The New York-based Drone Racing League (DRL) has landed its biggest partnership to date with Algorand (ALGO), an open source blockchain project. The US$100 million partnership will span five years, with DRL spreading its reach in the crypto industry by making use of innovative blockchain technologies to spice up the sport.
According to an announcement by Algorand, “DRL, recognised globally for cutting-edge technology, immersive sports entertainment, and thrilling, high-speed drone racing, will bring to life next-generation fan experiences on the Algorand blockchain”.
Drone racing is seen by some as the sport of the future, and studies conducted by ALGO and DRL show that their target market is 40 times more likely to follow and engage with crypto social media than the general population, being part of the tech-savvy and early adopter market segment. According to DRL president Rachel Jacobson, “DRL is a defining 21st-century sports property, and we’re only going to do 21st-century business deals”.
Algorand has been growing its ecosystem at an exponential rate, with more than 500 global organisations already leveraging its technology. Australian blockchain solutions have also partnered with the project.
As crypto gaming becomes more prevalent, it has also begun to expand into mainstream sport and GameFi.
DRL’s global, tech-obsessed fans love that our sport constantly evolves, and blockchain was the next groundbreaking technology in our sights. Algorand shares our values of speed, innovation and inclusivity. We have ambitious plans to deliver a unique sports experience in the metaverse and are incredibly excited about how this partnership will change the game for sports and tech fans and the global blockchain community.Rachel Jacobson, DRL president
A Growing Community of Innovation
The five-year partnership will allow for blockchain-enabled ticketing, collectibles, fan transactions and NFTs on Algorand, and crypto developers, programmers and coders will be welcomed to Algorand hackathon events at DRL races around the world. From title sponsorship to metaverse gaming, this deal is nearly all-encompassing.
You need to build in the right programming so that it’s not just a logo slap […] The crypto community are too smart – they see through just a jersey patch or signage. They want to know, ‘How do I get involved? And how is this going to change my sports experience?’Rachel Jacobson, DRL president
DRL starts its sixth season on September 29, and the league has media rights deals with NBCUniversal and a streaming deal with Twitter. Other sponsorships include DraftKings, T-Mobile, Bodyarmor and the US Air Force. DRL helps the Air Force with recruitment and training of future drone drivers.
The global drone market – specified as the “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” sector – is projected to be worth US$58 billion by 2026, according to MarketsandMarkets Research. With DRL also functioning as a drone maker, Jacobson says it wants to leverage products to lure more revenue.
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