World Cup Introduces Web3 to 5 Billion People

The World Cup is one rare global phenomenon where all races, nationalities, ideologies, and religions are welcome.

The 2018 World Cup was the most-watched sporting event in the world, with 3.5 billion viewers around the globe. This figure will rise to 5 billion in the next six weeks.

Web3 will be connecting with more than half of the world’s population in Qatar this year through sponsorships, ads, and interactive experiences.

VISA will offer a unique hybrid experience to football fans during the FIFA Fan Festival. This includes an NFT auction as well as an immersive experience that allows World Cup attendees to create their own NFTs using the Cronos blockchain.

Algorand was made FIFA’s official Blockchain partner earlier this year.

Last month, FIFA+ Collect, an NFT marketplace launched in Algorand by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA). This marketplace will let football fans own digital collectibles that feature iconic moments from FIFA World Cup history and FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Layer-1 blockchain will not be the only Web3 presence within Qatar. Significant sponsorship deals were signed by Budweiser and for the World Cup. This is a great opportunity for Budweiser to show off its NFT strategy via the Budverse, which has a lot of Web3 exposure.

Qatar 2022 offers a great opportunity to bring Web3 and crypto to a wider audience. The World Cup’s public exposure to blockchain technology is just one of many Web3-sporting collaborations.

It is evident that blockchains and sports marketing make a great team, from the early successes of NBA Top Shot, and Sorare to Chiliz’s Web3 sports ecosystem and the brands that decorate 80% F1 cars.

Blockchain and football – A fantasy match

The most popular sport is football, and the World Cup will give blockchain unprecedented visibility and exposure. Cristiano Ronaldo is the most popular person on Instagram, while Messi or Neymar are both very well-known. The story of Web3 and football began long before.

Sorare is a blockchain-based fantasy football league. Sorare allows people to collect NFT card cards that are hosted on Starkware (an Ethereum Layer-2 solution). Sorare has become more affordable, faster, and easier to access since the switch from Ethereum to Starkware.

Each week, players choose their best players and collect points based upon each performance. Sorare offers gamers an intimate experience of managing a real-life team unlike fantasy sports platforms.

Sorare has been the second-largest NFT collector in terms of trading volume over the past 30 days, trailing only the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The fantasy sports cards outperformed other top-tier collections such as Doodles and Azuki.

sorare - erling haaland

InsideNFTs reports that the Erling Haaland Unique Card sold for 265 Ethereum or 609,000 EUR last Jan. Mbappe is next at 416,000 EUR. Messi and Ronaldo’s cards were sold at over 230,000 EUR each.

Sorare added the official NBA licenses to its offer in August. This allowed them to launch their fantasy basketball games. Fantasy players can trade cards featuring their favorite stars, including Jayson Tatum and Stephen Curry.

The Major League Baseball (MLB) was the most recent to enter the space. 

Decentralization of Sports

One of the most interesting concepts in the world of sports is powered by the Chiliz blockchain: fan tokens. Chiliz has created fan tokens, which are fungible utility tokens that allow fans to connect with their favorite team, sports team, or brand.

Fans who have fan tokens can vote on kit designs, jersey numbers, and celebration songs. Voters can also enter drawings to win official merchandise and VIP access. Tickets, special deals, and much more.

These governance activities take place on powered by Chiliz. will launch more than 500 polls in 2022. According to the team, 17,000 users are expected to have received gifts and rewards related to their teams by end of this year.

Team Fotball tokens

At the time of writing, there are 82 fan tokens with a market cap totaling $326.8 million. Fan tokens have been launched by football giants such as FC Barcelona, Atletico de Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Additionally, clubs from Argentina and Portugal followed suit.

Fan engagement has been a hot topic as of late.

It is interesting that fan tokens can be affected by the results of clubs. The 25% drop in the price of AFA tokens after Argentina’s defeat to Saudi Arabia in their first match at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar is an example.

Argentine Token price

Fan tokens have been launched by other clubs than football clubs. These include the F1 racing teams, the Tennis Davis Cup, and esports teams.

CHZ is the digital currency used to power the platform. The newly launched CC2 – Chiliz testnet aims at becoming the first blockchain focusing on sports. They have created a bespoke infrastructure to enable them to create sport-specific Web3 experiences.

Anaheim’s test net phase 1 will see the creation of NFT smart contracts and fan token smart contracts.

Massive Funding in Web3 x Sports

This report covers the most important sports dapps. However, it is essential to evaluate the economic environment to fully understand the potential for sports in the dapp ecosystem.

Bloomberg reports that crypto-related brands have contributed more than $2.4 Billion to sports marketing over the last 18 months. F1 signed a huge $100m deal with during the summer of 2021.

Surprisingly, almost 80% of racing teams have at minimum one crypto partnership with, OKX, ByBit, and up to three weeks ago FTX. in FIFA world cup at qatar also signed a huge 20-year deal worth $700 million for the naming rights of the Staples Center. This was in November 2021 has also partnered with the French football powerhouse Paris Saint Germain and the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL.

Similar deals have been made with Manchester United and Tezos, while Binance was named Lazio’s primary jersey sponsor. Binance recently announced a deal with Cristiano Ronaldo in order to launch the first official NFT collection for the player.

Coinbase is also a well-known name among sports fans in the USA. Coinbase has committed to spending nearly $200 million with the NBA over four years.

Coinbase launched a Super Bowl advertising campaign in February. Although they didn’t achieve the desired results, the campaign still reached the crucial goal of promoting the Web3 platform.

FTX was a prominent name in the world of sports, for good and bad. FTX signed a $135 million, 19-year deal with Miami-Dade County in January 2021 for the naming rights of the Miami Heat’s home arena.

FTX also signed a 10-year contract worth $210 million with Team SoloMid (TSM) later that year. Both contracts were canceled immediately after the last events.

Esports Might Live Through Web3

Over the last decade, the esports industry has witnessed tremendous growth. In 2019, 100 million people worldwide watched the League of Legends tournament. It was broadcast in 19 different languages through 30 platforms, including ESPN.

To put this into perspective, 130 million across the globe watched Super Bowl LV.

Business of Esports - Bandai Namco Unveils Gundam Metaverse Project

With a planet of 2.4 billion gamers, blockchain-based games have the potential to fuel the esports industry for years to come. In September, during AxieCon at Barcelona, Sky Mavis hosted three esports tournaments with a total pool prize of $1 million.

Thanks to gaming guilds, and the next generation of blockchain games, including Splinterlands, Gods Unchained, multiple MMOs, and battle royales, it might be only a matter of time for Web3 games to break into the esports mainstream stage.

Going Forward in Web3

High-end technology has been a hallmark of the sports industry. F1 teams use cutting-edge technology in the cars they drive.

Moneyball was a story about how the A’s used advanced analytics and became a strong team despite having a weak roster.

Blockchain will change the sporting model, connecting fans to their favorite players and teams in a new way.

Blockchain has huge potential in the world of sports. Web3 esports hopes to be a platform for mass adoption.

Fan tokens are a way to disrupt the way people interact with their favorite clubs. They provide a sense of belonging and reward token holders with real-life utility.

The sports dapps take fantasy and collectible games to the next level. It was impossible five years ago to own licensed footage from iconic moments from World Cups and the NBA, MLB, or the NFL.

Sport NFTs allow individuals to trade collectibles on a secure and free market. Blockchain-based fantasy games are a way to foster new economies.

Finally, through web3 communities like CryptoPunks, the Bored Ape Yacht club, or other NFT groups, fans can temporarily share the same social layers as renowned athletes such as Lebron James, Tom Brady, or Serena Williams. Discord servers and exclusive events can help to blur the socio-elite lines.

This is just the beginning of decentralized sports models. The increasing presence of web3 in other forms such as DAOs like WAGMI United, Group Sport, or LinksDao furthers this hypothesis. 

Industry Trends & Analysis

The future of sports delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

Related Articles

Industry Research & Analysis

Trends, news, & companies shaping the future of sports delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

Industry Research & Analysis

Trends, news, & companies shaping the future of sports delivered to your inbox every Thursday.