Michał Glijer, the founder and CEO of Zetly speaks about new developments in technology around web3, NFTs and metaverse and why it is important to have a strategy, educate and build an ecosystem before starting to monetize the assets.
You are a new member of the FBIN Business Network. May you introduce yourself?
My name is Michał Glijer I am the founder and Chief Executive Officer at Zetly, an All in One Sport and NFT Platform. I am an event and sport manager by education. When I was younger, I used to play basketball on position 2 shooting guard and used to basketball referee for almost 10 years.
What exactly are you doing and how can you help football organisations?
For several years now, counting the time of building the concept, developing all documents, the business model, we are working with the Zetly team on creating a unique All in One platform based on digital NFT assets, Club Tokens, which is also an ecosystem of mutual synergy, an ecosystem in which clubs, federations and athletes will be able to issue their collections, tokens and through them build the engagement of their fans. The platform is an innovative solution based on blockchain technology, thanks to which we will build a new digital economy for our partners. It is a tool which allows to generate new revenue streams, fans will be much closer to their teams, clubs will receive through the platform new marketing tools to increase their sponsorship value. In short, an ideal place for the world of sports, a win/win for everybody, because everyone will find something for themselves and everyone will be able to earn and generate revenue
In the further perspective, the platform is also an entrance to the virtual sports world of the metaverse. Zetly will operate and deliver tools and build fan engagement in Digital Twin Sport Metaverse and support smart arenas with cashless payment systems based on tokens and NFT and ticketing systems. The platform combines also education and fun for fans because one of the modules will contain a number of play2earn games, sports quizzes. To sum up, we want to change the sport industry with Zetly, while implementing new solutions for clubs, and we want to provide fans with new, unique experiences – this is our goal: Fuel sport with new technology solutions and new fan engagement experience.
You attended the FOFBC 2022 – what was your impression of the attendees and topics?
I found information about FBIN on Linkedin and bearing in mind that we are currently building a network of contacts in the world of sport, mainly football, I decided that it is worth going to Graz and making contacts, build relations. Graz due to the fact that I live permanently in Poland is not far away. I was positively surprised by the form of organization of the event itself. It turns out that you must take part in these events to establish valuable relationships. In Graz we met not only representatives of football organizations, but also several interesting companies with whom I hope that in the near future we will be able to establish closer cooperations, because their offer and product perfectly complements the activities of the Zetly platform.
I think FBIN’s goal is a very good idea because it focuses on sports organizations in this part of Europe, the DACH market and Eastern Europe, where practically nothing like this has been organized before. I realized that what Zetly offers is something new for many clubs. I can promise that we will be happy to support the development of FBIN and we will be very happy to take advantage of invitations to debates and workshops during which we will be able to share our knowledge with the entire FBIN community, so the new technologies can be implement and developed by clubs much faster.
NFTs, metaverse, web3 – are these buzzwords or is there real potential for the football business behind them?
These are not only fashionable slogans, but also the names of tools that should already be implemented in clubs and the new technology itself, the so-called Internet of Things, which will permanently appear in every aspect of our lives, including every sports institution.
Blockchain and its individual element fan tokens, NFTs, have great potential, not only financially, not only in the aspects of running and managing clubs, but also in the most important aspect which is fan engagement. Arenas without fans are just empty buildings, it is fans that drive sport, it is thanks to them that the world of sport generates huge revenues and brings together the largest corporations around the world. It is the fans who pose new challenges to us, that is why personally I think that the transformation it is already happening now.
Sport will be dominated by new technologies and their use by clubs will be forced by the fans of future generations. Sport Metaverse and our Digital Twin solution is something that the sports world has not seen before. We are not talking about impossible things, it is already with us, the technology is patented, and we are already working and talking with the clubs. The first process of scanning entire arenas will happen shortly. Sport Metaverse is a new dimension of watching sports events, in addition to the possibility of generating new revenue streams and income by selling virtual tickets for events, selling commercial space for advertising or building entire salons or shops next to the virtual stadium by the club’s business partners, it is also the opportunity to watch the match of your beloved club while maintaining the impression of watching the match live at the stadium, being for example on vacation in Asia far from home.
All this is possible already thanks to our technology. Club tokens, NFTs around the club can build a new economy because these tools can be used as an internal payment system at the facility, the ticketing system based on NFTs gives apart from the sale itself new opportunities to engage fans and at the same time eliminates the issues of fraud, counterfeiting tickets or the secondary market where tickets for large events reach cosmic prices and they are simply unavailable to regular fans.
Many people reading my words will think that this is the melody of the future, I say no, this is already happening and clubs who start to educate themselves and to prepare for using new web3 solution-based strategies will win. This is a process, and it takes time, so it is worth thinking about it today.
Technical developments shouldn’t be just fancy but make the life of the user easier or open new potentials. How is this the case with web3?
I agree, in my opinion, currently, above all, the new terminology makes sport clubs a little bit confused, so they can not recognize the whole benefits from this technology and there is lack of education. That is why it is very important to select and choose right partners who will provide support with education and will help to build the club strategy which contains using new digital assets.
We are still in the early stages of adoption to web3, currently maybe 4-5 percent of people know what it is and use it, but please believe me, using web3 applications new technologies is really simple. Using web3 solutions open up a number of new opportunities not only for clubs but also for fans because they will also be able to earn money on these solutions, new markets for collector cards will be created, computer games on which the fan will be able to earn. For example even by watching a stream of your club, a fan will earn something in the future by receiving free tokens. The way of thinking of new supporters of future generations will change, so why not be ready for it since everything around us is changing so rapidly, stop thinking what is now, start thinking what will be in nearest future. I see huge potential and huge opportunity for all clubs not only big ones.
What is the future you see for these technologies in football? Where do you see them in like five years?
Bearing in mind the fact that the largest clubs in the world are already strongly investing in web3, this means for me that we will see more and more adoption also by smaller leagues and clubs. In the future every aspect of our life is going to be digital so this is right time and moment for education, look closer what companies like Zetly can offer and what benefits one can draw from such cooperations.
The web3 world is already adopted by the largest corporate entities that offer various products and services of everyday life. The last world cup made the word “Crypto” reach several billion people through crypto.com’s advertising and this will fuel the adoption. For me the next five years are a dynamic leap in the understanding and application of technology by sport and more and more sports institutions will implement new solutions.
What do football organisations gain from addressing these topics?
I will answer briefly: new revenue streams, increase in the marketing value of the club, new tools for building fan engagement, digitization of the club, automation of marketing processes, marketing process automatization, modernization of the functioning of clubs, acquisition of new fans and sponsors.
Are these technical developments also relevant for small clubs? Or maybe not yet?
Absolutely, web3 or the Zetly platform is for all clubs, not only for the big ones. Every club should think about it now. The implementation of technology or a tool for fan engagement does not depend on the size of the club, but on the willingness of its authorities to introduce changes aimed at increasing efficiency based on new software or applications.
Clubs, in my opinion, often do not realize that the implementation of software or new technology is a much smaller cost than many other expenses that are in the club, and that software or technology generates much more income for the club. In my opinion, the problem often lies in the lack of a clear strategy.
The ultimate goal is to create benefits for fans and monetise them, right?
There are many customs for the implementation of new solutions, but one of the main ones is to establish new ways to monetize fans by providing them with new solutions and unique experience based on digital assets. It should be remembered that web3 is not a one-time entry process where monetization will appear immediately, it is a long-term process for years, which is why it is so important at the very beginning to educate the club’s employees and to have a clear strategy, then follows the process of communication with fans and building a secondary market for all new tools. Monetization is the last piece of this puzzle.
I think that many of the biggest clubs have taken shortcuts by trying to monetize everything from the very beginning, which showed that they do not have a market built yet, they did not prepare themselves with strategy, their fans are not educated, and these fan tokens become only a speculation asset.
Some NFT projects turned out to be scam lately. This discredits the whole business. How can you be sure to do “the right thing” as a football organisation?
NFT is the name of a digital asset, a tool to which utility protocols are assigned. NFTs in the future will take various forms, it can be a ticket, a coupon, the right to enter the locker room after matches to give high fives with the captain, a means of payment at the stadium or a sports card collection.
The most important thing for any NFT project is its utility behind, they build value, sense of ownership, it is based on usability that you will be able to verify whether something is scam or not. NFT gating, which is assigned the appropriate utility that is released for having NFTs, makes fans want to have it. This is the perfect tool to build fan engagement.
Financial markets are governed by their own laws, if we look closely at the results of the value of some tokens and see it grow by several hundred or several thousand percent, it was clear that this is speculation and sooner or later it will end.