Exploring Fan Tokens In Football – The Sports Mirror – Sports News, Transfers, Scores


In late November, a new name was linked with the prestigious Ballon d’Or awards ahead of the 2021 ceremony. That name was Socios, who became partners with one of the most recognised honours in world football.

The agreement is just one of a succession of partnerships that the company have made which have seen them spread their wings right across the world of sport, as now they can cite huge names from the English Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, the MLS and more amongst their portfolio.

However, they’re not just associated with sporting organisations and teams, because they’ve recently dived deeper into the world of football by striking a three year deal with the winner of the 2021 Ballon d’Or award Lionel Messi, making him the latest high profile sports star to work with a company whose business is built on the blockchain. But who are Socios, and why are they important? Socios are the company behind fan tokens, which are the latest in a long line of digital assets that have become popular in football over the past few years, along with NFTs and cryptocurrencies. These club-specific tokens have become sought after in particular because they allow sports teams, leagues, associations, and players to strengthen their ties with their most significant stakeholders, their supporters.

How do the clubs benefit from fan tokens?

Simply put, the clubs who offer these items to their fans open a new revenue stream by selling them as alternative pieces of club memorabilia. The figures show that it’s been a good move too, because those who have already opened up their token offering have seen their balance sheets increased by massive amounts. For example, Spanish club Barcelona raised well above $1 million (6.5 Cr) within two hours of their 600,000 tokens going on sale, which shows how valuable they can be to the clubs involved. However, the potential profit doesn’t stop there, as when tokens sell out, the clubs also receive additional revenue via a commission if the owners decide to trade them with other supporters.

But why the interest from supporters?

Football fans are arguably as passionate about their favourite teams as they are their family, and they love nothing more than showing off their support of their clubs. These digital assets are branded in familiar club colours, and they also have a unique identifier, meaning that no two tokens are the same. But not only that, these tokens provide their owners with access to exclusive content from inside the organisations and the opportunity to engage with their favourite teams. This is done via polls which can influence decisions within the inner sanctum of their clubs. They’ve already been able to help decide on shirt designs, the naming of training facilities, and even selecting the motivational messages emblazed on the dressing room walls. What its clear to see is that it’s moved the token owners from interested fans to making them feel like they are personally invested in their clubs.

What does the future hold for fan tokens?

As we’ve already seen with the high number of sales, clubs are welcoming the new income stream, and thousands of fans have the chance to interact with their favourite clubs and players. Their success may well translate to other massive sports too, as Socios have recently expanded their network over in the USA as 13 NFL franchises are now on their roster; it will be intriguing to see how the American market develops over the coming months.

These points make it very likely that fan tokens will be around for some time yet, and they’re certainly worth keeping an eye on.

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