The fan experience for both sporting events and music venues is changing. 

As part of TheTicketingBusiness.com‘s fifth birthday celebrations, we asked a number of key industry figures what they believe will be the biggest change for the industry over the next five years. 

Niels Henrik Sodemann, chief executive of Queue-it, a software company that manages traffic on websites, noted that one of the biggest changes will be the combination of “ticket sales and with NFTs (non-fungible tokens)”. 

“Gone are the days of autograph albums and t-shirt tables. With concerts, you could imagine the allure of trying to hold on to that experience once it’s over by either possessing the video of your favourite song, a personal signature from the artist, or a unique artist/tour/city commemorative,” he wrote. 

The Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has capitalised on this trend of providing a different fan experience and a piece of the action, while using NFTs. 

RLWC2021 has announced its partnership with NuArca, a blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) company to launch an NFT fan experience and marketplace for the tournament. 

Jon Dutton, chief executive at RLWC2021, said: “NFTs have been a fast-developing sector for the sports industry in 2021 and our announcement with NuArca aligns with our desire to embrace innovation alongside the opportunity to bring RLWC2021 to the widest possible audience.” 

Within the RLWC2021 NFT platform, fans will be to earn experiences, participate in quests and collect a range of NFT digital collectibles, celebrating the history, heroes and milestones of the Rugby League World Cup. 

RLWC2021 commercial director Jonathan Neill said: “We believe the launch of our NFT partnership is a first for the sport of rugby league. RLWC2021 NFTs will provide fans with an opportunity to show their passion and loyalty for the sport, and alongside collectors, give them the chance to own a piece of rugby league history.” 

Todd Cooper, chief executive and co-founder at NuArca, added: “Becoming the official NFT partner for RLWC2021 is a great opportunity for NuArca to bring rugby league fans from all over the world together, and we are looking forward to introducing our NFT fan engagement programme to them. 

“NuArca Labs’ white label NFT fan engagement platform is a unique and low-friction way for brands to bring their full fan base into NFT participation ensuring maximum impact. We are bringing NFTs out of the world of crypto and into the mainstream on a global basis.” 

New dates were recently confirmed for the event after it had to be cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It will now run from October 15 to November 19 in 2022