International Cricket Council and NEAR Foundation Sign Multiyear Partnership to Boost Global Fan Engagement Through Web3

NEAR Foundation
September 27, 2023

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the NEAR Foundation are entering into a groundbreaking new partnership that will utilize Web3 tools built on the NEAR Blockchain to deepen engagement in the sport.

The NEAR Foundation will become the ICC’s official blockchain partner, helping cricket’s governing body create new ways for fans to get closer to their favorite teams and players using Web3 technology. 

“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,” says Finn Bradshaw, Head of Digital at the ICC.

“We are looking forward to exploring ways in which we can use new technology to create lasting, valuable experiences for our fans.”

The partnership will launch its first collaboration as part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, starting on October 5 in India. Built on NEAR’s Blockchain Operating System (B.O.S), the ICC will release a pre-match strategy challenge that pits players against each other to pick the best team. 

Each player can make choices across three key facets of the challenge: batting, bowling and fielding. Once a player has built their perfect strategy, as the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup unfolds, their team will receive points based on the real life performance of the players they picked. 

A leaderboard will track each fans’ performance and weekly winners will be awarded prizes including match tickets, exclusive events, Men’s Cricket World Cup merchandise, and more. This new type of engagement, built thanks to the B.O.S, helps to place fans at the center of the action, bringing them closer to the game than ever before.

A new era in sports engagement 

“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,” says Chris Donovan, CEO of the NEAR Foundation

“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.” 

After the Men’s Cricket World Cup, the partnership between the NEAR Foundation and the ICC will continue to the end of 2025. During that time, both sides have committed to work together to develop other Web3 use cases that help fans get closer to the sport. 

Initial use cases include development of a fan passport that allows fans to record their actions and memories, in a tamper proof way across every touchpoint, both online and off.  

These innovations are all made possible thanks to the B.O.S. With its full stack of Web3 tools and easy onboarding, partners like the ICC can take advantage of the world’s most highly scalable, community-driven, and secure blockchains that deliver proven, best-in-class performance that can support any kind of Web3 strategy. 


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