Insights

will cryptocurrency be introduced at the olympics?

Can Blockchain technology make the stresses of international visits by tourists at major events easier?


15th October 2018

Many of us have not heard about it yet or on the diversity of cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies are slowly establishing themselves in the financial and commercial sector to solve ageing problems in a growing technological world. These products may soon be taking over regular payment methods as we move further away towards a cashless society.

For those attending major events in a foreign country there can be the stresses of ensuring you have enough funds to support your trip. It can also put a lot of strain on foreign exchanges in the host nation from the influx of visitors from all over the world. Language barriers may also create problems when trying to make these transactions.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is already a technological advanced country and is looking into introducing products to aid the spectator/athlete experience by using robots to assist with translation and luggage.

https://www.insidesport.co/tokyo-2020-olympics-of-tech-revolutions-in-the-making/

What Ripple does, the company behind the Blockchain technology enabling seamless payment experiences is providing a platform where transactions can be made between banks in seconds, converting funds if required into other currencies. Depending on the size of the payment this can take a long time using traditional methods or be expensive where you actual lose a lot of value performing the exchange, especially on smaller personal payments.

Using more cost effective solutions or even direct payments using cryptocurrency instead of foreign currencies could make the overall process easier.

Source: YouTube - Ripple Channel. Published 1st August 2018

This can also have a benefit for the Organising Committee if it needs to make international payments to foreign contractors/suppliers who have been given the tender for a service delivery for certain Games operations. This idea has certainly encouraged the external community of XRP (Ripple's cyrptocurrency that is the tool for instant payments methods through RippleNet) to start a petition to make XRP the official cryptocurrency of the Games:

https://www.change.org/p/international-olympic-committee-make-xrp-the-official-cryptocurrency-of-the-tokyo-olympics-2020

It's intention was to gain 500 signatures but has grown rapidly and at the time of writing this article the number has reached 13,000 signatures. This is definitely an exciting time for cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies as if adopted by an Organising Committee for a major games can revolutionise the payments methods for an organisation and the spectator experience.

Breaking new grounds at major events

How generational trends are shaping the future for participating sports at major events.


14th October 2018

There has been many new sport competitions added to a major event schedule over its editions but not one that has captured my attention than during the current Youth Olympic Games being held in Buenos Aires. Breaking or what we best know as break dancing has been included into the event for the first time and has included an innovative way to compete for a medal.

The Youth Olympic Games not only gives the younger generation who are unable to qualify for the Olympics the opportunity to experience what it might be like for them to take part in the future, but also showcases the sports that are trending in this generation and becoming the sports for future major events.

With the emergence of E Sports and Drone Racing we are crossing the boundaries of our perceptions of sports and who we call an Athlete. As technology is more prominent in youth culture its understandable how this integration seems a natural progression.

What Breaking has done has introduced a modern dance sport to the mainstream sport competition and has also uniquely and for the first time ever made initial qualification for the event an online process:

https://www.olympic.org/news/breaking-into-the-youth-olympic-games

What makes Breaking a strong contender for future acceptance into the sporting scene is its field of play can be held in natural locations of the host nation. As we can see from the Youth Olympics is that it can attract a crowd and can be hosted in inner city locations that can put the spectator close to the action giving a great sense of participation with those taking part.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=Z9-4OGcsZsw

I do feel that there will be a progression in introducing more unique and less known modern sports into event schedules. Not only does this sparks interests from something new but continues to encourage the younger generation into sports through keeping up with trends. Introducing technology with online qualification processes certainly provides wider accessibility for hopeful individuals to realise their dream.

NFL International Series

The Logistics of Overseas Games


13th October 2018

Efficient logistics planning and operations is about knowledge and preparation, ensuring there are already solutions to the unforeseeable circumstances that may occur during the process. As the NFL returns to the UK this week for its first game in the international series of the 2018/19 season I thought I would return to this article I wrote a few years ago to identify what is involved in playing an NFL game overseas. In the 2015/16 season the New York Jets left no stone upturned as described by Ben Shpigel in The New York Times:

Jets Head to London With a Detailed Game Plan, and That’s Just for Their Laundry: Ben Shpigel- The New York Times

Will the 11 months of planning for a team to spend about 65 hours overseas be the hindrance to fully support a UK NFL franchise?

At the moment the UK hosts three regular season NFL matches and like the previous year the 80,000 tickets per game at Wembley stadium have all sold out. With a partnership already established with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club it is clear there is interest and popularity to make this a more prosperous venture.

However is the popularity of the games only relevant to the fact that only a few games are played in the UK rather than 16 if a permanent team was based here. Thomas Barrabi expands on this in his article in the International Business Times:

NFL London Team: Obstacles Remain As League Mulls UK Invasion: Thomas Barrabi- International Business Times

Are teams also making allowances for the extensive logistical planning in attending overseas games as it is still considered more of a novelty to them? The success of the Jacksonville Jaguars increase in sponsorships as identified in Thomas Barrabi's article can justify the time and effort it takes to bring a team over to the UK. What is clear though is that the management of logistics operations to play international games that are on par with matches played back in the United States are having positive impacts to teams and the development of the NFL internationally. If a logistical framework can be set up that is sustainable and practical within the constraints of an NFL season then an international team would become more viable in the future.