(Full Announcement, further below)
Karate Combat Becomes First Professional Sports League to Launch a DAO and Transition Governance to its Fans and Athletes
Half of the $KARATE governance tokens will be distributed for free over time to the Karate Combat community for participation in the DAO and the League’s Up Only Gaming application
What is a DAO?
Unlike traditional ‘pyramid’ company structures, DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) models are horizontal: everyone in the organization has a say in the company operation, from matchmaking and fighter signings to event locations, partnerships and more.
DAOs are operated using blockchain technology to create digital tokens. If you own a token, you’re part of the DAO.
The Chicago Bulls, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Paris Saint-Germain are among many sports brands offering digital tokens to their fans, but Karate Combat is the first global sports brand to expand tokens into an actual DAO ownership model.
$KARATE token holders will also be rewarded for their knowledge of the sport by earning additional tokens for successfully predicting Karate Combat bout winners. No tokens will be lost for unsuccessful predictions, but successful predictions will be rewarded with extra $KARATE tokens.
The token is being facilitated by the HBAR Foundation, the exclusive blockchain sponsor of Karate Combat, and utilizes the Hedera network. This sponsorship is one of the first announced deals in the HBAR Foundation’s newly announced $250,000,000 metaverse fund.
The Full Announcement:
Karate Combat will become the first sports league to transition its governance to its fans and athletes by forming a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) in January 2023.
Under the DAO structure, $KARATE token holders will determine the league’s budget, resource allocation, supplier selection, marketing strategy, rule changes and – within boundaries set by the league’s fight operations group – fighter contracts and fight match-up selections.
Since debuting publicly in 2018, Karate Combat has become one of the world’s fastest growing sports franchises. It has television broadcast distribution in more than 100 countries through partnerships with leading media properties including CBS Sports, Globo, Eurosport, BeIN Sports and ESPN Deportes. Additionally, Karate Combat events are simultaneously streamed for free on the top global platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok.
The league’s August event, “Karate Combat 35,” set a league record at approximately 6.6 million digital views, and Karate Combat exceeded 143 million digital video views that month. The league has built an online community of over 3.5 million fans, with more than 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 1.1 million on Facebook, and 860,000 on TikTok.
“From inception, Karate Combat has pioneered new concepts in sports entertainment – from our signature fighting pit to our groundbreaking virtual production utilizing Unreal Engine. The sporting world must evolve to increase engagement with a new generation of fans who have grown up on social media and digital gaming. They expect to be active participants in the action, rather than passive viewers. When the DAO launches, Karate Combat fans and fighters will participate in governance, which will provide unmatched levels of interaction and engagement at all levels of our community.” said Adam Kovacs, Karate Combat President.
The DAO launch is part of Karate Combat’s landmark, three-year sponsorship agreement with The HBAR Foundation, an organization fueling the development of the Hedera ecosystem. Hedera’s landmark sponsorship kicked off in May of 2022 as part of the league’s “Season 4” programming. The league has previously formed partnerships with SushiSwap and Epic Games Unreal Engine, which power’s Karate Combat’s unique blend of live action and immersive CGI environments.
“Karate Combat’s large and rapidly growing fanbase will bring a number of new users to the Hedera network, all of whom will benefit from the network’s fixed low cost transactions, real-time settlement, high standards of security, and unrivaled sustainability. In expanding the reach of Hedera to new groups, our aim is to onboard use cases with tangible, real-world impact for end-users. Karate Combat’s application of Web3 tools provides exactly that,” said Shayne Higdon, Co-Founder & CEO at The HBAR Foundation.
Karate Combat will give away half of the $KARATE governance tokens over time to its community through an airdrop on the Hedera blockchain. The airdrop will coincide with the launch of the Karate Combat mobile app, which will enable fans to seamlessly claim their tokens and participate in the league’s no-loss gaming application called ‘Up Only Gaming.’ No purchase will be necessary for fans to download the league’s applications, or to claim $KARATE tokens.
In sports gambling, participants stake bets with their capital and incur potential losses. In contrast, Karate Combat token holders will be rewarded with extra $KARATE tokens for successfully predicting Karate Combat winners, but will not incur losses for incorrect picks.
Earlier this year, the league was sold to Sensei Foundation, a Cayman Islands Foundation Company, and a subsidiary of Sensei Foundation BVI, a purpose trust established in the British Virgin Islands to promote the league and the sport of karate. The league is committed to an open decentralization model that will feature unprecedented transparency, fan control over intellectual property, and developer incentives to foster a broad and emergent Karate Combat Universe, built by the community.