To say that blockchain and cryptocurrency had a “good year” in 2021 would be largely understating the many milestones the industry surpassed. Markets hit all-time highs across all major cryptocurrencies and several large public companies went public about their intentions to integrate DeFi-related products into their portfolios. This included the rise of NFTs, a market that soared past $40 billion in 2021, bringing waves of new investors into the space.
Initially, NFTs mainly consisted of limited digital art collections consumers would purchase — or “mint’’ — on a developer’s website, to later be sold on marketplace platforms like Opensea. This caused quite a stir as some “jpeg images” fetched upwards of $1 million. It wasn’t long after that a multitude of NFT collections entered the market, calling into question not only their actual value but the long-term sustainability of this asset class in general.
However, almost right on cue, these immutable, irreplaceable digital assets proved to have utility in a wide range of other industries which include (but are not limited to) music, gaming, and even sports. Consumers and corporations would quickly learn that NFTs were here to stay, and even though their market growth was impressive, it was still in its infancy.
How NFTs Are Changing Sports
Of the industries mentioned above, the latter of the three involved sports franchises protecting original memorabilia from rampant counterfeiting with NFT-based items. It began with the professional basketball team the Golden State Warriors, which was the first pro sports team to release an NFT collection. When asked in an interview with ESPN about the decision to produce digital memorabilia, Warriors president Brandon Schneider did not mince words saying, “This is the wave of the future, so we’ve been studying what the best way for us to get involved and create something for our fans is.”
As you might expect, the Warriors were soon followed by other professional sports teams like the Washington Wizards (NBA) and Capitals (NHL), releasing NFT collections of their own. NFTs were a way for teams to protect the authenticity of their memorabilia, maintain their value, and capitalize on the growing trend of consumers spending more time and money seeking out and purchasing digital goods.
The Sports Metaverse
While NFT sports memorabilia is without question a booming market with phenomenal upside potential, there is another segment that combines NFTs and sports that until now remains largely untapped. The emergence of the metaverse in DeFi has sparked an important discussion of how companies can leverage a digital ecosystem to connect with their user base and create new virtual reality worlds for people who share the same interests.
Play to Earn gaming, also known as NFT gaming, is a clear example of proof of concept in this regard. It has become the fastest-rising phenomenon in DeFi, featuring metaverses that are powered by blockchain technology. They provide players the opportunity to earn rewards by owning the assets they accumulate in games which typically include NFTs and a game’s native token. These rewards have tangible value and can be sold or traded on the open market, allowing users to cash in for their time spent playing.
And while NFT gaming platforms have clearly capitalized on metaverse technology, XMANNA takes the bold step of filling a void in professional sports to combine the metaverse with live sporting events, thus creating an entirely new sector of play-to-earn gaming.
The New Generation of P2E
XMANNA tackles the issue of the rising disconnect between fans and sports franchises. The formula for fan engagement has remained largely unchanged over the few decades and this, combined with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in declining attendance across all major live sporting events.
To reverse this pattern, XMANNA provides clubs and advertisers with an easy-to-use P2E gaming app that is scalable and allows for customized content integration to appeal to target audiences. It is a digital evolution in the world of sports that is long overdue and one that elevates the overall fan experience with the chance to earn many different rewards simply for watching their favorite teams play live.
The XMANNA system features a diverse collection of NFT collectibles which correspond to tangible rewards and perks that franchises can offer their fans. A new collection of these NFT rewards can be minted according to specific events, which means the rewards themselves never grow stale, ensuring fans experience something unique and dynamic with every event they attend.
A Metaverse Stadium Full of Rewards
XMANNA brings the world of sports up to speed with the growing number of consumers who have embraced the idea of digital interaction. The digital stadium in the XMANNA metaverse provides endless possibilities in the games and rewards it can support. Seat holders will have the option to purchase a single stadium seat or skybox, and get access to exclusive rewards that can include:
- Access to a global network of premium events within the metaverse stadium
- Access to Sponsors and other parties who are hosting their own events and drops
- Unique tournaments
- Season Pass to access the Virtual Stadium
- VIP appearances inside the metaverse
- Additional XMANNA ecosystem application perks
- Exclusive avatars
- NFT Artwork
- Beta access for new games
- NFT mystery box drops with prizes such as signed memorabilia, VIP experiences, athlete meet & greets, and much more.
Not only does this revolutionize the method in which clubs and advertisers connect with their audience, but it also delivers a new and exciting way for fans to connect with the teams and players they love, incentivizing them once again to watch live.
An Industry Ready for Change
For sports franchises/clubs to bridge the widening gap between them and their fans, it is essential to keep up with the rapidly changing demographics and digital trends. Further, this innovative approach must be applied to every layer of the industry, as consumers today are looking for a truly immersive digital experience. XMANNA provides the platform that covers all of these areas with a metaverse full of rewards-based incentives and a scalable app that clubs across all sports can utilize. With customized content, advertisers and clubs can appeal to the needs and preferences of their intended audiences and breathe new life into a once declining market.
XMANNA takes an innovative approach to improve the overall fan experience at live stadium events. This scalable state-of-the-art app enables stadiums, clubs, and advertisers to connect with their fanbase and incentivize them to participate in games, tournaments, and various other play-to-earn features that offer rewards-based incentives. This ultimately stimulates the in-stadium economy as more fans are inclined to attend live sporting and gaming events hosted by them and ensures a healthy ROI for advertisers as state-of-the-art KPIs provide insights into important trends and behaviors.
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