Sports Illustrated Debuts NFT Ticket Platform ‘Box Office’

Credit: Sports Illustrated

On Tuesday, storied American publication Sports Illustrated announced the launch of its non-fungible token ticketing platform called “Box Office.” Through the platform, event organizers will be able to issue tickets in the form of the nascent technology for any kind of event in a variety of industries, including sports, music, philanthropy, nightlife, and theatre.

According to a press release, Box Office comes with many benefits for event organizers, such as the “Super Ticket” feature, an NFT ticket solution that allows organizers to engage attendees before, during, and after events with highlights, collectibles, exclusive offers, and loyalty benefits. In addition, event organizers will experience pricing 50% lower than competitors and can earn a share of resale revenue.

Box Office will be part of SI Tickets, an online marketplace that resells tickets to major events in the industries of sports, concerts, and theatre. SI Tickets debuted in 2021 and is a part of the larger Sports Illustrated brand, which issued its first magazine in August of 1954.

Box Office will target the self-service ticketing industry, including organizers who use Eventbrite to list their events, with a focus on those with attendee sizes between 50 and 5,000 people.

To build Box Office, Sports Illustrated partnered with ConsenSys, a leading Web3 company best known for its Ethereum MetaMask wallet. Box Office will run on the Polygon blockchain, a Layer 2 scaling solution that is popular with mainstream companies entering Web3. SI will manage the resale revenue distribution part of Box Office by monitoring Polygon on-chain transactions.

An Inside Look at Box Office’s ‘Super Ticket’ Feature

But while many organizations are now issuing tickets as non-fungible tokens, Sports Illustrated’s Box Office takes the technology a step further — giving event organizers the ability to send content directly to attendees. It does this through the ConsenSys NFT platform, which will deliver the content itself as NFTs through the SI Tickets app.

“Each NFT content release can be tailored for the holders of separate ticket tiers,” Constantin Kostenko, NFT Solutions Executive at ConsenSys, told Rarity Sniper. “In addition to venue specific discounts or special experiences on the day of the event, the NFT content enables event organizers to build a deeper relationship with the audience.”

One example he gave is the possibility of an event organizer growing sub-communities; another of an organizer who might offer an exclusive event specifically for NFT ticket holders who attended previous events. As far as sending content, organizers can do so on any Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible blockchain, and users can claim the tokens when they are ready.

“The ConsenSys NFT platform handles all blockchain-related complexities such as transaction creation and signing, paying for gas to execute transactions, securing the wallets, and scaling with load through wallet pools,“ Kostenko said.

‘Blockchain Is the Future of Ticketing’

Ever since non-fungible tokens entered public consciousness in 2021, proponents have been saying how the technology will change the world. One of the earliest mainstream use cases that has the potential for mass adoption is none other than the subject of our article: NFT ticketing.

“Blockchain is the future of ticketing,” David Lane, CEO of SI Tickets, said, “and now owners, promoters, hosts and attendees have access to an advanced ticketing experience that transforms the antiquated barcode into engaging and collectible content.”

Aside from Sports Illustrated, other organizations that have experimented with NFT ticketing include the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Ticketmaster, and YellowHeart, which has sold NFT tickets in the music industry. For these groups, NFT tickets provide a measure of security — and protection against scalpers, who often buy up online tickets using bots and sell them at much higher mark-ups.

Now, according to some research, NFT tickets open the door for an additional $15 billion market for ticket sellers. Sports Illustrated’s Box Office will target some of that market and do so while providing a feature that many current NFT ticketing platforms lack: the ability to attach content to the NFTs. With this Super Ticket feature, event organizers can engage attendees directly and increase digital brand loyalty through ticketing.

Brian Trunzo, Head of Business Development at Polygon Labs, said in a statement that blockchain technology offers significant benefits for consumers, particularly in ticketing, and helps eliminating scalping and fraud. “Box Office is an important step towards further consumer adoption.”

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