fan engagement. For instance, season pass NFTs could come with exclusive privileges such as special seating or VIP experiences. It would also be easy for sports teams to airdrop special NFTs to season pass holders.
The last theme PwC mentioned in its Sports Outlook report concerned the metaverse. Specifically, PwC discussed “virtual access tokens” that could grant sports fans privileges on digital media. In this sense, NFTs could be used to access metaverse experiences with pro players (e.g., video games or virtual backstage tours). PwC also suggested metaverse technology could be the next innovation in social media engagement.
Pro Sports Leagues are Paying Attention to NFTs
Long before PwC published its report, pro sports leagues, teams, and athletes have been making big moves in the NFT industry. For instance, the NFL, NBA, and MLB have their own official NFT platforms. UFC also has its famous “UFC Strike” site and curated NFTs on Crypto.com’s NFT Marketplace.
As Rarity Sniper recently reported, the NFL and NASCAR have given out NFT ticket stubs at events like Super Bowl LVI and the 2022 Daytona 500. Even the International Olympics Committee experimented with commemorative NFTs after the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
If pro sports leagues aren’t offering NFTs today, chances are they’re developing a Web3 strategy. Case and point: the Premier League wants to launch an official NFT platform this year. The Professional Fighters League also says it will begin offering NFTs in April of 2022.
With so many big brands embracing Web3, it’s unlikely sports fans won’t have more opportunities to use NFTs and the metaverse in the future.