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Football and Beyond: When Multiple Sports Worlds Combine With Fintech To Create Something Great

We have discussed to great extent at The Fintech Times how fintech has begun to integrate itself into the footballing world. As partnerships continue to take place, we must also highlight that these partnerships are not exclusive to football, but apply to other sports too. We look at some of the latest deals in the football world and beyond.

NHL and associates announce Sweet as its official NFT partner

We begin by discussing how fintechs are making moves in the Great White North and US, looking at a partnership between the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Hockey League Alumni Association (NHLAA) and non-fungible token (NFT) distribution platform, Sweet as the NHL and its associates announced a new multiyear partnership naming Sweet the official NFT Digital Collectibles Marketplace and an Official NFT partner of the NHL, NHLPA and NHLAA.

The Sweet-operated NHL marketplace will focus on providing the entire community of NHL fans and collectors with a unique and valuable engagement experience through the opportunity to buy, sell, collect and trade never-before-offered pieces of NHL history.

With a planned launch at the start of the 2022-23 NHL season, the stand-alone NHL platform custom-built for this program by Sweet will showcase current and historic moments as well as iconic elements of the game in the form of non-fungible tokens.

“We are proud to be launching the NHL’s official NFT Digital Collectibles Marketplace this upcoming season and to offer this new and innovative interactive touchpoint for NHL fans,” said Dave Lehanski, NHL executive vice president, business development and innovation. “We invested a significant amount of time to analyse the marketplace and establish a fan-first strategy and are now thrilled to announce a partnership with a company that will not only provide us with a world-class digital NFT collectibles experience, but also a commitment to develop a comprehensive platform that is completely designed and customised for the NHL and wholly focused on connecting with hockey fans in the most authentic and engaging manner possible.”

Dani Alves Announces 43 luxury timepieces with corresponding NFTs

Previously we discussed Brazilian left back Marcelo‘s Bitso announcement – it appears he was not the only one getting involved in the new digital world however, as now Brazilian right back, Dani Alves, most known for his time at FC Barcelona, has launched 43 luxury timepieces and their NFTs, which commemorate every major trophy he won in an illustrious career spanning 22 years. The launch was held at MetaTerrace, a happening metaverse-based nightlife lounge in Dubai, on June 28th.

ColossalBit, a Dubai-based consulting, advisory, design, and development company for cryptocurrency, blockchain, NFTs and metaverse, hosted the event. ColossalBit also partnered with renowned watchmaker Backes & Strauss in creating the NFTs of the latter’s timepieces. The 43 physical luxury watches were unveiled alongside fractionalised, premium, and regular NFT variants of the same.

“The metaverse revolution has found a true champion in Dani Alves. He brings with him the same energy, charisma, and persona that he brought on the pitch. The overwhelming response to this NFT drop testifies to the promise that blockchain and associated applications hold. We are glad to be at the forefront of NFT, metaverse, crypto, and Web3 technologies and their development in the Middle East and beyond,” said Christian Chalfoun, co-founder and CTO, ColossalBit and MetaTerrace.

Popularity of blockchain games reaches the NFL

SuperTeam Games, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and OneTeam Partners (OneTeam) are partnering to put together a new breed of sports gaming called STG Football, a blockchain-enabled game designed to innovate on the existing sports gaming franchises. STG Football features unique gameplay with an emphasis on teamwork, and quick satisfying 7v7 action.

STG Football is a free-to-play, real-time, arcade football game. Each game features seven professional football players per side, with four of those players controlled by actual gamers and the three others controlled by artificial intelligence. It will have enough strategic and on-field football elements to feel realistic, with a modified rule-set to emphasise quicker turnaround, game pace, and unique gameplay. SuperTeam Games is planning for a Beta launch of STG Football in Q3 of 2022 with a full free-to-play launch on PC in Q1 of 2023.

“We believe that our team has the ability to breathe new life into the current lineup of sports games in market, and as passionate sports fans, build a game that is fast, fun and offers a fresh take on the genre,” said Jerome Collin, Co-Founder and CEO of SuperTeam Games. “We’re excited to be one of the first blockchain-enabled games to partner directly with the NFL Players Association, guaranteeing authentic gaming for our community.”

European football fan tokens listed on Zonda

Zonda, a European-based digital currency exchange with over a million registered users, announced the launch of fan tokens on its platform. Fans of sports clubs like Italian football club Juventus ($JUV), and Polish football team Legia Warszawa ($LEG), will be able to support their club through trading pairs with Euro and Polish Zloty.  

Developed by Socios.com, part of the Chiliz (CHZ) network, fan tokens introduce a new layer of engagement to the world of sports, helping supporters interact with their favourite clubs in a unique way. Sports fans from anywhere in the world can now take part in a variety of club-specific voting decisions on events like updating the team motto, changing club outfit designs, or even impacting a match starting formation. 

Stanislav Havryliuk, chief operating officer at Zonda, said,  “We’re excited to add fan tokens to our growing list of digital assets because they bring a new and interesting twist to the world of crypto. Through the fan tokens, supporters can engage with their favourite sports team in a unique way, provide valuable input on club decisions, and access a range of exclusive benefits that aren’t available elsewhere. We love to see blockchain being used in new and innovative ways, and fan tokens certainly do that.” 

Millwall FC improve online ticket shopping experience with OneID partnership

Millwall FC has partnered with UK tech start-up, OneID, to innovate how its fans sign-in online, making it easier for them to interact with the club online when buying tickets and merchandise.

This partnership is symbolic of how football clubs are embracing technology with a fancentric and forward-thinking approach. For example, in 2014, the World Cup in Brazil had more than 3.2 billion football fans view the World Cup across the globe. Since then, online viewing across digital platforms has continued to increase in popularity. The relationship between football and its fans is becoming more digitally led and an increasing number of games are being watched on mobile device worldwide.

Fast forward to present day and The International Football Association Board (The IFAB), football’s lawmaker, has stated that artificial intelligence-driven semi-automated VAR offside technology is on course to be implemented at this year’s World Cup in Qatar. This semi-automated technology was developed by FIFA and should cut the time to make an offside decision down to three to four seconds by providing the VAR with more accurate, faster information.

Steve Kavanagh, Millwall FC CEO, commented: “We’re delighted to announce our partnership with OneID, who have helped the club transform its online offering for supporters. The ease with which fans can use their technology to quickly and easily register for a single sign on account, or ‘Millwall Profile’, speaks for itself, and I’d like to thank everyone at OneID for their efforts throughout this process. We’re excited to work alongside them in the months and years ahead to continue developing together.”

Author

  • Francis is a journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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