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Blockchain In The Sports Industry: 10 Startups To Watch In 2019

  • 18 January 2019
  • Sam Mire

The sports industry is using blockchain to reinvent the way that fans interact with their favorite sports, and several companies are springing up to help facilitate this unlikely intersection. From performance analytics to club pairings, teams that want to remain competitive are modernizing their approach their statistics, strategy, and fan relationships using the same technology that powers Bitcoin.

Professional soccer clubs are launching blockchain tools for fans to invest in teams. Crypto collectibles based on Major League Baseball are being turned into a novel form of entertainment. Down the road, tokenized athletes will be interacting with their fans and investors in a way that reinvents what it means to be a sports fan.


London Football ExchangeLondon Football Exchange

The London Football Exchange is the first tokenized market for professional football clubs (that’s “soccer” for the Americans). By issuing unique tokens paired with various clubs, the LFE lets fans put their money where their mouths are by investing in their favorite players and teams. The investing experience includes match tickets, tours, player meet-and-greets, and other promotions.

Date Founded: November 1, 2017

Funding Type: Private


Fan Control Football LeagueFCFL – Fan-Controlled Football League

The Fan-Controlled Football League (FCFL) is the self-described “first professional league where fans call the shots.” Fans tune in on Twitch to call plays in real time, voting on which play to deploy on each down. Fans also pick their team name, logo, and rosters, receiving FAN Tokens commensurate with their team’s success. The league has been in the works since November 2016 and is set to launch in early 2019.

Date Founded: November 2016

Funding Type: ICO


ChilizchiliZ

chiliZ is a platform that incentivizes a deeper level of fan interaction with their favorite sports and esports teams. The idea centers on crowdfunded team management, beginning with a site called Socios. Socios has partnered with the professional football clubs PSG and Juventus, allowing fans greater autonomy over club decisions like which jersey kits to wear. They can buy, sell, and trade, and in time, chiliZ expects itsbrand of fan engagement will be the future of sport.

Funding Type: Venture-backed


BlitzPredictBlitzPredict

BlitzPredict blends sports betting analysis and blockchain technology to bring bettors fresh betting advice across sports. Users who lay down cash on the outcome of sporting events will be able to ensure that experts are actually betting on outcomes that they claim to be, because all expert wagers will be made public.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding Type: Venture-backed


SportcoSportCo

SportCo helps fans make money from their love of sports. Their digital platform lets users create original content, play trivia games with other users, make pre-match predictions, and write blog posts. In return for contributing to the SportCo ecosystem, fans receive SportCo coins. This proprietary digital currency lets fans access apps, games, and memorabilia, and even tickets to sporting events.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding Type: Private


unikrnUnikrn

Unikrn is a collaboration between tech enthusiasts Rahul Sood and Karl Flores. With seed funding from Mark Cuban, Unikrn contending to be one of the world’s biggest esports companies. They are gaining traction because they are building blockchain infrastructure between betting, blockchain, content, and fan experiences.

Date Founded: 2014

Funding Type: Venture-backed/ICO


LucidLucid Sight

Lucid Sight is an Los Angeles–based Ethereum blockchain developer that specializes in games. Their stable of software has racked up more than one million downloads across PlayStation, Steam, Oculus Rift, and Gear VR. Their sports-related ventures include a collaboration with the LA Dodgers on blockchain-enabled bobbleheads, as well as their  MLB Crypto Baseball game, which lets players buy and sell modern digital baseball cards with real value.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding Type: Venture-backed


ScorumScorum

Scorum is a crowdsourced sports media platform built on the blockchain. Bloggers from around the world use Scorum’s content creation tools to publish news and opinion pieces on the NFL, Premier League soccer, fishing, billiards, and beyond. Writers receive Scorum Coins for their participation, which correspond to a portion of the platform’s advertising revenue. The real-time Scorum Stats center and other additional features are in the works.

Date Founded: February 2017

Funding Type: ICO


UnblockableUnblockable

Unblockable is a blockchain-enabled trading platform that tokenizes athletes, letting fans buy, sell, and trade their digital likeness. Athlete value fluctuates according to their real-world performances. With valuable partnerships across professional leagues, player associations, and gaming and entertainment brands, Unblockable also wants to make the players’ likenesses usable on several platforms beyond their own marketplace.

Date Founded: March 2018

Funding Type: Venture-backed


SportcastrSportsCastr Powered by FanChain

SportsCastr Powered by FanChain is a social live streaming video platform offering social and betting action. Combined with their FanChain token, fans are rewarded for interacting with the clubs they follow. Features include live scores, next-level in-game graphics, the ability to call a game and engage with other viewers who are using the platform, customized channel lineups, and cross-platform functionality. Prominent backers to the project include former NBA commissioner David Stern, NFL tight end Vernon Davis, Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim, and others.

Date Founded: April 2016

Funding Type: Private

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Front Lines Media. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.

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