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The Role of Blockchain Technology in the Sports Industry



The sports world was just waiting for data analytics to come along. Teams long sat on a trove of statistics that measured player performance, but available analytical tools revealed little knowledge. Now, sophisticated data analysis methods have enabled teams to exploit data in new and far-reaching ways, changing how sports are played and coached and how teams operate Read more: Alex Reinhardt.

The new tools, which computer scientists and data analysts provide, enable teams to extract meaningful information to improve on-field performance, get a more accurate picture of player value, and expand strategic alternatives on the field and in the front office.

Teams want to safeguard this information from competitors, and some have turned to blockchain technology for protection. Blockchain is a multitool technology that figures into connecting with fans, selling tickets, and managing contracts with broadcasters and vendors.

Individuals with computer science backgrounds can help shape the relationship between blockchain technology and the sports industry. A bachelor’s degree in computer science can help build a foundation for such a career.

What Is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain is the technology underlying bitcoin and other digital currencies, which are also known as cryptocurrencies because of the strong cryptography that protects information. Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger where transactions and other information are recorded. The transactions are permanent and verifiable. The blockchain is stored on a computer network that contains identical information. The blockchain has no central authority, and the information is transparent to authorized users but secure from unauthorized access.

Blockchain technology has gained a foothold in corporations, which is used for business transactions and logistics. The technology is useful to accurately identify customers and foil money laundering schemes.

Sports, teams, leagues, governing bodies, technology companies, and other organizations are discovering ways to tap the power and versatility of blockchain technology.

Blockchain Technology and Sports Data

Baseball pioneered the use of data analytics to value players and improve performance. In the 1970s, a group of analysts called sabermetricians began to apply advanced mathematics to statistics to draw deeper, more detailed conclusions. (The term “sabermetrics” comes from the Society for American Baseball Research [SABR], which is the organization the analysts formed in 1971.)

The Impact of Analytics

Although it took decades for teams to adopt, math-based analysis is now widespread across sports, and front offices are as likely to employ individuals who have doctorates in math as they are to employ baseball lifers. This transformation was the subject of the book and movie Moneyball.

Analytics has come to rule baseball strategy. Analytics dictates who plays when, where players are positioned in the field, and even the angle at which a hitter swings the bat. Analysts have determined that small changes in a swing’s plane, which is called the launch angle, can drive the ball farther.

Players outfitted with wearable devices that measure their movements, speed, and force generate even more data for analysis. Transferring that data to advanced video apps allows players and coaches to adjust to techniques that could improve performance and reduce injury.

Blockchain Blanket of Security

Unlike statistics on the back of baseball cards, the data that advanced analytics produces amounts to proprietary intellectual property. Biometric information that wearable devices capture could be considered personal health information, which is protected by federal privacy regulations.

This is where blockchain technology comes in. Strong cryptographic protocols guard the information stored on a blockchain, protecting it from competitors intent on stealing more than the catcher’s signs to the pitcher. Only those team members with permission can access the data.

The threat of theft is real. In 2016, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals front office, Chris Correa, pleaded guilty to stealing player data from the Houston Astros. Correa was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and ordered to pay about $279,000 in restitution.

Blockchain Tech and the Sports Fan Experience

Some European soccer clubs, U.S. NBA teams, and fantasy sports ventures have been a step ahead in deploying blockchain technology to connect with fans. The teams and organizations have explored ways to draw fans near and far closer to their orbit.

Programs Bring Rewards to Fans

FC Barcelona sells virtual tokens, a form of cryptocurrency, which allows fans to vote in club polls (fans weighed in on artwork displayed at the team’s stadium) and becomes eligible for rewards, such as free tickets to games and meetings with players. Other clubs fielding token programs include Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Roma, and Atlético Madrid. Blockchain allows participants to buy and sell authentic tokens and benefit if they increase in value.

In the U.S., the NBA’s Sacramento Kings have integrated blockchain throughout its operations, including ticket sales and a fan engagement rewards program. In one program, the Kings set up a blockchain-based auction in which fans could bid on gear that players wore in a game. The winner got the memorabilia and blockchain-based authentication of the memorabilia’s provenance, which certifies to subsequent buyers that the items are genuine.

Fantasy Games Adopt Blockchain

Fantasy sports ventures have embraced blockchain technology. MLB Champions, a fantasy app officially licensed by the MLB Players Association, was developed with a blockchain game developer. The app lets fans draft players and earn a digital currency called “caps.” As in other fantasy sports games, the fates of the MLB Champions teams are based on real-life player statistics.

The Crown League, based on professional football, takes the fantasy concept a bit further. When the league begins to play (set for 2021), fans can buy a stake in one or more of a dozen teams and receive a cut of what the team makes during the season. The fans get a say in how the teams are run based on their share of the team.

Going even further, Turner Sports offers “Blocklete Games,” an online video game. Players organize teams of digital athletes, called blockers, to compete for money and other prizes. The game runs on a protected blockchain that tracks each file.

Blockchain Technology and the Business of Sports

Blockchain technology in the sports industry is also impacting business operations.

A number of teams accept cryptocurrency for tickets, including the Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, and European soccer teams.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) had planned to sell tickets to its 2020 tournament through blockchain. A blockchain-based mobile app would have enabled the UEFA to sell tickets to fans in many countries with a higher level of security than conventional ticketing methods. The tournament aimed to sell a million tickets through the app. (The tournament was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Blockchain technology is also used to sort out complicated broadcasting rights and licensing. Fans view sports on mobile phones and tablets as well as televisions, and they watch live streams of events as well as recorded games and highlights. A blockchain feature called a smart contract automates transactions and determines what entity gets what feed and how much it has to pay. The transactions are recorded securely and accurately on the blockchain, potentially eliminating the intermediary companies involved in such deals.

Computer Science: A Gateway to Blockchain in Sports

Blockchain in the sports industry is an emerging area where much work is yet to be done, and computer scientists will do much of that work. A program such as Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, with its blockchain concentration, can provide the foundation for a career on the front lines of the field. With other concentrations in data science, software development, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence, Maryville’s computer science program can open a new world of possibilities. Take the first brave step with us today toward a rewarding career in emerging data technology fields.

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The Effects of Spatial Computing




Computer-generated reality is having a growing impact on our lives each year through the use of augmented reality and virtual reality, which are examples of spatial computing. The technology is relatively small, such as the AR/MR smart glasses with OE Z-Lens, Apple Vision Pro, and Meta Quest 2, but they provide great opportunities for users to interface in 3D with near-to-eye display technology. 

From gaming to education, spatial computing improves the way we experience the world around us. The use of this technology means business calls can be made holographically from anywhere in the world, games are able to be accessed through the metaverse, education can become more hands-on, and healthcare is able to be further catered to people’s unique needs. And there is still much more to come! 

In the current state of spatial computing, near-to-eye displays are replacing various phone functions other than calling.This is mainly being done through AR glasses, which use reflective waveguides to project images toward the eye and offer benefits like extended battery life, better brightness, and a greater field of view. Spatial computing is having significant effects on how we work and play, with new advancements expected to create more changes in the near future.

Spatial Computing: The Future of Work and Play
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Cybersecurity Solutions to Implement in 2024 




Black computer screen with green numbers

As we embrace the digital future, the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. With new threats emerging every day, businesses must stay ahead of the game by implementing robust and efficient cybersecurity solutions.

As we peek into the horizon of 2024, here are some top-notch strategies that every business should consider to maintain a secure and resilient digital infrastructure.

Invest in a Comprehensive Threat Detection System

The first step to take is to invest in threat detection technologies that can quickly identify suspicious activities. This should include malware and ransomware protection, application vulnerability scanning, and regular patching. Additionally, consider deploying an intrusion prevention system (IPS) to combat more sophisticated threats like zero-day attacks.

Train Employees in Cybersecurity Best Practices

No matter how good your technical solutions are, they will be rendered useless if employees fail to adhere to best practices. Make sure that everyone in the organization is aware of the risks and knows what steps to take when handling sensitive information. Additionally, creates a culture of security by incentivizing staff to follow cybersecurity protocols.

Utilize Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to store and manage data. Not only does it provide flexibility and scalability, but you can also take advantage of advanced security features like encryption, access control, and multi-factor authentication.

Furthermore, cloud providers are always on the lookout for new threats and have a team of security professionals on hand to respond quickly if something goes wrong.

Implement Automated Network Monitoring and Logging

Automation can be a great help when it comes to network monitoring and logging. By setting up automated processes, you can ensure that all logs are automatically collected and analyzed in real-time.

This will allow you to quickly identify any suspicious activities and take corrective action. Additionally, consider using machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies that may not be detected by traditional methods.

Use Password Management Tools

One of the most basic steps to take when it comes to cybersecurity is implementing strong passwords and changing them regularly.

To make this process easier, you can use password management tools like LastPass or 1Password which let you securely store passwords and access them quickly when needed. Additionally, consider enabling two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security.

Leverage Encryption Technologies

Encryption is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to data protection. By encrypting sensitive information, you can make sure that even if it falls into the wrong hands, it will remain unreadable. There are various encryption technologies available and you should choose one that best fits your needs.

These are just a few strategies that you can implement in 2024 to keep your digital infrastructure secure and resilient. However, the key takeaway here is that cybersecurity is constantly evolving and becoming more complex.

As such, businesses must stay up to date and invest in solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. With the right tools and strategies in place, you can ensure a secure future for your business. 

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How Professional Construction Management Can Make Your Project Better




construction management

Construction projects are complex and require many different skills to work together in order to be successful. By leveraging the expertise of a professional construction manager, your project will benefit from their insight into the industry, knowledge of regulations and codes, experience with suppliers and contractors, and ability to manage budgets. Professional construction management offers a number of benefits that can help ensure your project is completed on-time and within budget. Here are a few,

Guidance on best practices and processes

By taking advantage of their expertise in the industry, they can provide guidance on best practices and processes that will make the most efficient use of resources. They can also offer insight into potential problem areas that could impact the timeline of the project and provide guidance on how to steer clear of them.

They can also help you make sure that all regulations and codes are properly followed. They will have a thorough understanding of applicable laws and requirements, as well as an understanding of local ordinances that must be observed. This ensures compliance with both state and federal regulations, which can save your project from costly delays or fines.

Professional experience working with suppliers and contractors

In addition to their expertise in regulations, professional construction managers also have experience working with suppliers and contractors. This can save time when it comes to selecting a contractor for the job and negotiating prices with potential vendors. By leveraging their knowledge of the industry, they will be able to provide useful information on who has competitive prices and who can deliver on-time.Finally, professional construction management can help manage the financial aspects of the project.

A construction manager will be able to track costs and make sure that all expenses are accounted for. They can provide guidance on which materials or services are necessary and ensure that all bills are paid on time. This helps reduce the risk of unexpected costs or delays due to unpaid bills.

Quick and Efficient

By taking advantage of professional construction management, your project can be completed quickly, efficiently and on-budget. With their expertise in the industry, understanding of regulations and codes, experience with suppliers and contractors, and ability to manage budgets, a professional construction manager can make sure that your project is a success.

Construction projects are expensive endeavors and it’s important to make sure that your money is well spent. By investing in professional construction management, you can ensure that your project is completed on-time and within budget. The expertise of a professional construction manager will be an invaluable asset to you and your company, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of their services.

Your Project deserves the best attention and care

By utilizing the expertise of a professional construction manager, your project will be completed on-time and within budget. Don’t neglect this important step in ensuring success; make sure to hire a trustworthy and experienced construction manager for your next project. Remember that investing in the services of a professional construction management company is an investment in the future of your project.

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