The International Cricket Council (ICC) and London-based tech firm the NEAR Foundation will work together by bringing Web3 to the forefront of enhanced fan engagement in cricket.
The ICC will utilise the NEAR Web3 ecosystem to deepen global cricket fans’ engagement with the game in this “first of its kind technology partnership”.
The NEAR Foundation will also become the ICC’s official blockchain partner until the end of 2025 and will assist in increasing fan engagement, bringing the sport to new audiences and providing long-term value to fans.
The partnership will launch ahead of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India starting 5 October. NEAR’s Blockchain Operating System will enable fans during the world cup to showcase their knowledge of the sports against others through a variety of activations.
Users will be challenged to make strategic decisions to create winning combinations across the three key facets of cricket – batting, bowling and fielding – and as world cup matches take place, each team’s performance will directly impact the testing scores of fans.
A leaderboard will capture each fans’ performance and weekly winners will be awarded prizes, including match tickets, exclusive events, and men’s world cup merchandise to place “fans at the centre of the action and bringing them closer to the game than ever before”.
Finn Bradshaw, Head of Digital at the ICC, said: “We are excited to embark on this partnership with NEAR Foundation and to use their technology and network of talent to create better and deeper fan engagement around the globe.
“We are looking forward to exploring ways in which we can use new technology to create lasting, valuable experiences for our fans.”
Beyond the ICC World Cup, both parties will continue to work together to develop long-term Web3 use cases that aim to encourage loyalty to the sport