Less than a year after signing a new club deal with PSG that included club fan tokens, international sports star Lionel Messi has signed a major multi-year, $20 million deal with fan token platform Socios.
It’s the latest in athlete engagement in crypto to make major headlines, after North American sports stars like Steph Curry, Tom Brady, and Odell Beckham Jr. announcing their new deals over the past year.
Socios Back For More
Messi made a splash last August shifting from long-time club Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain. That deal included a partial cryptocurrency token payment in PSG fan tokens, which Socios created in collaboration with the club. European football clubs have been a major focal point in Socios early growth, with other teams such as Juventus and Manchester City – among others – joining in. It’s been a competitive space, but one that Socios has taken a relatively dominant position in.
Messi will serve as an ambassador for Socios as part of the three-year, $20M deal, but the deal reportedly does not include cryptocurrency payments.
Socios and it's consumer-facing platform Chiliz (CHZ) have had a lull over recent months, but this week's news has caused the CHZ token to start to climb once more. | Source: CHZ-USD on TradingView.com
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Fan Tokens’ Future
PSG sits alongside over 100 global clubs that have signed deals with Socios since their inception, and while many view fan tokens at large as a potential new lever to pull to engage fans in a way like never before – there have been some concerns raised regarding fan token viability as well. Critics argue that the potential level of fan engagement is superficial and not worth the spend, and simply adds on to the cost of fandom.
In December of last year, Premier League club Arsenal was banned from promoting their fan token after British regulatory bodies concluded that it was in violation of advertising regulations. The country’s regulators stated that the team was “taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience in cryptocurrencies.”
Socios in particular has had their fair share of challenges, too. Earlier this month, the organization was accused of price manipulation, with some small reports being released that the CEO withheld the platform’s CHZ token payments to employees to help keep the price stable.
There is undoubtedly potential in the space, but utilizing fan tokens correctly and in a way that makes sense, and adds value for fans will be a major hurdle to overcome – and one that likely will vary from sport to sport.
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Featured image from Pexels, Charts from TradingView.com The writer of this content is not associated or affiliated with any of the parties mentioned in this article. This is not financial advice.