SMART PLAYERS NEED SMART CONTRACTS: How Blockchain and Smart Contracts Can Revolutionize the Sports Industry

A Note by Cody Von Rueden

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Smart Contracts” are a critical component of many platforms and applications being built using blockchain or distributed ledger technology.[1]  Simply put, smart contracts are lines of code that are stored on a blockchain and automatically execute when predetermined conditions are met.[2]  The benefits of smart contracts are most apparent in business collaborations, in which they are typically used to enforce some type of agreement so that all participants can be certain of the outcome through speed, accuracy, security, and savings.[3]  Many multinational companies have already jumped onto the blockchain bandwagon and are working on their own projects to stay ahead of the competition.[4]  For instance, major technology providers like IBM and Microsoft are offering block chain solutions to enterprise clients.[5]  Tech start-ups too are aggressively capitalizing on the boom by building new products and services that depend on blockchain technology, which amassed to more than $3.25 billion in funding through token sales in 2017.[6]  However, despite blockchain finding its adoption in several industries, for some reason, the sports industry has never been under the paradigm of blockchain services.[7]  When it comes to applying blockchain to the sports industry, the most interesting applications include direct investment in athletes, clubs, and sports management practices; allowing for a more accessible and transparent reputation management for teams, leagues, and individual athletes; and a general reduction in middlemen through automation to make contract negotiation more efficient.[8]  It is time for the sports industry to “huddle up,” because industry leaders will be surprised to know that smart contracts can find usage and purpose through blockchain technology.[9]

          [1].                        Stuart D. Levi & Alex B. Lipton, An Introduction to Smart Contracts and Their Potential and Inherent Limitations, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, (May 26, 2018),

          [2].                        Nigel Gopie, What are smart contracts on blockchain?, IBM, (July 2, 2018),

          [3].                        Id.

          [4].                        Roger Aitken, Smart Contracts On The Blockchain: Can Businesses Reap The Benefits?, Forbes, (Nov. 21, 2017),

          [5].                        Id.

          [6].                        Id.

          [7].                        Maria Garcia, 5 Best Use Cases Of Blockchain Application For The Sports Industry, Medium, (May 19, 2019),

          [8].                        Sam Mire, Blockchain For The Sports Industry: 11 Possible Use Cases, Disruptor Daily, (Nov. 8, 2018),

          [9].                        Garcia, supra note 7.