Major League Baseball (MLB) is turning to blockchain to expand its fanbase.
MLB announced Friday that it has partnered with Lucid Sight, a blockchain startup based in Los Angeles, to launch a dApp game on ethereum late this summer to allow baseball fans to interact with their favorite moments during the games, Yahoo Finance reported.
The game, MLB Crypto Baseball, will work similarly to CryptoKitties, which had a direct influence on the baseball league’s new game, according to MLB executive vice president of gaming and new business ventures Kenny Gersh.
“We were already talking to Lucid Sight around the time that CryptoKitties first came out,” Gersh said. “And then CryptoKitties sort of validated it a little bit more.”
In order to play this game, users must purchase ether and transfer it to MetaMask, one of the most popular ethereum browser wallets. After that, they can trade digital avatars tied to specific moments in recent games while possibly earning rewards and stickers.
MLB has seen attendance at games drop this season and it hopes that this game can attract a broader audience.
“That is 100 [percent] one of the strategic goals of this initiative. Collecting items related to your team, engaging with your team in a new way. For me, say the Red Sox win the division in a couple months, I want to buy something that symbolizes that. These will be event-based things—those moments in sports that happen that you want to remember and cherish, and have a sense that you were there, even if only digitally.”
Lucid Sight co-founder Octavio Herrera said in an interview with Yahoo Finance that they are hoping the game can eventually reaching out a broader range of users, not just the tech savvy people.
“The game will roll out in stages. So yes, for version one you will need ether, you will need MetaMask, it will be a little bit difficult to get into. But I do think people will open up Coinbase accounts, buy some ether, and transfer it to MetaMask, in order to collect these things they’ll enjoy so much,” he said.
This is not the first time pro sports are experimenting crypto and blockchain technology. Sacramento Kings, a men’s basketball team in the NBA, said in June that it will mine ethers for charity purposes.