Social platforms used to engage fans over the last decade are changing, as is the nature of live events. So, can Web3 help drive better fan engagement? A panel of industry experts discussed how they are using Web3 to onboard, engage, and reward superfans and shared what they’re experimenting with, and what they’ve learned, tokenizing fandom.
MK Granados (Bedoski), Co-Founder and Head of Marketing for Gen City Labs, kicked off the panel with fellow industry experts, who have diverse backgrounds and experiences in the realm of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, to early ventures into mining Bitcoin and engaging in the hype cycle. The discussion centers around technology and its use by brands as a way to deepen brand relationships with consumers.
- Anubhav Mehrotra, VP Product & Data, Live Nation
- Patrick Lowe, Head of Partnerships, LaLiga North America
- Mike Schaiman, Founder & CEO, Gen City Labs
Barriers to Adoption
- Wallets and long seed phrases – there is no central authority to call if you have a problem. Web3 companies, like Solana, are making the process easier, reducing it to something consumers are familiar with, like email.
- Moving from experience to experience using a crypto wallet, from digital to physical, and vice versa.
- Adoption has been easier for products using tech partnerships, as those products with “fans”, and will continue to be if “fans” want something bad enough.
- Getting C-Suite buy-in at the brand level.
Mike Schaiman talked briefly about getting C-Suite buy in for new technologies as “one of the biggest barriers to being able to do any of these things, anything experimental… having to sell it up the chain.” The key is to start small and prove the result with key measurements.
La Liga’s Soccer Fandom is Making Adoption Easier
Soccer league La Liga has partnered with tech partners Dapper Labs and SoRare. Patrick shared “La Liga has a product, which is very similar to NBAs Top Shot, taking those moments of archive footage and current footage of a top player, minting that with our intellectual property, and then having fans and consumers collect those moments.” In addition, the league has captured player profiles and uses them in a preset fantasy kind of mode on blockchain and created digital trading cards. And there is a metaverse arena for La Liga fans to share experiences. Fans can sign up at Green Park, create an avatar, and demonstrate fandom through shared experiences with other fans from anywhere in the world, collect tokens, acquire NFTs and other collectibles. These activities are familiar, so fan adoption is easier. Because there are multiple avenues for fans, it made room at the table for multiple tech partners and gave La Liga the ability to deliver the best fan experience.
Live Nation is Making Fandom Cool, Improving Access
Live Nation owns TicketMaster, and the first step was to roll out a virtual commemorative ticket. Musical artists come to Live Nation, some with rabid fan bases, asking about token gating ticket access, much like a front of the line pass. Access encompasses so much but it aligns so well with what people expect when they feel like a VIP and are part of this inner circle, this club, this early adopter culture.
Another example is Live Nation’s festival ecosystem. Anubhav shared “Live Nation owns and operates about 150 plus festivals….the cool part about festivals is that the ticket purchase happens eight months before the festival actually goes on. So now we have this huge amount of time to engage, I call these tokenized fan journeys, where the experience starts at the time of ticket purchase by a fan and then through those eight months, you can engage with them to form a community or take multiple actions. And all of that then manifests onsite to give them exclusive access or give them some other perks that enhances that experience even more.”
Takeaways for Live Event Fandom and Brandom
- “SNAP” is an acronym for fan-based activities, meaning Status, Network, Access, and Perks, if you using that framework for fans and as a way to harness fan passion
- Fandom equals time, attention, money. Every single fan has different fandom scores translating to their engagement level with a brand, and high engagement culminates in live experiences
- The Web3 digital experience’s ability to capture a moment in time and to extend it, to be able to carry that moment and move it forward through the rest of your experiences as a fan throughout an ecosystem, is a major opportunity for a loyalty play
- Start with a small experiment, show the fandom, show the result, have the right measurement framework around it, and then be able to use that to parlay into larger, bigger experiences
- There is no platform (i.e. Google, Amazon, Roblox, etc) dependency due to the nature of decentralization and blockchain technology – it is wide open and transparent