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A-Rod Says Blockchain Can Bring Sports-Team Ownership to Masses

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Small-time sports fans could get a piece of big-time teams with the help of blockchain technology, according to baseball-player-turned-businessman Alex Rodriguez.

“With blockchain, I think millions of people around the world will have an opportunity to own a sports team, if not a small stake in one,” Rodriguez said at the Futures Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, Florida, Thursday.

“We don’t have that opportunity, but tomorrow I think we will,” said the former Major League Baseball star also known as “A-Rod.”

Sports teams have been embracing the digital asset craze, forming partnerships with crypto companies and issuing “fan tokens” that give holders a variety of perks, such as voting on their team’s jersey color and participating in raffles.

Samuel Bankman-Fried, chief executive officer of crypto exchange FTX, said one way for teams to sell ownership stakes using blockchain could be to issue governance tokens, which would give voting powers to holders that allow them to participate in business decisions.

“You can imagine on-chain votes that decide what actions a team takes,” Bankman-Fried said in an interview at the conference.

Blockchain is a decentralized public ledger, best known for its use in recording cryptocurrency transactions, that can be used to move assets between owners.

Rodriguez became a part-owner with Marc Lore in the National Basketball League’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the Women’s National Basketball Association Minnesota Lynx in April.

The two business partners have been active in deals over the past year, starting a venture capital firm and putting money into everything from an online brokerage to a nuclear-fusion energy startup.

Rodriguez and Lore recently invested in a new company called Mojo, which aims to be a “stock market” for professional athletes. The business, expected to debut at the end of the year, lets fans buy and sell players, whose values rise and fall based on their performance on the field.

(Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

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