How Fintech is Changing the Sports World
Let’s start with the basics; the global fintech market was valued at $110.57 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach a staggering $698.48 billion by the end of 2030.
But what’s behind fintech’s exponential growth forecast over the course of the next eight years? This technology has certainly impacted a growing number of markets in recent times, as new innovations have disrupted sectors outside of finance and investment.
But how is fintech changing the sporting realm, and what does the future hold in this high value marketplace?
What is Fintech?
In simple terms, ‘fintech’ is a portmanteau of ‘financial technology’ with the term having been one of 840 new entries to the online dictionary in 2018.
Fintech is the modern iteration of financial technology, which describes new banking and payment innovations that have become increasingly disruptive over the course of the last decade.
In fact, the fintech space grew markedly in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, as fiscal startups were encouraged to enter the marketplace and help drive growth as the global economy faltered.
Over time, traditional banks and lenders have embraced fintech innovations, in order to drive improved efficiency and share savings with their customers.
How is Fintech Impacting on Sports?
While there’s no single fintech innovation changing the world of sport, there are several trends that are impacting disciplines like American football and soccer.
The NFL recently announced their partnership with Alliance Data, for example, creating an innovative and hybrid banking that provides targeted financial assistance to customers.
More specifically, Alliance Data places an emphasis on funding direct purchases rather than generic lending. So, while service users can borrow fixed and precise sums of cash, these will be used to fund merchandise purchases, match tickets and other team-affiliated expenses.
Also in the NFL, ‘Sportemon Go’ has leveraged blockchain technology to blur the lines between American football and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The goal here is to strike deals with individual NFL teams, through which star players and performers are transformed into NFTs and digital artforms that are inherently collectible from the perspective of fans.
Sportlemon Go has also purchased a huge venue in the TCG World’s metaverse, creating a virtual realm in which fans can gather, play digital sports games and interact in their favourite surroundings.
These innovations have evolved from more accessible banking solutions and digital lending platforms, while also incorporating third-generation crypto assets powered by blockchain.
The Last Word – What’s the Future of Fintech and the Sporting World?
Many experts believe that we’re now living through the third age of fintech, which is seeing increased collaboration between burgeoning startups and established players across a broad range of marketplaces.
This includes sport, where the NFL partnerships referenced above and a number of agreements between football clubs and fintech brands are focused on changing the traditional sports fan experience. If we focus on the recent agreement partnership between open banking firm EML and Serie A side AS Roma, for example, we see the rollout of an innovative platform to help reward supporters for years of loyalty across Europe.
Nikki Evans, CEO Europe at EML said:
”EML’s thrilled to enable REPX to deliver a technologically advanced product to AS Roma as a platform to help reward supporters for years of loyalty across Europe,’
This trend will continue for the foreseeable future at least, as sports teams and organisations continue to partner with fintech startups to help create a more immersive experience for followers.