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With the rate of crypto adoption increasing globally, many industries have started partnering with the crypto industry to stay relevant, and in some cases to make life easier. One of the most lucrative sporting industries - the football industry - has seen many major teams partnering with crypto firms for sponsorships, but could crypto play a more pivotal, integrated role in the logistics of this industry as a whole?
We’ve seen the likes of many major English football teams such as Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and many more sign deals with crypto firms regarding kit sponsorships, but the latest development is a very different kind of partnership between the football and crypto industries. Crypto exchange giant, Binance has collaborated with Società Sportiva Lazio to launch non-fungible token (NFT) tickets for all of the sports club’s home matches at Stadio Olimpico.
This development comes after the French Football Federation (FFF) reported that according to their records, 35,000 fans attended the famous EUFA Champions League final at the Stade de France with either counterfeit tickets or no tickets at all. According to the FFF, 75,000 tickets were on offer for the final, with 110,000 people attending the game at the stadium in France - the FFF reports this number to be "based on information collected from various public and private operators". The FFF concluded that around the stadium, there were "35,000 extra people in possession of counterfeit tickets or without tickets" and these people caused major disruption “by blocking the gates to the stadium and preventing some holders of real tickets from entering before the kick-off of the match scheduled for 9.00 pm”.
Following the chaos caused by these counterfeit tickets in the UEFA Champions League 2022, Binance has seized the opportunity to launch the pilot of its NFT ticketing solution with football club Società Sportiva Lazio for the current 2022/23 season. Binance has highlighted that NFT tickets have the potential to solve the issue of fake tickets and eliminate scalping, thus preventing disorderliness in upcoming football and sporting events. Apart from access to events, the NFT tickets will also serve other purposes such as store and match discounts, token giveaways and other experiences with Società Sportiva Lazio. With this collaboration, NFT tickets will be available for all of Società Sportiva Lazio’s home matches. Marco Canigiani, an executive at Società Sportiva Lazio, has said that current ticket holders will be able to claim their NFT tickets for free and use them to enter Stadio Olimpico and enjoy the benefits that come with these NFT tickets.
Binance executive, Zoe Wei has expressed that the launch of NFT ticketing showcases the crypto industry in a different light by showing a different way to use NFTs and in doing this, highlighting a significant use case for Web3 technology. Market researchers at Bitcoin Method have mentioned that blockchain-based tickets have the potential to eventually expand from the sports industry and branch out into the broader entertainment industry. With the chaos that ensued with the fake tickets at the UEFA Champions League final, the major flaws of traditional ticketing systems were made apparent, spurring discussions with Web3 experts on how blockchain-based ticketing can provide a solution to future sporting events. Josh Katz, the CEO of NFT marketplace YellowHeart, has argued that ticketing could just be the most compelling use case for NFTs. He highlighted that event organisers will have a defence mechanism against counterfeit tickets by having proof of authenticity for each ticket.
With the potential rollout of these NFT tickets for these matches, it’s only a matter of time before the English Premier League and many other major sporting events. This would be a significant win for both the sporting and crypto industries - making logistics for the sporting industry run smoothly and increasing the crypto adoption rate as a result of trust in NFT tickets.
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