SPORSORA – NFT – Crypto and Blockchain, a universe that shakes the world of sports »PACA’s economic and political newsletter

In recent months, the phenomenon of NFTs has increased? to reach the general public.

This arrival represents new opportunities for the sector, with the development of new tools to exploit the value of sport, which for the vast majority existed before the pandemic, and which has benefited from the spectator’s capacity a? get into an even more connected world? and dematerialized than before. Web 3.0 is thus conceived as a new winner for professional sports. SPORSORA, the reference organization for thinking about and influencing the development of the sports economy, suggests the subject, the players and the trends and shares good practice.

“NFT / Crypto / Blockchain: diving into this universe that shakes the world of sports”, conference hosted by SPORSORA in the BNP Paribas area at the Philippe CHATRIER court, under Roland Garros, Wednesday, June 1, 2022.
Photo credit © Morgan BOVE / SPORSORA

Magali Tézenas Du Montcel, SPORSORA General Delegate: “This SPORSORA debate meeting is a sequence dedicated to interpreting one of the 7 market trends identified in the 2021/2022 Guide” Who are the sports business experts? »: The emergence of the virtual drive of technology. While NFTs are a means of creating new sources of revenue for rights holders, however, these new assets have other benefits as they also make it possible to create tab engagement around brands. This is a real challenge today for our entire ecosystem: clubs, sports partners and competitions. »

Expert voice with Havas Play

Stéphane Guerry, President and CEO, Havas Play:

We hear a lot of criticism about NFTs, cryptocurrencies, like back then about the internet or e-commerce. But this phenomenon is made to last because where there is passion, there is potential. Especially when talking about unique and authentic property rights with a digital object. This adds value to the transaction of these intangible goods.

This phenomenon, which comes from the world of art, and also from social networks, with, however, a tendency for speculation to be considered, takes precedence in the world of sport.

The emergence of the metaverse (virtual world) will accentuate these trends with a large number of applications and many sponsors, with fans at the heart of strategic thinking. The players are several: those who focus on the crypto transaction, those on the NFT transaction and those on the Fan Token transaction. These players raise a lot of money and enter into many partnerships in sports. The market started with Fan Token companies and then the investment gradually increased and is estimated at 5 billion in 2025.

Two major players, the NBA and Sorare, have popularized NFTs with huge trading volumes, 16 million for “TopShot” and 500 million sales for Sorare. For the NBA, it worked with a forward-looking vision and a principle of scarcity that creates value. For Sorare, it works on the model of a fantasy league, with a Panini 3.0 card principle that uses the image of the players. The concept of gamification and the principle of “virtual / real” is essential, and involves the players directly in the decisions.

Today, this phenomenon affects all players in sports (athletes, clubs, federations, leagues). Beneficiaries must have a specific strategy in line with their objectives. The main question is to know what you want to do with your NFTs around 4 pillars: fan base, engagement, revenue generation and promotion; knowing that the buyer profile is of 4 types: collectors, speculators, communities and technology lovers.

To make NFTs a powerful tool, it is necessary to ask the following questions before defining your strategy by choosing the right partners: what storytelling, what utility, what commitment and what gamification? »

One-on-one interview: The Blockchain group

“NFTs are already a fundamental trend in the market, but they are completely revolutionizing the relationship between a brand or a club, with its audience, by creating a new type of relationship. By adding value to what is fundamentally very illiquid. NFT ‘er is a means to make these values ​​fluid, in a completely personal way, in luxury, real estate and also sports.In this area we launched in collaboration with Fan Live Rugby Sorare with Top 14 player cards, rarity levels and a fantasy game with Rugby World Cup France 2023 in sight.

NFTs drain many investors. Although there is a lot of buzz or hype surrounding this flare, I believe in its durability. We are only in the beginning, we need to remember the bubbles around the Internet or the technology sector. The market will be stabilized.

Today, investors are connected to the traditional market. You really have to ask yourself the question of the value you want to create based on the rights you own. »Round Table: NFT, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain: What Sports Opportunities?

Victoriano Melero, Secretary-General of Paris-Saint Germain:

“At PSG, we have several types of partnerships around NFTs, cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. The first is a licensing agreement with Sorare. The other through an NFT collection that combines art and sports, led by artist Ludo, and whose goal is to fund our gift fund. The third with Socios.com, with which we issued Fan tokens. The last, in sponsorship, with crypto.com.

We have many projects, we are moving forward little by little. Our philosophy is always to be at the forefront of innovation according to the universes. We are expanding the development of our products and our activations in web 3.0 with the parallel launch of new uses in this new universe. Our goal is to have the most qualified fan base possible. This type of product is aimed at an international audience that creates engagement in the club.

We have already launched several operations with the owners of Fan Token, which allow them to participate, for example, in the choice of the requirement of the captain’s band, in the choice of posters on the facade of the stadium, in the choice of FIFA22 jacket. We invite them to participate in this kind of reflection. We also create contests and also “Meet and Greet” operations.

More than consulting, with Web 3, sports have a unique opportunity, like the luxury industry, to create its consortium, its own ecosystem to provide users with security. »

Florian Jacob, Marketing Manager for the offer and activation of FFTennis:

“Roland-Garros Game, Seat & Match”, which we unveiled a few days ago, is a collection of 5,000 NFTs with unique designs that symbolically represent the seats on the bottom stand of the Philippe-Chartrier track. It is a long-term project with connections between the virtual and the real with benefits reserved for people with this NFT (setting up activities to win the opportunity to play on the field in Roland-Garros, visit backstage, discounts on our merchandising assortments, tickets to final in 2023, win the matchpoint game during the tournament with their NFT certificates certifying their authenticity, etc.).

We address the general public by developing the concept of a privileged “club”. To serve the community, we have launched a Discord server that brings together all the owners of our NFTs, to animate it all year round and trust that they can continue to develop this project.

Over time, the Roland-Garros brand and its stadium live all year round with events such as boxing, music, fashion shows and soon paddle and basketball. We want to bring all these events to our community in a privileged way through our NFT. We open our doors to fans, not just tennis fans, and we want our partners to get involved, there is a build-up process that needs to be done.

On this type of project, it is important to surround oneself well, to work well with marketing and communication upstream to federate. »

Jean-Baptiste Alliot, CEO of Le Tremplin, Sport Tech incubator at Paris & Co:

“With this phenomenon and this trend around NFTs and cryptocurrencies, there will be new categories of rights. This will depend on the rights holders’ strategy. The concept of ‘utility’ is important when launching your NFT: it is the whole value behind this NFT that must be considered because it is what this digital property offers that is crucial to its adoption and successful activation.

The community and the commitment associated with a good storytelling and the notion of utility are the ingredients to make the best use of the potential of this new market. The most important questions are: what goals will you achieve through your NFTs? How can they create value for these goals? And we can also see it in the medium term, namely how can they regain control over the collection and use of data?

The development of sports organizations is also crucial. The pandemic has accelerated things, sports players are taking a less conservative approach than before: the “nice to have” has become a “must-have”. We must constantly innovate, anticipate trends by adapting to organizations and forms of governance. There is real content work, but we see a real desire from the sports sector, with a learning phase.

There are inevitably bubbles, speculations surrounding this type of new phenomena. In terms of Web 3.0, today we are just like 1997-98 with the Internet. There will be many movements in this bubble that will certainly burst, but whose technology will persist and continue to bring value. »


SPORSORA is the reference organization for thinking about and influencing the development of the sports economy thanks to a convergence of expertise, influence from a collective and a committed network. SPORSORA was founded in 1994 and brings together more than 250 members (advertisers, agencies, rights holders, media, research and educational institutions, etc.) and connects a network of more than 1,500 professionals who meet at several organized events, exchange during workshops, colleges and commissions, take advantage of services and act in the public interest. www.sporsora.com

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