Crypto meets American Sports, but will it resonate with the tradition?
Colleges are huge traditional institutions all across the USA. College sport is a big thing among fans and television viewers. And March Madness is huge too, referring to the single-elimination colleges' basketball tournament that takes place annually during the last two weeks of March and the first week of April. The 2022 NCAA Men's basketball tournament is already on its way, attracting the attention of college sports fans all across the country. Now, how about adding some crypto and NFT magic, or what others term “madness”, to such March Madness?
Several companies have already introduced NFT initiatives into the sports mix. Software company Overtime, with its online sports streaming service, recently offered its customers a pass/card called BracketX, which gives its holder access to multiple live sports contests, games, and exclusive events. The first contest is for fans to build “Fantasy teams” and if their player picks succeed, they can win money prizes. However, ticket holders can also receive NFTs throughout the contest. If they don’t like their picks, they can sell their tickets on Magic Eden, a crypto marketplace for buyers and sellers. And if all that wasn’t enough, a lot of the action and discussion takes place exclusively on Discord.
Then there is Draft Kings, another fantasy sports software company, offering digital collectibles in a campaign called “Primetime NFT series”. They tied the release of their first token series with the March basketball tournament, naming the series “2022 College Hoops Collection”. Also jumping on the college basketball madness bandwagon is Recur, which designs and develops branded NFTs for purchase, collection, and re-selling. This company operates the NFTU marketplace where customers can exchange their NFTs.
As this is a fairly new market, with companies now offering their NFTs in relation to sporting events, one begs the question of would consumers see this as just a passing trend or will it have legs. If it’s up to the market, the answer is obviously a big “yes”, as more and more companies incorporate such tokens into their customer loyalty programs or for trading them through their platforms. But how does the market react and what are consumers doing about it?
Affogata, the customer intelligence platform, tracks, monitors and analyzes consumer behavior and reactions to companies' products and services in many industries. It would be interesting to follow how consumers react to the exchange opportunities that are opening up for them all over the place, how they manage to handle the technical and financial aspects of dealing with NFTs, and is it a “young-only-demographic” phenomenon or is it cross-generational.
Also, since this is a new addition to the traditional college sports tournament (that started in 1939!), would fans embrace it or view the market as a redundant operation? Companies that employ Affogata’s services already stay in tune with what their customers want and need, as per the collection of their consumer's voice from many different digital platforms online. It is their ability to analyze consumer reactions fast for actionable insights that will determine if their product and services are working well for them.