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NBA owners form blockchain advisory group

Six National Basketball Association (NBA) team owners are reported to have formed a Blockchain Advisory Subcommittee to assess how cryptocurrencies could be utilised by the league.

A report by sports business website Sportico suggests the group’s membership includes Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, and Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai, who are each advocates of blockchain technology.

Leonsis, who also owns the Washington Capitals NHL team, said blockchain technology can transform digital ticketing from the basic opportunity to attend a game into becoming a product in itself. He spoke to Sportico following the success of the launch of the NBA’s Top Shot product, which is a blockchain-based trading card system that has generated more than $230m in gross sales in the last month.

“[Digital ticketing] doesn’t mean taking a physical ticket and putting it on your phone, because it does something other than let [the purchaser] into the building” he told Sportico.

“What if [the Caps were] selling a ticket along with a memory of the night Alex [Ovechkin] scores his 717th goal? Now, people in Russia are buying. They’re [keeping] the memory and then reselling the actual ticket entry into the business. [Our] TAM [total addressable market] is the world—not just people who are Caps fans who want to come to that game.”

The NBA’s Top Shot is a non-fungible token (NFT), which is a unique digital file stored on a blockchain that is not mutually interchangeable. NFTs have recently hit the headlines with a digital artwork recently selling for $69m and the release of a Kings Of Leon album.

The Dallas Mavericks recently became the first NBA franchise to accept BitPay’s new cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, for tickets and merchandise online.

Earlier this month, Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise Oakland Athletics began selling full season suites for the 2021 regular season for one Bitcoin ($64,800).

“We invite our fans to become the first Bitcoin suite holders in sports,” A’s president Dave Kaval said.

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