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The Watchlist: Web3 & Athletics - Issue #3

Nathan Holm
Nathan Holm
“Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future”  
–Larry Page

Inside this issue:
  • New partnership to drive fan engagement
  • Economic Roles Spectrum applied to athletes
  • This week’s watchlist
Web3 utility to drive fan engagement
Sorare partners MLB for its first non-football fantasy game - Ledger Insights - enterprise blockchain
“The company’s focus on transforming fandom through an innovative combination of sports, technology and gaming to let fans truly own a piece of the game they love is unique and goes beyond borders – allowing us to bring the love of baseball to more fans across the globe.” - Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. 
I am not predicting the success, or lack of success, for this endeavor but as the quote above highlights more and more organizations are realizing the need to leverage technology to create deeper engagement and fan ‘ownership’ of the game. NFTs are a great tool for unlocking the utility that enables fans to have new levels of interaction, participation and share in the ownership of that access.
Evolving roles available to athletes:
Web3 and NIL have not created the economic roles spectrum for athletes. However, their emerging prominence has brought the understanding of the roles, the desire to participate in more roles, and the ability to do so to more athletes.
Understanding these roles and how to best prepare, position and execute in them as an athlete is a key for athletes as well as those focused on creating new organizations, companies, services supporting athletes.
I am seeing far too many of the NIL opportunities being solely focused on, as appropriately phrased in the tweet below, helping athletes be ‘walking billboards’.
trey phills
all of this NIL stuff is cool and all, but where are the athletes actually building a BRAND. i see a lot of walking billboards 🤕
So much of the initial focus has been on helping more athletes move into the Endorser role. This role is not for everyone and quite frankly undersells the value and skills athletes can bring.
My belief is the biggest impact, benefit, and lasting changes for athletes will come from structures achieving one or more of the following for athletes:
  • Helping athletes understand brand building and creator economy skills and the opportunities available to them.
  • Creating easy on-ramps for athletes to leverage their skills and reputation to participate in creator opportunities. Time is the scarce resource for most athletes in participating in these roles and so those that make it ‘lower-friction’ for the athletes to participate in will win.
  • Organizations who recognize the importance athletes have as primary contributors to revenue generation for their organizations make changes to their structure so athletes can share in the upside of the entity (in essence owner role). Those who do this will attract more athletes; and if they take the same approach with their fans these organizations will evolve into the winning and sustaining sports organizations in the years ahead by creating true community and stakeholder engagement and commitment.
Worth Watching:
These are three organizations I am following as they seem to be doing very interesting athlete-centric work, leveraging web3 technologies to help athletes benefit.
Thank You
It is fun to see the readership growing, as it indicates interest in leveraging web3 technologies to create better sports experiences for athletes, fans and organizers.
Please reach out to me with a DM on twitter @1010sport if you have ideas for the newsletter or to discuss any of the topics covered.
Also if you find any of this helpful please share the newsletter with your community and followers.
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Nathan Holm
Nathan Holm @1010sport

Focusing on the web3 innovations and technology with the potential to impact athletes and clubs.

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