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International Cricket Council and NEAR Foundation sign groundbreaking, multiyear partnership to boost global fan engagement through Web3

Thu 28 Sep 2023 ▪ 6 min of reading ▪ by La Rédaction C. Press Release

September 27th, 2023: The International Cricket Council and the Near Foundation today announced a groundbreaking first of its kind technology partnership that will utilise the NEAR Web3 ecosystem to deepen cricket fans engagement with the game across the world.

International Cricket Council LOGO

The NEAR Foundation will become the ICC’s Official Blockchain Partner through to the end of 2025 and will assist in increasing fan engagement, bringing the sport to new audiences and providing long-term value to fans.

The partnership will launch with the creation of a pre-match strategy challenge ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India starting on 5 October. The challenge powered by NEAR’s Blockchain Operating System (B.O.S.) will enable fans to put their cricket knowledge against others to show their understanding of the sport. 

Users will be challenged to strategic decisions to create winning combinations across cricket’s three key facets  – batting, bowling and fielding. As the real-life matches unfold, the team’s performance on the pitch directly impacts the fans’ scores. A leaderboard will capture each fans’ performance and weekly winners will be awarded prizes including: match tickets, exclusive events, Men’s CWC merchandise and more placing fans at the centre of the action and bringing them closer to the game than ever before.

By building their products on the B.O.S. the ICC will benefit from the reliability of one of the world’s most highly scalable, community driven, and secure blockchains, that delivers proven, best-in-class performance that can support any kind of Web3 strategy. This will enable the ICC to build experiences that create direct connections between hundreds of millions of fans around the world, and foster increased engagement between fans, ICC events and their favourite teams and players.

Post ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, both sides will work together in partnership to develop long term Web3 use cases that will celebrate and encourage loyalty to the sport – the bigger the fan, the more they are rewarded with prizes and greater access to the game they love. The B.O.S., with its full stack of web3 tools and easy onboarding, will enable the ICC to move towards the goal of developing a fan passport that allows fans to record their actions and memories, in a tamper proof way across every touchpoint, both online and off.  

We are excited to embark on this partnership with NEAR Foundation and to use their technology and network of talent to create better and deeper fan engagement around the globe. We are looking forward to exploring ways in which we can use new technology to create lasting, valuable experiences for our fans.

Finn Bradshaw, Head of Digital

We are extremely excited to be working with the ICC in this multi-year deal. This is one of our biggest partnership announcements to date and solidifies our reputation as a go to blockchain technology provider in the sporting world. Given the immense size and popularity of cricket, the NEAR ecosystem will potentially be exposed to hundreds of millions of cricket fans who will have the opportunity to learn about NEAR Foundation’s mission of increasing the adoption of an open web, and get the chance to interact with Web3 use cases built on the Blockchain Operating System. We look forward to opportunities that this mutually beneficial agreement will bring to cricket fans and to playing a key role in using Web3 to make  the world of sport more inclusive and exciting for everyone.

Chris Donovan, CEO of the NEAR Foundation on the significance of this partnership

About The International Cricket Council (ICC)

The ICC is the global governing body for cricket. Representing 108 members, the ICC governs and administrates the game and is responsible for the staging of major international tournaments including the ICC World Test Championship Final, ICC Men’s and Women’s Cricket World Cups, T20 World Cups as well as all associated qualifying events.  

The ICC presides over the ICC Code of Conduct which sets the professional standards of discipline for international cricket, playing conditions, bowling reviews and other ICC regulations. The Laws of the game remain under the auspices of the MCC.  

The ICC also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day Internationals and T20 Internationals. Through the Integrity Unit it coordinates action against corruption and match fixing. 

The ICC Development department works with Associate Members to improve the quality of international cricket, build better cricket systems, get more people playing cricket and grow the game. 

About the NEAR Foundation: 

The NEAR Foundation is a non-profit that supports the growth and development of the NEAR ecosystem and the Blockchain Operating System (B.O.S.), a full stack Web3 development and app distribution platform at the heart of an open web. The B.O.S. is compatible with all blockchains, making it the entry point to the open web for users and developers alike. Founded on the principles of openness and sustainability, the NEAR Foundation is driven by the vision of putting information and technology in the service of humanity rather than political or corporate interests. 

For more information, please visit: NEAR Foundation

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La Rédaction C.

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