Although some race organizers are already creating their own NFT collections, the power of Web3 remains largely unexplored by the running world. Technology has much more to offer to help marathons boost their profits and provide a more memorable experience for participants.

Store visual memories as NFTs 

Recently Eluid Kipchoge, the fastest marathon runner in history, auctioned two highlight reel videos as NFTs. The supercut of his record-breaking 2018 marathon in Berlin and his historic marathon in Vienna, which he finished in under two hours, went for almost $40,000. Kipchoge also added personal video messages for the bidders.

Any moments of personal triumph, such as photos or videos, can be stored as NFTs, unique digital collectables. Yassport, a new member of Running USA, has already developed technology that allows athletes to save visual memories along with awards and personal results.

NFTs could add to your participants’ experience by transforming their photos and videos into something that cannot be lost, copied, and is always there for you to stay motivated. Their digital collectibles will be traceable on the blockchain.

NFT awards for race runners 

The first ever half marathon NFT reward was launched by the UK-based event organizer LimeLight Sports Club. A futuristic limited-edition collectable holographic NFT was created exclusively for participants in the 2022 Hackney Half Maration.

Each NFT was personalized with the runner’s finish time, and winners received awards threaded through with gold, silver, or bronze.

Yassport already digitalized and stored around 3 million medals to help runners verify and save information on the blockchain.

Unlike millions of NFT projects, Yassport isn’t creating new unguaranteed assets but bringing real, existing awards into the virtual world – with a verification.

Thanks to the platform, race organizers can send digital awards to all participants in the form of NFTs. Yassport automatically collects data on all races in the U.S. and around the world.

NFTs and brand collaborations

Nike, one of the most popular running brands, generated around $1 billion in revenue from secondary sales of NFTs. In April, the company released its first collection of virtual sneakers, called Cryptokicks, which included 20,000 NFTs. One of them, designed by the artist Takashi Murakami, sold for $134,000.

Adidas also made around $22 million with a limited-edition NFT streetwear collection. The project was launched in partnership with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comic, and the crypto evangelist GMoney. Asics, the Japanese athletic brand, created 1,000 NFT sneakers in collaboration with a fitness app that rewards runners with cryptocurrency for each step they take.

For race organizers, digital collectibles open numerous paths to collaborate with popular sport brands and improve runners’ experience buying personalized sportswear.

Boost the marathon’s visibility online

NFTs are now being integrated into the world of social media. Recently, Meta allowed users to post their digital collectibles on Facebook and Instagram. Now runners can share their blockchain-verified race results and other achievements while boosting the marathon’s visibility.

Yassport takes care of the technical side and verifies the runner’s race results on the blockchain. In the future, runners will be able to transfer their digital medals to crypto wallets and sell them as NFTs on the secondary market.

The company has already collected data on all races around the world to provide runners with digital medals and verified results. With Yassport, race organizers can enter the emerging virtual world and enhance their offerings with new, unique experiences for runners.