How influential is the sports crypto movement for fan engagement?

Socios.com is an app collaborating with blockchain firm, Chiliz that has created a new sports cryptocurrency movement. The joint venture allows it’s consumers to engage with partnered sports properties through exclusive activities. Some include earning special rewards through fan tokens and gaining acknowledgement as a ‘superfan’. Fan tokens are the most significant asset through the platform. The more tokens a customer collects, the more lucrative opportunities they’re presented with.

Multiple properties across football, gaming and combat sports have signed up to the sports cryptocurrency wave. Some include FC Barcelona, PSG, A.C. Milan, Team Alliance and the UFC. The value each sports brand gets from this innovative partnership differs. For example, FC Barcelona enables their supporters to participate in surveys and polls contributing to club decisions moving forward. The club has their own fan tokens, Barca fan tokens which consumers can purchase to win exclusive merchandise.

Leading MMA property, The UFC, have given their fans a chance to win ‘UFC passports’; 5x VIP tickets for a future event. To enter, fans needed to predict the results for the UFC’s #FightIsland events through the socios.com voting poll. This initiative opens a new avenue for fan engagement with combat sports fans to grow the UFC brand.

Italian football giants, AC Milan, use the voting feature for their supporters to decide what motto should appear in their team’s dressing room. Plus, fans can also elect on what teams they’d like Milan to compete against in friendlies, what goal celebration song should be played, asking questions in pre-live press conferences and picking the kit for the following season.

Socios.com x Chiliz has influenced a new way of thinking for sports properties. But what benefits can the mentioned sports brand takeaway from their partnerships?  

New revenue streams

It’s a chance to recover from financial deficits caused by COVID19 and bans on betting sponsorships across Spain and Italy. 2020 saw Socios.com generate $30 million through fan tokens and they’re hopeful they’ll surpass this figure by the end of 2021 with an increase in sports partnerships.

Personalisation

Personalised content has become ever so fundamental during the pandemic as it’s uncertain when fans can return to stadiums. Digitalisation has harnessed new ways for fans to remain connected with their clubs, including socios.com x Chiliz. The two parties haven’t only embraced stronger relationships between fans and sports brands; they’ve influenced sports properties to be led by their consumers. This increases the bargaining power sports fans have towards corporate decisions within sports properties.  

Increase in sponsorship rights

Fan tokens get listed on the apps open marketplace, and the assets are exchangeable across any fan exchange platform. Depending on the number of club supporters that sign up to socios.com, fan token value will alter. This can also influence a sports property’s net worth, also leading to impact sponsorship value. If net worth rises, a new category of trading and fintech-related sponsors could become widely-introduced as commercial sports stakeholders.


To summarise, Socios.com & Chiliz have created a huge commercial opportunity for sports properties think uniquely about optimising fan interactions, leading the digitalisation process through a personalised approach and potentially welcoming a new category of trading-related sponsors.

Published by Ash

I'm a First-Class Graduate in Sports Business Management who has worked across Local Government, Sport and the Third Sector. Throughout my career, I've developed a thriving passion to promote sport being used as a tool to bring positivity to the world we live in. This ethos has inspired me to create a website which champions this value through comprehensive online content for you to gain value from. Join me on this journey of discovering what sport can do to enhance society.

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