FCFL is truly an incredible experiment in fan-controlled sports. The premise of fan-controlled sports is that fans have an active role in the game, not just a passive viewing experience. This is of course is a radical departure from the way traditional sports are consumed, which is almost entirely passive. With fan-controlled sports enabled by FCFL, you will make active decisions before and during a game. You’re no longer sitting on your couch watching the game. Instead, you’re part of the decision making process of how your team should play the game! With the current model, the best you can do is don your team’s jersey and cheer for the play at a bar. With FCFL, you get to direct your team’s play, much like a coach would.
This is a great experiment to run, in my book. Best of all, we are happy to see this experiment use a crypto-token for fan engagement. Why? Because we’ve seen many sorts of projects in the crypto-verse that don’t make much sense, or are just a money grab in token sales. However, when there are radical experiments being run, we are all for it. If it succeeds, it could usher in a new way of consuming sports which isn’t purely consumption but participation as well. That’s almost a new genre of entertainment if you think about it. Since new technologies like blockchains enable us to run these experiments, it is a worthy use of a crypto-token to accomplish this.
History of the FCFL Idea
One remarkable aspect of the FCFL project is that it isn’t a pie-in-the-sky idea someone dreamed of sitting on their couch. It has a real world proof of concept in a real football (American) game. This is a welcome relief, since in this space, very few ideas have a proof of concept. Let’s explore the history and PoC of this idea a little bit.
In February 2017, the team unveiled a platform that allowed pro-sports, specifically football in this case, to be controlled by fans. The fans decided the team’s name and even the team’s uniform. But most surprisingly, the fans also decided the team’s plays during the game. This, usually reserved for the coach, was outsourced to fans. And it was a rousing success. Thus was born the eFL – Electronic Football League, where fans are in control. They even decide who gets to be in the team and who doesn’t. If it isn’t obvious, the idea opens up a whole new category of sports entertainment.
Impressively, the first proof of concept of this idea was extensively covered in media heavyweights like NYTimes, GQ, and even the Wall Street Journal.
You can imagine this being quite a social experiment more than a technology one. This is why the proof of concept was very important. It showed there’s appetite for this kind of play. We already know fans like immersive plays, whether via Twitch or eSports. If pro-sports has to compete with these, it needs to deliver a better experience. Sports is huge business – billions of dollars a year. Experiments of this scale have a potential for high impact.
FCFL’s Fan Token
This is where it gets interesting for the crypto crowd. FCFL has a native crypto-token called the FAN token. This stands for Fan Access Network Token. The decisions that fans make is dependent on the number of FAN tokens that they hold. This gives these FAN tokens immediate value to the fans of the games. The fans are rewarded when they make good plays, which means the utility is a combination of number of FAN tokens and skill.
In addition, the FAN token will include many other functions, such as voting rights, access to exclusive content, access to exclusive experiences, merchandise, etc. Since sports combine so many experiences in one, the role of the token is likely to grow in the future, as the team adds new experiences and experiments into the game. The whitepaper, linked below, discusses more details on its use. However, we anticipate the future roles of the token to constantly evolve, as this is all a pretty neat experiment, which could grow much larger with time.
The token is built on Ethereum as an ERC20 token. If you want to participate in the token sale, you can buy Ether and send it to the crowdfunding contract to get your FAN tokens.
To learn more, check out their website. If you’re interested in the token in the token sale, make sure you also read the whitepaper.
Photo Credit: Flickr