New advances in technology have taken the more developed sports world by storm recently and captured the spirit of the times. From cryptography to non-fungible tokens to the metaverse to Web 3.0. These sports teams in the West have long realized that sports fans are enthusiastic and consume sports content beyond game days.
These technologies provide an opportunity for the sports industry to catch up and catch up with the developed world. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has just enabled Africa, which to some extent has been unable to take advantage of the benefits of previous revolutions. , enjoy this phenomenon too. Africa and Uganda have artificial intelligence, but tools like ChatGPT are already being applied here, albeit imperfectly. Please excuse my idealism.
Crypto has risen to prominence in sports due to an increase in sponsorship packages and deals. Changed to “Crypto.com Arena”. Crypto trading he is expected to reach $5 billion by 2026. Sports teams are now offering players the option to convert their salaries into Bitcoin. Through these crypto assets, utility tokens that provide fans with the right to examine club operations and influence certain decisions and vote on club issues giving them a say in kit design and other initiatives and activities. was created. Experience like a VIP.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are blockchain-based platforms that allow fans to own, sell and trade video sports highlights and other exciting moments digitally. NFTs, unlike cryptocurrencies, cannot be exchanged. NFTs increase the economic value of digital assets, increasing their uniqueness and credibility. This is a departure from just fans owning traditional sports memorabilia. The team created a highly sought-after digitally collectible NFT. Especially the NBA, “NBA Top Shot” he has served as the NFT signboard.
Sports is one of many industries that are early adopters of the metaverse. The Metaverse is seen as an opportunity for creative and innovative fan experiences and engagement. The experiential nature of sports fits nicely into the concept of the Metaverse, which allows for a more or less realistic experience in a virtual space. Sports teams create virtual stadiums where fans can watch games as if they were in real time with their loved ones in a real stadium, along with other services such as exclusive video footage, memorabilia and video games. doing.
These issues are becoming very serious and we are already fighting them in court. Juventus took on his NFT company, Blockeras, which created and sold NFTs featuring Juventus trademarks and an image of former Juventus player Christian Vieri wearing a Juventus jersey. A court in Rome found that Blockeras had actually infringed Juventus’ trademarks and dismissed Blockeras’ groundbreaking claim that Juventus’ trademark rights do not apply to digital goods. Even if Blockeras loses, I wouldn’t be surprised if that debate is delayed in the future.
In a monumental case in the UK, Osborne vs. (1) Parsons Unknown, (2) Ozone Networks Inc traded as Opensea  EWHC 1021, NFTs are now recognized as property by law, meaning that NFT owners can exercise title and other proprietary rights.
There is still no legal framework governing this area. Uncertainties can arise as sports officials seek to explore these areas. However, the sports sector can lead this charge by exploring these uncharted waters, and regulators and governments will always be able to catch up. , it seems that there are forces that still seem to be resistant.
I look like a dreamer in this piece, why?
Ojakol is a Sports Attorney, Partner at Matrix Advocates, and IUEA Legal Lecturer.