This fall, BIG EAST, the most widely followed collegiate basketball conference in the country, partnered with YellowHeart to design and build exclusive NFT tickets to its 2022 Basketball Media Day at Madison Square Garden in New York.
BIG EAST’s Media Day is an annual event, but this was the first year the conference offered NFT tickets as an entry point. It was also the first NFT-ticketed sports event at Madison Square Garden.
When NFTs first rose in popularity in early 2021, businesses and fans across nearly every industry were eager to learn more about them. YellowHeart, a Web3 ticketing marketplace, was one of the earliest adopters of the technology, having released the first NFT album and NFT tickets with Kings of Leon in early 2021.
While music and art were two of the first major use cases for NFTs, YellowHeart’s focus has always been to disrupt the ticketing market and provide fans with actual utility. This is where the sports industry comes into play.
NFT tickets help mitigate the biggest problems with traditional ticketing, including high resale prices, fraudulent tickets and scalpers. This is because the ticket issuer, whether it be a sports team, specific player, or a stadium, dictates if their tickets can be resold.
If they are resold, they have the option to cap resale prices at a specific percentage. This helps prevent fans from paying astronomically high prices and finally gives athletes a cut of secondary ticket sales, which is currently dominated by scalpers.
Since everything on the blockchain is transparent, when one fan transfers another fan a ticket, the transaction and ownership of the ticket is public knowledge. This makes it extremely difficult for scalpers to create fraudulent tickets. YellowHeart NFT tickets also have a rotating QR code, making it nearly impossible to screenshot and resell a ticket.
Outside of these more functional benefits, NFT tickets can also be packaged with multiple perks for fans, which is exactly what fans who purchased tickets to BIG EAST’s Basketball Media Day this year got.
Every NFT ticket was paired with two additional tickets to the Championship game for either the 2023 Mens or Womens BIG EAST basketball tournaments at Madison Square Garden or Mohegan Sun Arena. These VIP passes live in YellowHeart’s Web3 ticketing wallet.
Additional perks packaged into the tickets included on-court access, exclusive merchandise, complimentary lunch and the opportunity to be interviewed on the set of ShootAround.
According to YellowHeart’s founder and CEO, Josh Katz, it’s because of these added benefits that BIG EAST is truly ahead of the curve when it comes to Web3 and sports.
“As the most widely followed collegiate basketball conference in the country, BIG EAST is always exploring new ways to help fans connect with their favorite players and teams,” Katz said.
“It’s no surprise to us that BIG EAST is ahead of the curve when it comes to Web3 activations in the sports industry. From our very first call, the team quickly understood all of the benefits that can be packaged into Web3 tickets, which is why they’re on the cutting edge of this transformative tech.”
This is BIG EAST’s second season partnering with YellowHeart on Web3 activations. As the partnership continues to grow, collegiate sports fans and athletes across the country will continue to reap new benefits from the projects they execute together.