Transform Sports Marketing & Fan Experiences with Digital Collectibles

5 min read
Jul 4, 2023 5:54:33 PM

As one of the most revered football clubs globally, Manchester United has mastered the art of engaging fans and creating unforgettable experiences. But can we unravel the club's ticket sales tactics and find ways to improve upon their strategy? Read on for a hypothetical campaign that shows just how using digital collectibles can help catapult your sports marketing to a new level.

First things first: What does Manchester United Already Do?

1Manchester United prioritises loyal fans but can leverage digital collectibles.

Manchester United employs a range of strategies to ensure their passionate fans can secure tickets. They prioritise their dedicated season ticket holders, granting them the first opportunity to purchase tickets, which are typically more affordable than individual match tickets. For the general public, match tickets are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, emphasising the significance of early purchase, particularly for high-profile games.

Leveraging the power of digital collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), we can create an innovative marketing campaign that deepens the connection the club has with its devoted fans and boost ticket sales for matches at the iconic Old Trafford stadium. It can not only revolutionise the fan experience, but also foster increased brand loyalty while offering unique incentives to supporters.

Pre-Launch: Digital Match Tickets

Transform Sports Marketing & Fan Experiences with Digital CollectiblesFor fans across the world, watching football greats in action is a dream. (Credit: Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash)

The Premier League, which Manchester United has won 13 times, is the highest level of the English football league system. The season typically starts in August and ends in May, with each team playing 38 matches against all other teams both at home (i.e. their own stadium) and away (at others). Most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with occasional weekday evening fixtures.
It’s the perfect time to set our hypothetical campaign. So, before the start of the season, the club would need to introduce NFT-based digital match tickets that fans can purchase and collect. The incentive to buy? Personalisation. When tickets are personalised with a fan's name, match details, etc., it creates a special feeling of ownership for the fan. The tickets can be designed to offer two varieties: one ‘type’ that’s only for a specific match, and one that’s a season pass. Effectively creating tiers, each should offer fans more than a digital match ticket: in fact, they should be able to get exclusive content related to the game and players.

Through the Season: Exclusive Content

3Digital collectibles offer exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content for fans. (Credit: Michael Discenza on Unsplash)

Fans crave an intimate connection with their favourite team, vying to know more about their favourite players’ strategy and training. Through these digital collectibles, the club can offer exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content, including training sessions, locker room tours, and interviews with players and staff. Fans can gain unprecedented insight into the club's inner workings and experience the daily life of their football idols.

Fans should also be offered a chance to relive Manchester United's greatest victories and historic moments through iconic match scenes that can only be accessed as NFTs. From last-minute goals to championship celebrations, these digital collectibles will allow fans to own a piece of the club's legendary history. Each NFT will be accompanied by a detailed description and commentary, providing fans with a deeper understanding of the significance of the moment and connecting them emotionally to the club's rich heritage.

For season pass owners, all this can be made special either through quantifiable ways (where they have access to many such content pieces, while those with only single-match tickets can see a limited number) or by offering more personalised and exclusive content. So, if everyone can see player interviews and locker room tours, the season-pass owners can also, in addition, see videos of the coaches running through strategy, or team matches played for practice.

Through the Season: Increasing Rewards

Transform Sports Marketing & Fan Experiences with Digital Collectibles (1)Web3 allows enhanced fan experiences with unique NFT player cards & other exclusives.  (Credit: Photo by Shubham's Web3 on Unsplash)

To further incentivise the fans to attend more matches, the club can announce additional rewards.

Limited-Edition Player Cards

Manchester United's star players can introduce their own unique NFT player cards. These collectible cards can showcase the player's statistics, achievements, and memorable moments from their career with the club. Fans will have the opportunity to collect and trade these cards, fostering a sense of community among supporters. Owning rare player cards may unlock special benefits, such as priority access to match tickets or invitations to exclusive events.


The club can leverage digital collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to create exclusive experiences, such as granting special fans access to post-match after parties. They essentially turn into VIP tickets for a select few, so they get to actually share space and rub shoulders with their favourite players and the coaching staff. This can be made even more special by offering special artwork or photographs commemorating the event that can be accessed through with NFTs too.


Incorporating NFTs into hospitality packages, based on attendance, can offer fans a more immersive and memorable experience. These enhanced hospitality packages can include additional amenities like access to VIP lounges, complimentary food and drinks, and individual tours of Old Trafford. Not only would these be unforgettable experiences, but tangible ones.

Our Conclusion?

While this is a hypothetical campaign, you can see how the implementation of digital collectibles can seamlessly integrate with an existing sports marketing effort to increase both brand loyalty and ticket sales.

Fans are at the centre of what clubs like Manchester United care about, so finding new and exciting ways to reinforce the bond between the club and its fans turns them into proud brand ambassadors who feel like they’re paid attention to and rewarded for their loyalty and advocacy. When this kind of sentiment is fostered and added to with exclusive benefits, it turns match tickets into highly sought-after items, because fans want the kind of immersive, augmented experience digital collectibles promise them on every match day.

At The Blue Marble, we can work with you to craft innovative sports marketing campaigns that harness the power of digital collectibles while understanding how you want to deepen your connection to your fans. Through our tailored strategy and seamless execution, you can make use of our sustainable marketplace that’s funded by a carbon-neutral blockchain to use web3 to deepen customer relationships and sweat your best asset: your fans.

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