Bowling Achievements Turned NFTs: Pros, Cons & the Future of Digital Awards

Bowling alley scene with vibrant colors, Art Deco style, dramatic contrast, dynamic lighting, virtual awards and milestones displayed, mood of excitement and accomplishment, players celebrating their League Bowler Certification Awards, hints of metaverse integration, no brands/logos, captivating atmosphere.

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and parent company Bowlero have announced the launch of League Bowler Certification (LBC) Awards, tokenized achievements in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Avalanche blockchain. These NFT-based awards will be airdropped for free to approximately 300,000 participants in Bowlero center leagues, recognizing their bowling feats.

Described as a “loyalty program on steroids” by Bowlero Chief Strategy Officer Lev Ekster, the LBC Awards will not be tradable or sold, making them soulbound tokens. Initially, the awards will commemorate achievements such as a league player bowling their first 200-score game, a perfect 300 game, a series of 700 or 800 total points, or scoring 50 or 100 points above their average.

The PBA previously distributed physical awards for certain milestones, including rings; however, the practice was discontinued, leaving some players disappointed. Ekster admitted that introducing digital awards was a “giant leap” for the PBA, considering it is a physical sport-centric organization. Bowlero and the PBA teamed up with Layer 3 Labs to launch this initiative.

Layer 3 Labs CEO Jonathan Teplitsky highlighted the company’s specialization in bringing Web2 brands into Web3. The PBA will use a dedicated Avalanche subnet to manage the digital awards for bowlers, ensuring smooth operations without risking network congestion. Bowlers are already onboarded onto the PBA’s LeaguePals platform, making them eligible to receive digital awards without needing to handle any cryptocurrency.

The PBA prefers to call these assets “digital awards” instead of NFTs, acknowledging that its community may not be familiar with the term. The digital awards program’s first phase is just the beginning; the next phase will award points redeemable for physical products such as bowling balls, equipment, or even trophies for certain milestones. The Avalanche blockchain will verify the authenticity of these achievements to determine eligibility for physical rewards.

Teplitsky envisions potential future applications for the program, such as bowlers’ progress and rewards integrating into a metaverse game world or unlocking real-world benefits at Bowlero centers. Initially, the program will be limited to Bowlero leagues but may expand to leagues at other bowling alleys across America or even globally. If successful, the digital awards program could onboard millions of bowlers into Web3.

Teplitsky sees this implementation of blockchain technology as a significant step for businesses integrating Web3 into their models. As more companies adopt this technology, the future of blockchain usage in various industries appears bright.

Source: Decrypt

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