Deloitte Tohmatsu Group, the Japanese arm of Deloitte, recently unveiled its latest venture into the digital realm: a baseball-themed non-fungible token (NFT) game built on the Astar zkEVM blockchain.
This NFT game is designed to engage baseball enthusiasts by providing a digital batting practice system. Players can undertake daily missions, progress through levels, and earn NFT “Emblems” as rewards.
The game’s foundation lies in the Astar zkEVM blockchain, using Ethereum’s Layer 2 technology with zero-knowledge proof (zk Proof) to enhance transaction efficiency.
This initiative marks a significant milestone in Deloitte Tohmatsu’s involvement in the Reiwa 5th fiscal year Sports Industry Growth Promotion Project, aimed at integrating technology and sports to enhance fan experiences and explore new revenue avenues.
Targeting students enrolled in junior high school baseball academies, the project aims to bridge the gap between traditional sports and technology, fostering innovation within the sporting community.
Deloitte’s interest in the convergence of technology and sports is not new. A report released by the company at the outset of 2022 predicted a significant rise in NFT sports collectibles’ adoption, a forecast that has since materialized with various organizations and athletes embracing Web3 technology to engage their fan bases more deeply.
The baseball sector has seen its share of Web3 integration. In 2022, Major League Baseball (MLB) partnered with Sorare to introduce an NFT-based baseball fantasy game. In 2023, MLB further expanded into the metaverse by collaborating with Web3 company Improbable to create a virtual ballpark.
The growing popularity of NFTs in sports is evident from record-breaking sales of digital collectibles featuring renowned athletes like LeBron James, Brett Gardner, and Jermall Charlo, each fetching multimillion-dollar sums.
Projections by Market Decipher indicate that the sports memorabilia market is expected to reach $227.2 billion by 2032, with sports NFTs experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.6% and generating $41.6 billion in revenue.