Omri Lachman, CEO and Co-Founder of LEAP, a next-generation sporting discovery and endorsement gaming platform which leverages Web3 and blockchain technology.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded LEAP.
Omri Lachman: I am a serial tech entrepreneur and executive with over 15 years of experience in launching and scaling disruptive ventures across a variety of impactful markets. I’ve been steering innovation through groundbreaking technologies, inspiring change, and profoundly improving our day-to-day life on both the consumer and enterprise front.
LEAP, the venture I am now heading, keeps me up at night because we are trying to revolutionize the world of sports and solve one of its toughest challenges. The sports industry, which is almost entirely institutionalized and closed, is missing a huge amount of “raw material” called Talent. Not every skilled and talented child will become the next star or the best athlete. But even if a talented kid is being identified by a professional sports entity, there are logistical, financial, and immigration barriers to getting them engaged. This can no longer be the way for a Talent to thrive with his skills. This is what we’re looking to solve here and change at LEAP. Just like new content creators are being born on social media, there is no reason why the next generation of sportsmen and sportswomen will be born and lead their unique careers outside the institutionalized sports industry. In the spirit of Web 3.0, we are trying to democratize the space by ensuring that every person engaged in sports activities has an equal shot to introduce themselves and start building a journey.
Tell us more about your platform/technology. What makes LEAP unique?
Omri Lachman: What we’re doing in sports will put a dent in the universe. We’re looking at the industry from a completely different perspective and undertaking a considerable challenge trying to connect at least three different universes and mash them into one. That is the traditional sports industry, the part of the Web 2.0 industry that turns digital, and then the part of Web 3.0, which still doesn’t exist because the whole concept of the semantic web is brand-new. Through that intertwined point or bridge that we’re creating through LEAP to connect all ends, we’re connecting different types of users and people who haven’t yet connected. We believe that a successful connection here is not only enhancing the envelope of the current sports industry tenfold but also creating a parallel dimension—a brand new one with new opportunities that this industry hasn’t even digested.
With that in mind, we created LEAP, a next-generation sporting discovery and endorsement platform. Cleverly hidden and blended within Play-to-Earn (P2E) game settings, the LEAP platform leverages Web3.0 technologies to solve the main problem that talents face today: getting discovered. There are many talented athletes around the world who never obtain any meaningful exposure due to the challenges of obtaining mainstream media coverage. Talents who live in challenging economies may not have access to capital and tools which would enable them to participate in a Web2 platform. Such challenges effectively exclude them from participating in the global sports economy—stifling, or even halting their potential as an athlete. LEAP looks to change this.
How does your platform help unearth sporting talent in underprivileged parts of the world?
Omri Lachman: The definition of talent has evolved. These days, it is no longer necessary for athletes to ascend into the NBA or other professional sports leagues in order to “make it.” In a world where less than 0.01% of athletes will reach these professional ranks, many athletes strive for a secondary route to stardom—one achieved via becoming a digital influencer. Thanks to new, decentralized economic models enabled by blockchain technologies, not only is this possible but such possibilities are democratized and accessible for all.
Leveraging the full capabilities of blockchain technology, LEAP provides the foundational layer where the next generation of athletes and their fans will come and grow together. By utilizing new Web3.0 capabilities such as Play-to-Earn (P2E), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and Utility Tokens, along with a new wave of social media channels, and LEAP’s proprietary Ranking & Discovery Engine, LEAP is trailblazing new ways for players, talent seekers, fans and others to interact in the entertaining and lucrative sporting world.
Using P2E settings, LEAP will give a chance to earn real-world rewards by engaging with the LEAP community. Besides fun and entertaining experience on the platform, LEAP provides users with access to virtual assets, allowing Talents to create, own and trade in them. Furthermore, as these digital assets grow in value and popularity, these assets can be leveraged off the platform and into other Web3 solutions.
What are the current trends in the sports/blockchain industry, and how fast does it change?
Omri Lachman: We are at the dawn of a new era in the digital world. Blockchain technology and all it enables will soon make a profound and significant impact across all industries—it will change everyday people’s lives.
Within sports, blockchain will soon change how athletes interact with fans, how players interact with each other and how talents from all over the globe get discovered. Entire new business models leveraging these technologies will soon be built. These models will not only introduce new economies which do not exist today but will also provide the foundation for all sporting talents to strengthen their chances of discovery and to monetize their talent as they develop, empowering them to make a living by doing what they love.
The burgeoning P2E market, which exploded in popularity in 2021, is expected to establish itself as a new type of economy going forward. Highly popular within countries and economies where its inhabitants face daily struggles in bringing in earnings, the Play-to-Earn economy provides its participants access to capital and resources from around the globe. This approach allows users to detach themselves from the local economy and earn on a global scale—all while playing games and having fun. Initially led by video games—the P2E market will soon expand towards other applications where users are rewarded for their engagement.
However, the P2E success has been enabled by another rising economy, NFTs. The NFT market has shown that users highly enjoy accumulating collectibles, and investing, speculating, trading, and exchanging NFTs with others around the world. Similar to P2E, growth in this sector is expected to continue its upward trajectory.
Who is the target audience of LEAP?
Omri Lachman: LEAP is welcoming all sports enthusiasts across all parts of the world to participate in a new sports economy powered by Web3 and the possibilities which it enables through P2E, NFTs, the metaverse and more.
Built by sports enthusiasts, for sports enthusiasts, LEAP understands what people want and what keeps them entertained. LEAP attracts individuals who love competition, fun, and a gamified experience. The popularity of “fantasy” sports leagues in the last few decades has confirmed that individuals enjoy analyzing, competing, discovering, and living and breathing sports. By providing a platform that allows all of this, as well as a ranking system that encourages users to improve continuously, LEAP has inherent characteristics that will keep the users constantly wanting to come back for more.
How do you see the future of Leap? What are the next steps for LEAP?
Omri Lachman: 2021 has shown that blockchain technology is here to stay. With waves of new participants entering the crypto economy on a daily basis, it is only a matter of time before a critical mass is achieved and Web3.0 capabilities become fully leveraged.
For many new users, blockchain-based applications may appear to be intimidating. However, LEAP’s platform is designed so that its users will not need to be overwhelmed by sophisticated Web3.0 terms. With P2E and NFTs as a central tenet around how LEAP’s users will engage in the space, users will be participating in a Web3.0 world without any of the technological barriers that usually come with entering a new technological space. Unburdened by such an approach, LEAP expects an influx of non-native crypto users to the platform who want to participate in the LEAP economy over the long term. Enabled by the fun environment created by the LEAP team and the long-term goals of both talents and talent seekers, LEAP is a platform that looks to keep its users in the ecosystem for years to come.
Your final thoughts?
Omri Lachman: Changing the world of sports is not a single-company mission. I think what we’re doing at LEAP is a major and bold game-changer. We’re not just improving something or providing a solution, we’re introducing a brand new meta-universe of Sports, bringing new opportunities for everyone passionate about it.