ICC partners with NEAR Foundation to enhance worldwide fan interaction via Web3

The NEAR Foundation will serve as the ICC's official blockchain partner until the end of 2025.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has developed a first-of-its-kind technology partnership with the NEAR Foundation. This agreement has been made to employ the NEAR Web3 ecosystem to increase cricket fans’ participation in the game throughout the world.

The NEAR Foundation will serve as the ICC’s official blockchain partner until the end of 2025, assisting in improving fan interaction, introducing the sport to new audiences, and offering long-term value to fans.

The collaboration will begin with the establishment of a pre-match strategy exercise ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India, which begins on October 5. The challenge, enabled by NEAR’s Blockchain Operating System (B.O.S.), will let fans compete against one another to demonstrate their expertise in the sport.

Users will be tasked with making strategic decisions in order to develop successful combinations throughout cricket’s three essential features: batting, bowling, and fielding. As the real-life matches progress, the team’s performance on the field has a direct influence on the supporters’ ratings. A leaderboard will track each fan’s performance, and weekly winners will get prizes such as match tickets, unique events, Men’s CWC apparel, and more, putting fans right in the middle of the action and bringing them nearer to the sport than ever before.

The ICC will enjoy the advantages of the dependability of one of the globe’s most extensively scalable, community-driven, and secure blockchains by developing its products on the B.O.S., which provides verified, best-in-class performance that will accommodate any type of Web3 strategy. This will allow the ICC to develop experiences that link hundreds of millions of cricket fans worldwide and stimulate more interaction between fans, ICC events, and their favourite teams and players.

Following the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, both parties will collaborate to build long-term Web3 use cases that will recognize and promote fan devotion—the larger the fan, the more they are rewarded with benefits and wider access to the game they value. The B.O.S., with its full suite of web3 capabilities and simple onboarding, will help the ICC get closer to its objective of generating a fan passport that would allow fans to keep track of their activities and memories in a secure manner throughout all touchpoints, both online and offline.

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.”

Chris Donovan, CEO of the NEAR Foundation, said, “We are extremely excited to be working with the ICC in this multi-year deal. This is one of our biggest partnership announcements to date and solidifies our reputation as a go to blockchain technology provider in the sporting world. Given the immense size and popularity of cricket, the NEAR ecosystem will potentially be exposed to hundreds of millions of cricket fans who will have the opportunity to learn about NEAR Foundation’s mission of increasing the adoption of an open web, and get the chance to interact with Web3 use cases built on the Blockchain Operating System.

“We look forward to opportunities that this mutually beneficial agreement will bring to cricket fans and to playing a key role in using Web3 to make the world of sport more inclusive and exciting for everyone.”

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