- Havas Blockchain and Havas Sports & Entertainment launched a blockchain-based loyalty program for sports organizations and sponsors that rewards fans for their engagement, Little Black Book reported.
- The solution intends to be end-to-end, helping advertisers design social media and digital activations, develop the blockchain platforms and manage their data. Fans participating in the programs can be awarded digital coins for being a "Key Opinion Leader" and trade them with other fans, swap them across different loyalty programs or turn them into consumer goods, exclusive content or other experiences.
- Havas said the solution will create marketing opportunities for sports organizations and new revenue stream. The virtual currency will also collect data on sports fans, which advertisers can use to target offers.
Marketers across different sectors are growing more interested in blockchain-based offerings, but the technology is nascent and can also be fairly complex to master. Havas offering up a framework on which to build loyalty programs targeted at sports fans could make an appealing option for those interested in experimenting in the space but lacking the budgets, resources or expertise to develop their own blockchain solutions in-house. Sports fans are a particularly active, passionate consumer segment, and incentivizing their engagement through digital coins that can be traded for goods, services or content would be a fairly novel approach to loyalty rewards while also providing potentially deeper insights into their behavior.
A handful of brands have so far implemented some form of blockchain technology, but many of these efforts happen behind the scenes to improve supply chains. Loyalty programs seem to be the big opportunity when it comes to blockchain-based solutions that directly benefit the consumer. American Express recently announced plans to pilot a blockchain program with Boxed that will allow the online wholesale retailer to customize rewards for cardholders. Last year, Burger King's Russian arm also tested a "WhopperCoin" loyalty program, where customers could earn tokens in a digital wallet that could be saved to purchase burgers or trade online.
Marketers value blockchain for its promises of more secure transactions and transparency, including when it comes to digital advertising. The IAB Tech Lab last year introduced a Blockchain Working Group to research different applications of the technology and to create standards and best practices for digital advertising. Two-thirds of large corporations plan to integrate the technology into their businesses by the end of the year, according to forecasts from Juniper Research.