Saudi Arabia's smart play in football investment elevates sports tourism

Interactive sports entertainment and football investment: Shaping the future of sports tourism


Anam Khan

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Published: Wed 27 Sep 2023, 3:44 PM

The Football World Cup held once every four years, has consistently been a magnet for fans and tourists alike, fostering cultural exchanges and showcasing host countries' infrastructure and hospitality. The Qatar World Cup 2022 has generated approximately $7.5 billion for FIFA through commercial deals, an increase of $1 billion from the previous World Cup in Russia in 2018, underlining the immense potential of this industry.

In a recent podcast interview on CFTE's WhatsNext: Fintech and Web3's podcast, titled "The next generation fan engagement platform: Gaming and Web 3," Amr El-Beheiry and Ibrahim El Mohdar, co-founders of Fanzword, emphasised the pivotal role sports tourism plays in boosting countries' revenue, particularly during mega-events like the Football World Cup. With over a third of the world's population tuning in to watch this prestigious tournament, it's evident that interactive sports entertainment has become a cornerstone of global culture.

El-Beheiry's insights shed light on the evolving landscape of sports entertainment, particularly among today's youth. As the co-founder of Fanzword, a platform dedicated to enhancing the fan experience through innovative technology, he understands the importance of engaging sports enthusiasts in new and interactive ways. In the podcast episode, El-Beheiry and El Mohdar also discussed vital topics shaping the sports, technology, and interactive entertainment landscape, including applicable strategies for enriching user engagement, how countries like Saudi Arabia leverage football for inbound tourism, and the incorporation of Web 3 in the UAE.

Interactive sports entertainment has witnessed explosive growth, with platforms like Fanzword leading the way. These platforms enable fans to connect with their favourite sports and teams on a deeper level, offering features like live polls, augmented reality experiences, and virtual meet-and-greets with athletes. This growth has significant implications for the sports industry, attracting new and younger fans, providing revenue-generating opportunities for sports organisations and creating a thriving sports technology sector.

Fanzword recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with XVC Tech, a $125 million fund specialising in early-stage Web3 start-ups. This partnership includes a substantial investment commitment worth $1.2 million in the pre-seed round, led by XVC Tech and other Angel Investors from the region. With over 250,000 downloads, 15 million predictions, and an outstanding 4.7/5 rating on Apple Store and Google Play, Fanzword has solidified its position as the go-to destination for football aficionados. The platform's explosive growth in 2022, with a user base increase of 120x, is just the beginning of its journey into becoming a web3 gaming powerhouse. What sets it apart is its integration with the XDC network and backing by XVC Tech, making it a groundbreaking venture in the realm of blockchain and sports technology.

At its core, Fanzword is an online community that unites football fans worldwide. It provides a dynamic and immersive experience where fans can engage with their favourite teams, players, and fellow enthusiasts. The platform's use of blockchain technology, specifically the XDC Network, ensures its operations' transparency, security, and reliability.

As the Football World Cup captivates audiences globally, it serves as a reminder of the immense potential of sports tourism and interactive sports entertainment. El-Beheiry and El Mohdar's insights on the "WhatsNext: Fintech and Web3 Podcast" underscore the importance of innovation and technology in shaping the future of sports. As platforms like Fanzword continue to evolve, they are poised to play a major role in shaping the future of sports tourism.

This dynamic combination of sports, technology, and tourism, highlighted by Fanzword's innovative approach and Saudi Arabia's football investment initiatives, is set to reshape the global sports landscape, attracting the attention of investors across the Gulf region and beyond. Saudi Arabia is taking centre stage in football investment, leveraging platforms like Fanzword to boost inbound tourism and usher in a new era of interactive sports entertainment with the help of the latest technology.

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