Los Angeles Lakers starting point guard Dennis Schröder is joining Liquiditeam's tokenized sports ecosystem. He will use the company's blockchain-powered fan community solution, called LT Fan Platform, to create an engaging experience for his fans. The announcement comes just weeks after the German startup launched the BVB-FanToken App with top Bundesliga soccer club Borussia Dortmund. The app is slated to launch before the start of the NBA Playoffs and will be free to access for all fans.
By integrating Liquiditeam's innovative technology, Schröder's fans will have numerous opportunities to interact with him in the digital world. The platform will offer fans exclusive content and the unique opportunity to interact around exciting topics and decisions made by the NBA star. Thanks to the token mechanism, valuable contributions and user collaboration within the community will be incentivized.
Schröder's tokenized community marks another milestone in the player empowerment era. Over the last decade, a growing number of athletes began cultivating direct relationships with their fans. This was made possible with the evolution of fan interaction on social media platforms. With LT Fan Platform, athletes have a new tool to maximize fan interaction and foster a direct communication stream with fans. This presents a logical next step: instead of relying entirely on the big social networks - where they have little to no control, access to fan data, and where being de-platformed is a severe risk - LT Fan Platform gives them their digital platform with full control, direct fan access and various tools to provide a premium experience to their fans.
Schröder explains: "A teammate of mine once famously said that we are more than athletes. So true. Many of my peers are not only ballers but also creators and even activists. LT Fan Platform is where sports and the creator economy merge. I am excited to launch and engage with all my fans, whether they come from my hometown Braunschweig, LA, or anywhere else. My new community will empower those fans to become co-creators in the whole experience."
For Liquiditeam, which launched the first version of BVB's FanToken app a few weeks ago, the signing of the German national basketball player is an exciting development. "The fact that Dennis Schröder trusts our platform shows that it delivers added value for all areas of modern sports. Franchises, sports organizations, or individual athletes - they all have the opportunity to build a new digital home for their fan community," says Thomas Euler, co-founder, and CEO of Liquiditeam.
Dennis Schröder may be the newest addition to the Liquiditeam roster, but he definitely won't be the last. With advanced talks with numerous clubs and athletes globally, Liquiditeam is excited for the fan transformation that is still to come.
Spending time at his parents’ house in North Carolina last year as COVID-19 put the clamps on normalcy, Nat Turner was pondering his next move. The co-founder and CEO of Flatiron Health kept coming back to the hobby that occupied his newly expanded down time.
“I was kind of thinking about what’s next and thought ‘how cool would it be to do something with cards?’”
A few months later, he had put together a group of investors and become the executive chairman of one of the largest collectible companies in the world.
“I started playing around with a bunch of different ideas and frankly, all of them led back to Collectors Universe,” he told SC Daily this week. “I wanted to use computers for detecting trimmed cards. I wanted to allow collectors to be able to see their collections on their phones. It kind of all came back to PSA and extending that vision to other collectibles.”
Collectors Universe, parent company of PSA, wasn’t cheap. The exploding market for sports cards had helped push its stock price from less than $20 to over $90 in a period of several months. In the meantime, Turner had been securing commitments from an increasing number of investors, including D1 Capital Partners, Cohen Private Ventures, fellow collector and Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick and several current and former athletes.
When former astrophysicist and Treasury policy adviser Laurie Shaw tweeted in January that he was joining Manchester City, the football world was abuzz.
While data analysts are becoming more common off the pitch, Mr Shaw became one of the most high-profile signings.
He will be heading up a team of data analysts who use millions of stats about players' performance and the upcoming opposition to help the club's chances of winning - worrying news for City's rivals, perhaps, as they are already on a 21-match winning streak.
While the use of data and technical analysis has become essential for today's football clubs it is no longer confined to the big Premier League teams. Smaller clubs are getting in on the action too, thanks to cheaper and more accessible software.
One such tool is optical tracking, which can be used to pinpoint the position of players on the pitch 25 times a second, in relation to the ball, opposition and team mates.
There is also ball-related data such as passes, shots and turnovers, while more advanced tools can analyze defensive stability, pitch control and off-ball scoring opportunities.
Notwithstanding the cratering of viewership in last month’s Super Bowl LV, streaming services could be poised to snatch what has been the last vestige of appointment television: live sports, according to at least one influential analyst.
According to Nielsen, 96.4 million homes watched Super Bowl LV on TV, the lowest number since 2007. About 5.7 million homes streamed the game, the highest level for that metric ever.
In a research note that was issued before those ratings numbers were released, MoffettNathanson media analyst Michael Nathanson pointed to the growing trend of younger viewers migrating to streaming video, and that it would likely mean that sports would have to follow them. Nathanson didn’t expect big tent sporting events like the Super Bowl or the World Series to switch exclusively online, but he said games from various professional and college sports leagues, a staple of cable networks like TBS, TNT and regional sports networks owned by teams, could be in danger.
Fan engagement has experienced a seismic shift as Covid forced a change in the way we consume sports. The move to online and digital had already begun but was accelerated by the pandemic. It has become critical for organizations to find alternative fan engagement and revenue generating initiatives for fans who prefer to consume sports and events through their technology as well as in person.
Teams must digitally transform to enable fan engagement smart stadiums and through fans devices to create loyalty and nurture loyalty. We’ve all seen apps, social and AR/VR begin to change the game, but now we have a new player that has come hard and fast, the blockchain. With the explosion of NBA Top Shot we are seeing the blockchain being introduced as a game changer in fan engagement and revenue generation in a key growth demographic that teams must to take advantage of.
With blockchain technology, users get access to a decentralized network which facilitates transactions in real-time that is further visible on the documents in real-time. As a distributed ledger system it makes the process of sharing documents more secure and transparent, which as you can imagine has limitless potential in ticketing, game experiences and merchandise as well as integrated experiences for fans to “own” a piece of the action through the purchase of moments(like Top Shot) or other crypto collectibles that have absolutely blown up in the last few months. With blockchain tokens, organizations can deliver loyalty programs that encourages sports fans to become more involved as well as to earn rewards for their involvement and have votes and exclusive benefits only available to token holders. AC Milan and Barcelona have had extremely successful fan token rollouts and have taken advantage of a completely new revenue stream. These uses only scratch the surface of the possibilities of blockchain, the organizations that can be the most creative and forward thinking will reap the most reqards and have the opportunity to truly transform fandom.
There is an unlimited array of uses for the blockchain and crypto collectibles and token available for organizations. The key is to work together to create a strategy and get ahead of the game for utilizing the tech to drive revenue in your organization. This is a brand new vertical and a chance for teams to be leaders in the space and create more runway for the business to generate revenue in an industry that is looking for new ways to grow and engage the key young demographic that is digital first. If the teams with the IP don’t do it first it will allow third parties to come in and take that revenue much like what happened in the fantasy sports space, which makes it even more important for teams to act now to take advantage of this space while it still evolves.
For everyone who has had trouble getting in on NBA Top Shot, The UFC is jumping into the crypto collectibles fray. Here's how that will work. With all these crypto collectible offerings designed mainly for flippers, the important thing is getting in early. Such an exciting new fan engagement vertical.
"UFC on Flow offers fans an unprecedented crypto-enabled experience: unique or limited edition items available for collectors to buy or win, digital assets trading on an open marketplace, and games that make players real stakeholders in the value they help create.
UFC is one of the fastest growing sports of the last decade with 314 million global fans and fighters in over 35 countries. UFC fans are some of the most loyal and passionate in the world of sports — this makes a blockchain experience a natural next step for the franchise.
Because apps and digital assets on Flow exist on a decentralized network, they are also open for developers around the world to build new products, creating an amazing amount of choice for consumers.
For example, any developer can build a gallery application for fans to display their collectibles, or a financial market tracking the price movement of digital assets in all the different games on the network. Third parties can build trading houses, pawn shops, and reselling services — anything demanded by users."
The Minnesota Twins have stepped up efforts to demonstrate they can safely accommodate fans at Target Field when the new Major League Baseball (MLB) season commences by agreeing a partnership with mobile-first technology company Venuetize.
Through the agreement, Venuetize has been engaged to help deliver contactless ordering and payments for concessions and retail items at Target Field. The collaboration will allow Twins fans to order and pay for food, beverages and merchandise via the MLB Ballpark app on their mobile devices.
Combined with the MLB Ballpark app’s digital ticket delivery, the Twins’ partnership with Venuetize seeks to allow for a touchless, single-app fan journey through key areas of the Target Field experience, from frictionless entry to a contactless process for ordering and purchasing food, beverage and merchandise.
Earlier this month, the Twins agreed a deal for 3M to become its official science partner. Over the first few months of the partnership, 3M will work with the Twins and the team’s ballpark operations to supply cleaning, disinfecting, hygiene and physical distancing solutions at Target Field.
No fans were allowed during the 2020 MLB regular season, although a limited number of spectators were permitted for post-season games at Globe Life Field, the new home of the Texas Rangers. The 2021 MLB season gets underway on April 1, with the Twins’ first home game being against the Seattle Mariners on April 8.
Commenting on the Venuetize deal, Twins president and CEO, Dave St. Peter, said: “Delivering opportunities for a contactless experience in as many areas of Target Field as possible is a primary factor in our ongoing discussions with Governor Tim Walz, public health officials and Major League Baseball regarding a pathway to the safe return of Twins fans to our ballpark.
“The ability to order and pre-pay for concessions and merchandise from your seat, on your phone, before quickly picking up your pre-packaged selection, minimises concourse congestion and potential touchpoints, while maximising fan safety and convenience. Venuetize is a proven industry leader, we are grateful for their seamless integration with the MLB Ballpark app, and we look forward to further collaboration that enhances the fan experience.”
Upon returning to Target Field, Twins fans will be able to open the MLB Ballpark app, use the mobile ordering function to select their desired food and drink, and complete payment via their personal mobile wallet – all from their mobile device, and without leaving their seat.
Pre-packaged order pick up from separate, designated ‘grab-and-go’ stations will complete the contactless dining and/or retail experience, while greatly reducing lines at traditional concession stands.
Venuetize this month moved to enhance its mobile technology and e-commerce platform by partnering up with location-based marketing services provider Gimbal. The venture between the two companies aims to bring real-time location capabilities to the sports, entertainment, and hospitality industries, augmenting the fan and guest experience via rich location-based services inside and outside venues.
The Florida Panthers NHL ice hockey team also agreed partnerships with Venuetize and software company Bypass to provide cashless experiences for fans at BB&T Center. Venuetize will serve as the Panthers’ mobile partner, while Bypass, which is now part of Fiserv, became the team’s point-of-sale system partner for BB&T Center.
Commenting on the Twins deal, Todd San Jule, Venuetize’s vice-president of product and innovation, said: “Venuetize has been fortunate to work with several professional sports teams and leagues that have held events with fans back at venues. We can already tell from the data that mobile payments are reducing order time and improving the overall fan experience.”
The current trend in sports that combines fan engagement, the collecting boom and the crypto frenzy is built on the blockchain. NBA Top Shot has emerged as the early leader in this area with a product that is all the rage in key demos. It's a brand new exciting vertical that has some legs to it and looks to be the future of fan engagement and has application into many different areas of sport. Let's take a deeper look.
"What is NBA Top Shot? It sells packs of Moments – often five of them – which are video clips of basketball plays with animations. Much like physical cards, users won’t know what’s in the pack before they open it. Each Moment has a nonfungible token (NFT), which is unique to that specific Moment. With an NFT when a Moment is traded, its authenticity can be proven. And without the need to send physical memorabilia, the transfer is very quick. The NFT token standard was first created by Dapper Labs through its success with the CryptoKitties app back in 2017.
It seems nonfungible tokens are the third major application to break through on public blockchains after cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi). And possibly the first mainstream one.
With Bitcoin passing a trillion in market capitalization and frothy markets everywhere, Dapper got its timing right."
The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) and StreamAMG have signed a multi-year partnership to launch a new OTT service. The service will give basketball fans in Canada, the United States, and internationally access to live CEBL games, as well as on demand content including highlights, interviews, and features.
The first professional sports league in Canada to return after Covid-19 shut down sports nationwide, the CEBL Summer Series was viewed by millions of Canadian and international viewers in July 2020. The CEBL will build on the series’ record engagement with a new OTT service that makes it easier than ever for sports fans to enjoy live pro basketball, and provides a year-round destination for video content.
Commissioner and CEO of the CEBL Mike Morreale said of the new partnership “The CEBL is excited to partner with StreamAMG to launch this new OTT service. We see it as vital to our continued growth, and StreamAMG’s technical expertise and experience in global sports gives us everything we need to take Canadian pro basketball to new audiences at home and abroad."
To power the all-new CEBL video service, StreamAMG will provide its end-to-end OTT platform, including a customised OTT website based on their StreamPlay frontend framework. The CEBL will also benefit from CloudMatrix, the agency’s award-winning on demand content entitlement and distribution system, and employ its CloudPay platform to handle subscriptions, payment and user management.
Mark Silver, StreamAMG’s General Manager, North America added "We’re delighted to be working with the CEBL to take Canadian basketball to more fans than ever before. The League’s rapid growth and its approach to digital is impressive, and we’re excited to support its OTT ambitions in the 2021 season and beyond.”
The CEBL is planning to officially launch the new OTT platform internationally before the start of the 2021 season.
Elys Game Technology Extends Partnership with Sportradar to Provide Live U.S. Sports Data on its Betting Platform
Elys Game Technology, Corp., an interactive gaming and sports betting technology company, announced today that it extended its strategic partnership with Sportradar, the leading global provider of sports betting and sports entertainment products and services, ahead of the launch of its sports betting platform in the U.S.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Elys will gain access to official pre-game and in-play data for major U.S. sports from Sportradar. This new partnership affords Elys the ability to offer a wide array of live, in-game wagering options at its planned future U.S. retail sports betting locations, commencing in Washington DC, which is expected to launch in the coming months.
Matteo Monteverdi, CEO and President of Elys Game Technology, Corp., stated, “We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Sportradar to include industry-leading U.S. sports data for live in-game wagers on our sports betting platforms. The new agreement further enhances our product portfolio for live streaming sporting events and should open up new opportunities in the sizable U.S. sports betting market ahead of our scheduled first U.S. deployment in Washington DC. According to Morgan Stanley, the U.S. sports betting market is expected to generate nearly $7 billion in revenue by 2025. We believe that Sportradar’s cutting edge technology, superior data and analytics will enable us to execute our vision of building a premier, end-to-end sports betting solution for European and North American gaming operators.”
Eduard Blonk, Chief Commercial Officer of Sportradar, stated, “We’ve been long-time partners with Elys, a trusted provider of innovative wagering solution services within the European market. This expansion of our partnership in the U.S. is a natural next step given Elys’ growth trajectory. We look forward to working together and bringing a unique betting experience for Elys’ loyal customers for the upcoming future sports seasons.”