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Sport has the power to reach everyone everywhere. More than 3.6 billion people watched the 2018 FIFA World Cup and we will see if these numbers are surpassed this year. Will it be better in the metaverse?
The economic value of the sports metaverse is expected to grow to $80 trillion by 2030, according to a report from Web3 Studio, Web3’s expert investment and financial advisory firm that advises and reports on sports in the metaverse.
The report paints an interesting picture of how digital technologies, from non-collectible tokens (NFTs) to digital sports, can further increase fan engagement.
“This is fueling growing consumer interest in new ways to connect with their favorite sports and teams, as well as positive attitudes toward new ways to monetize the sports star experience,” the report said.
The company measured the potential market by ranking the opportunities for each segment of the sports metaverse from the bottom up, from the largest $29 billion opportunity for “moments” to the current smallest $2 billion opportunity for sports.
The report also paints a picture of the landscape of the meta-universe of sports by painting a picture of the underlying market landscape, showcasing new emerging categories. NBA Top Shot sparked the NFT craze by selling “moments” to fans. NFT collectors developed by Dapper Labs generated $224 million in NFT sales in February 2021. That spilled over into other sports as collectibles were collected by fans. Cards and collectors have driven the NFT market, with companies like Sorare valuing it at $4.3 billion.
Manufacturers of wearables and fan items, such as The Football Club and Fancurve, started with their own digital materials. Adidas and Nike followed suit, with Nike buying RTFKT and launching a community app called .Swoosh.
The teams delivered gifts to fans and athletes. The fans who received these badges had to vote, for example, to choose a song for Juventus Turin’s record goal.
Competitive eSports teams and players competed against each other for cash. Teams like FaZe have become lifestyle brands, but megahitters like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Fortnite from the Web2 era are yet to be found in the space.
Virtual real estate and a meta-universe have been created to provide fans with a VIP experience. Decentraland, Somnium Space and The Sandbox have capitalized on the idea of making virtual real estate more valuable than mere cyberspace.
The report highlights a generational shift among sports fans, from older passive fans engaging in linear entertainment to younger active fans looking for more ways to enjoy their favorite sports. That’s why we’re seeing deals like the one with FIFA removing blockchain partnerships with Alogorand and Roblox to launch FIFA World, an interactive world with more than 50 million active users on its platform. According to Web3 Studio, GenZ fans are willing to pay more for sports content. And its consumption is moving from passive media such as television to social networks aimed at young people.
Web3 begins to accept sports sponsorships. Brands from Budweiser to Visa are making strides in this space, and that’s one of the topics we’ll be discussing at GamesBeat Summit: In the Metaverse 3 on February 1-2, 2023. These brands will bring sports fans to all parts. including those metaves.
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