The Lumberjack Sports Institute division of the SFA athletic department is starting the first blockchain-powered rewards program in college sports history called the Token Club.

The Token Club, headed by SFA soccer coach Wally Crittenden, offers digital tokens to participants for buying tickets to and attending sporting events with the potential of winning a variety of prizes. A blockchain is a system in which a record of transactions is made using cryptocurrency in a peer-to-peer network.

Part of our mission is to promote innovation and collaboration within our community as it relates to athletics,” Crittenden said.

“As such, we created a rewards token that is unlike any other in the country, not only in being housed on the blockchain but also in its user utility. You can earn rewards for attendance at events or buy rewards if there is a benefit you would like to redeem tokens for but don’t have enough. You can even send tokens to your friends to help them out as easily as you send a text.”

With these tokens, members can get discounts on SFA merchandise, as well as benefits which include members-only tailgating, seating and discounts on tickets and merchandise. In addition to SFA-related perks, the LSI will be introducing vendors to the program that offer their own items.

“Vendors are very excited about including this in their sponsor packages,” Crittenden said. “We will be working with our rights partner to activate those sponsors by mid- summer, so everything is in place for the official fall launch. We will be making a special vendor announcement at some point this spring as a part of our trial, so stay tuned.”

On top of regular tokens, there is also a golden token that is sent to participants at random, allowing special perks not available to everyone.

“The fan that gets this random drop will have access to premium benefits like great prizes, bench seating at games, travel with teams and any other priceless experience we can design,” Crittenden said.

“Only current participants in the program are eligible for the Golden Jack drop as well.”

In order to send and receive tokens, members need to download and create their own TronWallet. The athletic department partnered with this program due to its low fees, user security and experience. Creating and using TronWallet is free and safe for users, and it will remain as the official wallet of the club after the official fall launch.

The Token Club has completed the spring launch of the program but is working to develop an app, as well as an official launch this fall. Redeemable merchandise will be announced at a later date.

“During our test period this semester, we will communicate via the LSI twitter @ SFASportScience, my twitter @WallyBallSFA and via our official telegram SFA Athletics when the rewards will be distributed,” Crittenden said.

“It will be at varying times to keep attendees on their toes and in their seats. When our app drops, we will actually have remote check-in, so you don’t even have to leave your seat, and within minutes of checking in, you will have tokens dropped to you.”

The club is free for both alumni and students. To sign up or learn more about earning tokens or TronWallet, visit sfasportscience.com.

“This is just the first step,” Crittenden said. “We already have some tremendous projects planned that we will collaborate with STEM on campus related to a blockchain based ticketing solution and social media rewards for content creation.

“Enjoy being a part of something very special that has the potential to help define future innovation throughout all of collegiate sports. Get involved and help solve problems with creative thinking as the LSI is now the platform to realize these concepts here at SFA.”

Meredith Janning has worked on The Pine Log since her second semester at Stephen F. Austin. During her time at The Pine Log, Meredith has held the positions of staff writer and news editor.

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