Although the sporting industry may not be the sector where Bitcoin has found the most use, it is gradually becoming an attractive domain for the world’s largest crypto. As with other sectors that have benefited from crypto, the merger between a popular industry and new technology like blockchain creates more growth, development, and transformation opportunities. While Bitcoin is popular as a financial tool, especially since it was created for that purpose, its application is felt in several parts of the sporting industry.
Bitcoin promotes inclusion in sports by making participation more accessible. Generally, actual participation in sports may sometimes be restrictive because some teams or leagues tend to localize efforts at attracting and maintaining a thriving fan base. With Bitcoin, these teams can encourage participation in many ways, crossing geographical borders. For instance, the sheer thrill of betting on teams and matches is an integral part of the sporting industry. Instead of restricting this to a local audience, several offshore sportsbooks allow interested fans to cut a slice of the action by placing bets using Bitcoin. According to readwrite.com, gamblers spent an estimated $63 billion on offshore betting sites in 2023. This is direct evidence of the widespread participation possible from merging Bitcoin and sports.
Bitcoin also improves participation by supporting transparency in all forms of fan engagement, especially merchandise sales. Anyone can spend Bitcoin to buy accessories, jerseys, and branded items, which teams can also ship globally. With the Bitcoin blockchain, merchandise sales are transparently processed, making dispute resolution easy and quick. In addition, Bitcoin can help to validate the authenticity of these fan-focused products. This provides undisputable value to specific items, especially if there is an open resale market where second-hand buyers may want to verify items before making payments.
The transparency enjoyed in merchandise sales also extends to ticketing. Blockchain technology ensures that it is nearly impossible for any party to conduct fraudulent ticket sales as transactions are easily verified. In addition, blockchain also helps the ticketing resale market, allowing buyers to resell their tickets or gift tickets to other fans if they prefer to do so.
One of the biggest benefits of Bitcoin in sports is sponsorship. Crypto companies are gradually making an indelible mark in the industry, with plenty of sponsorships coming from these organizations. According to 2022 stats, major sporting events like Formula 1, Major League Baseball, and the NBA received over $2 billion in sponsorships and advertising from crypto firms. Also, the Dogecoin community sponsored Nascar driver Josh Wise in 2014, with 67 million DOGE ($55,000 at the time), and had previously spent over $25,000 worth of DOGE on the Jamaican bobsleigh team for the Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia.
Crypto companies have recognized sports teams as an excellent channel for increasing brand visibility and targeting new audiences. For brand visibility, these companies can easily access the already large fan base sports teams have, to boost their exposure, enjoy increased popularity, and sell more merchandise. The sponsorships are also a great way for crypto companies to target new demographics, introducing the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to audiences that may be inexperienced. In the long run, this strategy promotes general cryptocurrency adoption among sports lovers and enthusiasts.