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SportVerse Podcast Episode 4 – Sports DAOs

The nexus between Sports and Business.

Hello and welcome to the fourth episode of SportVerse Podcast, the podcast all about sports on web3. I am your host Nilesh Deshmukh and in today’s podcast, I will share updates on Sports-based Decentralised Organisations or DAOs as they are known.

But before we move on to the updates, let me explain what DAOs are. Simply put a DAO is an Internet-native entity that is fully owned and managed by its members.

A DAO is a safe way of working together with like-minded people around the world, without knowing each other. So, basically, A DAO is a community built on code.

DAOs have built-in treasuries that no one has the authority to access without the approval of the group. Decisions are governed by proposals and voting to ensure everyone in the organization has a voice. 

Some of the important features of a DAO are that it is usually flat and fully democratised unlike a traditional organisation is usually hierarchical. Voting plays a very important role in DAOs – all members have to vote to implement ant changes, unlike traditional organisations where voting rights are limited to the hierarchy another important comparison is that all activities in a DAO are completely transparent and fully public whereas in a traditional organisation activities are private and limited to the public. In simple terms in DAO there is no fudging of accounts and getting away with it.

DAO membership is token-based. All DAOs work on a blockchain. For example, the MLB franchise Washington Nationals have a DAO on the Terra Luna blockchain. 

There are mainly five types of DAOs:

  • NFT DAOs collect, curate, and incubate multiple NFT projects and emerging artists, often seeking to advance market accessibility for creators and promote censorship- free expression of opinions through art.
  • Protocol governance DAOs allow participants to vote on proposals that influence the development and direction of a protocol.
  • Investment management DAOs exist to pool assets together to invest in promising opportunities while splitting profits fairly across participants. 
  • Social DAOs exist as exclusive clubs and social communities that often require token ownership for access.
  • Grant DAOs create a community for Web3 builders to network and collaborate to further the Web3 ecosystem. 

Everything I explained can be applied to sports and I am a firm believer that DAOs will be the new frontier of fan engagement and will bring rights holders, players/athletes and global fans together.

Having said that, let’s move on to the updates on two emerging Sports DAOs:

Our first update is about how a few ex MUFC players want to connect global football fans with a DAO

One of the biggest news from sports on web3 last week was about Kiat Lim (Son of Singaporean multi-millionaire sports investor Peter Lim)  and Former Manchester United football players including Gary Neville and Paul Scholes getting together to launch the world’s first professional football decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), called CO92 DAO, to allow fans to own a stake in the popular sport.

The management team for the DAO includes Darius Sit, the founder of QCP Capital, QCP Soteria Node founder Sherwin Lee, and Gabriel Yang, who previously worked at the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Along withCO92 members Gary Neville and Paul Scholes and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs.

The purpose of CO92 DAO is to make football fan ownership accessible to everyone and the founders of the DAO have access to unique sporting projects and want to work together with fans to create value together.

These projects may include football clubs with high growth potential as well as football-related technologies and ventures.

Global fans who wish to be a part of the CO92 DAO need to purchase the CO92 DAO tokens. When fans buy the tokens, CO92 DAO will offer investors more affordable and inclusive access to professional sports, an asset class that traditionally had been available only to high net worth individuals in closed circles. 

There’s no minimum sum required to invest in the CO92 DAO tokens, which will be made available to the public soon.

Kiat Lim is very bullish about democratizing sports ownership and believes that building the principles of an ownership economy by leveraging Web3 technology can create an inclusive and engaging environment for fans to be involved in decision-making, participating in the whole ecosystem of the sports, and share in all the aspects of success together.

My principal reservation about tokens has always been around How much participation do fans really get? How influential are fans who buy tokens in the decision making of sports teams? And What kind of decisions do the fans get to be involved in? Something that tokens won’t allow fans to get involved in a sports teams like global football teams, however, DAOs at grassroots levels can toss out the current token players and establish more inclusive and active participation to build the project ground up and this is where the C092 DAO if done correctly, can be the guiding light for future sports DAO projects worldwide.

Just to end this update – Many details about the DAO are yet to be released. Information about the ownership structure, minimum investments by fans and other details like what blockchain is the DAO built on etc. are all to be expected soon as quoted by Kiat Lim.

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This week’s second update is about a very special DAO set up by NFL players Richard Sherman, Sheldon Day and a few others with a vision to create a social wealth club for athletes.

Sportico published an article with a very interesting statistic that according to UBS, 78% of former NFL players will find themselves in financial distress within two years of retirement. 

And to address this issue Richard Sherman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Cleveland Browns Sheldon Day (Cleveland Browns)and ex Cardinals Wide Reciever Amir Carlisle have embarked on a mission to make a difference and have launched The Players Company to educate, build and promote collaboration on the journey to wealth.

The Problem

Historically, NFL players have been getting huge salaries and according to Sheldon Day most of the players get huge salaries for the first time and they do not have enough experience to handle the salaries because they are never thought how to responsibly leverage a line of credit and budget properly, invest early or make an informed decision on a financial advisor.

There is also the possibility that the athlete’s goals and desires to be misaligned with the people meant to be looking out for them (agents, financial advisors) and without the knowledge base to engage agents on a tactical level, it’s often too late for the player by the time they come to the realization.

The solution, create a  DAO to make it transparent and authentically execute its mission to create a community aligned economically and socially.

TPC believes the key to cultivating lasting wealth begins with education. So The Players Company DAO is centred around proof-of-learn protocol. Their method is to incentivize athletes to engage with the educational curriculum and to invest in their personal growth.

Learning is – A most important step. The community will earn tokens for achieving financial goals, winning savings- or budget-related competitions and promoting collaboration amongst the community. 

TPC token holders will have a voice in platform governance, the opportunity to attend a series of physical and virtual community events, and access to a private Discord channel. 

As community members collect tokens they will rank up and earn badges. The badges are in the form of NFTs, and those NFTs unlock access utilities like higher interest rates on high-yield accounts and lower banking fees.

Badge holders will also gain access to community investment opportunities. The riskier the asset class, the higher the user will have to rank to participate.

Future Plans – There are plans for rolling out a new, Web3-based digital banking and financial literacy platform in March. The TCP team believe that maximizing banking revenues will drive TPC token value. They also build-up to the day when the community members can use tokens “to get a financial plan or hire a budget coach for a month.”

TPC piloted its social wealth club concept with ~200 athletes between 2020 and 2021. They found a range of subject experts willing to donate their time and knowledge to educate the community, as well as several top investment firms eager to provide the collective with co-investment access. 

This is a very unique DAO and probably the most purpose-led when it comes to sports on Web3 and it has the potential to be replicated in leading as well as upcoming global sports leagues and economies.

This brings me to the end of this episode. I hope you all enjoyed listening to the updates. Don’t forget to follow me on my Instagram and Twitter handles @sportsnexusco for daily updates on the coolest sports in web3 and the global sports business.

Thank you for listening to the episode and I will come back soon with new cool updates from sports on the blockchain in the third episode. This is your host Nilesh signing off! You were listening to SportVerse Podcast. Have a great week ahead. Bye! 

In Episode 4 of SportVerse Podcast, I talk about my fav topic Decentralised Autonomous Organisations or DAOs. I break down what DAOs are, what is their purpose and what type of DAOs exist and highlight two of the most talked about DAOs in sports including the famous Manchester United FC Class of 92 DAO and the world’s first sports DAO focused on creating a social wealth club for athletes…. Sounds intriguing? Want to know more about DAOs in Sports? Listen to the episode now streaming on Spotify and Google Podcasts.

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Nilesh Deshmukh
I am passionate about sports and passionate about marketing. As a sports marketer, I have built significant expertise in successfully delivering medium to long term digital marketing strategy for global sports entities and brands like Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Major League Baseball, Formula E, and AELTC, etc to engage with their fans in India. I am currently based in London and lead India business at Engage Digital Partners.