A Call to Sports Managers to Explore Digitization, Metaverse and NFTs

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Former Jamaican sled by Nelson Christian Stokes.  -
Former Jamaican sled by Nelson Christian Stokes. –

Nelson Christian Stokes, a four-time Jamaican bobsleigh Olympian, said that national sports governing bodies in the Caribbean should jump into the majority of cryptocurrencies and non-tradable tokens (NFTs) as part of their pursuit of digital transformation.

A career banker and fintech entrepreneur, now famous for his legendary Jamaican bobsled outfit, Stokes presented the presentation to the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) and hosted an online forum called Enabling the Economy Digital – Create Opportunities, Empowering. Answers.

Embracing the use of blockchain technology, Stokes encouraged players in the sports industry to embrace digital transformation.

“In almost every aspect of our lives… we are advised not to resist,” Stokes said.

“Resistance is futile. But riding the wave of digital transformation instead.

“New technologies have brought new opportunities to increase brand equity, generate revenue and manage operations.”

Stoked focused its presentation on three areas: cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse.

Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital currency that uses blockchain technology, while NFT is a unique digital asset that represents real-world objects such as art and other media and is often purchased through cryptocurrency. Metaverse is an interactive virtual reality and augmented reality network.

PSG reportedly paid Argentine football player Leonel Messi between US$29 million and US$35 million in cryptocurrency fan tokens as a significant part of his signing fee.

“A football club has created its own cryptocurrency that they use to engage fans,” Stokes said.

In the case of NFTs, he said, Jamaican bobsledding has paved the way for fundraising through NFTs.

Stokes said his company is partnered with another minority-owned company called Electric Token, which partners with a company co-owned by Jason Falovitch and billionaire Mark Cuban.

“The NFT drop featured limited edition digital artwork showcasing the best of the Jamaican bobsleigh brand…

Bringing together a range of authentic Jamaican digital and physical experiences from musicians and art lovers, the initiative was the first of its kind and its purpose – and important in the NFT field – to take the team to the Olympic Games.”

He said countries in the region “must deepen our understanding and engagement in this emerging market for the retention and monetization of fan engagement (and) IP (intellectual property) branding.”

“The NBA, in particular, starts at the front in the industry, but the combination of the high level of artistic, musical and athletic achievement in the region is unmatched in any other part of the world. As part of this whole effort, we need to look carefully at intellectual property issues…”

Stokes said the metaverse, the concept of an online 3D universe, could be seen as a “future iteration of the internet.”

He recalled that in December Barbados announced its plans to open an embassy in the Metaverse.

Bloomberg said the “real estate” will be located in Decentaland, an online world that can cost millions and be accessed via a computer and virtual reality headset.

“Although not necessary, cryptocurrencies can be very suitable for the metaverse,” Stokes said. Said. “They enable the creation of a digital economy with different types of service tokens and virtual collections (NFTs).

“The metadata store will also be (useful) for the use of crypto wallets such as metadata storage. Also, with so many uses, blockchain technology can provide transparent and reliable governance systems. And while we’re busy making things better in sport, let’s not lose sight of the importance of good governance and the role technology can play in the management of sport.