Sports Illustrated Launches NFT Ticketing Platform on Polygon: All the Details

It’s official: Sports Illustrated, the U.S. sports publication, will launch a non-fungible token (NFT) ticketing platform on the Polygon network, Ethereum’s main Layer 2. 

Here are all the details.

First full NFT ticketing service to be built on Polygon

As expected, US sports publication Sports Illustrated is launching a non-fungible token (NFT) ticketing platform built on the Polygon network, an Ethereum scaling tool.

Specifically, Sports Illustrated’s ticket marketplace, SI Tickets, has developed a “box office” in partnership with software company ConsenSys, the company behind the MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet. 

According to the announcement, it will be the world’s first comprehensive NFT ticketing service that will allow event owners, organizers and promoters to use the Box Office to create additional engagement opportunities in tickets such as highlights, collectibles and offers through a feature called “Super Ticket“.

David Lane, CEO of SI Tickets, said in a press release:

“The goal of the market from the beginning was to disrupt the main ticket market. Blockchain is the future of ticketing, and now owners, promoters, hosts, and attendees have access to an advanced ticketing experience that transforms antiquated barcodes into compelling, collectible content.”

Recall that the use of NFTs as tickets for live events has often been touted as a potential mass market use case for Web3 technology. As a result, a major name in the industry such as Sports Illustrated could provide additional momentum for the issuance of NFT tickets.

Brian Trunzo, Business Development Manager, North America, for Polygon Labs, stated in a press release that this launch will not only help drive consumer adoption, but also that:

“Blockchain technology offers significant benefits for consumers, especially ticketing, including improving payment security and eliminating scalping and fraud.”

NFT Tickets Could Revolutionize Sports Events 

As anticipated above, verifiable NFT tickets powered by blockchain technology can eliminate fraud and add value for fans in the sports arena. Not surprisingly, major sporting events are considering adopting them. 

In fact, blockchain-based NFT ticketing is increasingly being mentioned as a solution to the legacy ticketing system

This is because with the NFT system, tickets can be purchased online, but are only issued via SMS after the buyer has proven his or her identity and accessed a “hold” area upon arrival at the venue. 

In addition, NFT tickets contain a unique, tamper-proof QR code that can be used to access the event, keeping unauthorized people out and simplifying the experience for legitimate customers.

With pilots already underway in the music industry through companies such as YellowHeart, NFT ticketing is now beginning to attract attention in the sports world. 

For example, Michel Cadot, the French government’s envoy to the Olympics, submitted a 30-page report to the prime minister’s office recommending the implementation of blockchain-based ticketing for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In addition to Polygon, Algorand also offers NFT ticketing technology 

Recently, Argentine low-cost airline Flybondi integrated Web3 into its electronic ticketing process as an NFT. 

Specifically, this integration is called Ticket 3.0 and is an extension of the existing relationship with NFT ticketing company TravelX. 

This NFT ticketing technology, developed on Algorand‘s blockchain, allows passengers to change their name, transfer or sell their “NFTickets” independently.

Flybondi also says that NFT ticketing offers a more flexible travel experience, allowing passengers to buy even in advance without having to define their travel plans or who the travelers will be. 

In turn, the airline is able to reduce customer service costs and increase revenue from agency fees.

Facundo Martin Diaz, chief blockchain officer of TravelX, later said that the company does not charge a commission when users initially purchase a ticket, but receives a 2%  transaction fee when exchanges take place in the secondary market. 

The process is fairly straightforward: passengers can buy tickets using fiat currency on the Flybondi website, and TravelX issues a synchronized NFT ticket in addition to the regular e-ticket. 

Flybondi CEO Mauricio Sana had this to say in a press release: 

“With this launch, we seek to generate a positive impact in the aviation sector through innovation and the application of blockchain technology. Changing the rules of the game is never easy, but we know that our goal is to evolve and offer our passengers a new phase of freedom to fly.”