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How the sports landscape will change in the metaverse

As a global unifier, sports can bring people together. In 2018, more than 3.6 billion people across the world tuned in to watch the FIFA World Cup. This year’s viewership might very well break that record. Does it have a chance to thrive in the metaverse?

Web3 Studio, a Web3 financial advice and investment organisation, surveyed industry professionals and published a research predicting the sports metaverse’s economic worth will reach $80 billion by 2030.

The paper also provided a fascinating overview of the many ways in which digital technology might increase fan engagement, from digital esports to collectable non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

There will be a $80 billion market for sports metaverses by 2030.

According to the research, “this is powered by a fast expanding consumer desire in new ways to connect with their favourite sports and teams,” while professional athletes also have a “positive attitude” about other methods of making money off of their fame.

Using a bottoms-up approach, the business calculated the potential market size for each subset of the sports metaverse, with “moments” having the highest opportunity at $29 billion and “esports” having the least possibility at $2 billion.

The market landscape graphic below, which was collected from the paper, demonstrates the new niches that have evolved in the sports metaverse. The first app to start making money off of NFTs was NBA Top Shot, which sold “moments” to fans. The collectable NFTs produced by Dapper Labs brought approximately $224 million in NFT sales in February 2021. As collectors started buying into other sports, the trend quickly expanded. Sorare and other NFT firms are worth $4.3 billion thanks to the gaming and trading card collectors industries.

The Football Club and Fancurve, two companies that make fan apparel and accessories, have entered the market with their own digital products. Then came Adidas, and then Nike purchased RTFKT and released a social networking app simply named. Swoosh.

Tokens were distributed to fans and players. Those who obtained these tokens may cast ballots on matters such as which music will be played during Juventus Turin’s goal celebrations.

Players on esports teams and in competitive games often faced off against one another for financial gain. Teams like FaZe have evolved into lifestyle brands, but there aren’t any comparable smash smashes to the games of the Web2 era, such as League of Legends, Dota 2, or Fortnite.

The concept of virtual real estate and the advent of metaverse experiences to provide premium access to fans also evolved. Virtual real estate projects like Decentraland, Somnium Space, and The Sandbox have benefited from the notion of turning unused online real estate into something more valuable.

The survey noted a generational shift among sports fans, from more sedentary viewers who prefer linear entertainment to more active fans who actively seek out new methods to follow their favourite teams. For this reason, organisations like FIFA and Alogorand are striking blockchain partnerships, while Roblox, which has more than 50 million monthly active users, has launched an interactive FIFA World. Web3 Studio found that GenZ sports enthusiasts were far more likely to pay for premium content. And they’re shifting their focus from passive media like television to youth-oriented social networks.

Currently, Web3 is making headway into the sports sponsorship industry. From Budweiser to Visa, companies are expanding their presence throughout the gaming industry, and this is just one of the topics we’ll be discussing at the GamesBeat Summit: Into the Metaverse 3 on February 1 and 2, 2023. These companies will go to any lengths, even the metavese, to reach sports enthusiasts.