A growing number of major football clubs have launched digital tokens to engage fans, some of whom are unconvinced.

The results of major football clubs have also been hit hard by the start of the pandemic. Sales of Europe’s top 20 revenue-generating clubs fell 12% to € 8.2 billion ($ 9.9 billion) last year. With fans unable to attend the matches, many were played in empty stadiums.

In order to make up for this loss of revenue and renew engagement with fans, many of these clubs have started issuing fan tokens. These fan tokens allow team supporters to benefit from advantages, such as exclusive products or access to certain polls.

Some of the sport’s most popular clubs have started issuing fan tokens. For example, English Premier League champions Manchester City, AC Milan in Italy and FC Barcelona in Spain. National teams have also joined the team, such as the Spanish national team as well as the French national team.

Creation of fan tokens

To issue these fan tokens, teams typically work with crypto technology companies that do the actual issuance. They then get a share of the income from their initial sale. Although prices vary, several top clubs initially launched their tokens at around $ 2 each.

Several well-established European clubs have partnered with Chiliz, which also operates the sports crypto platform Socios.com. According to Chiliz CEO Alexandre Dreyfus, the company pays a royalty to the club and shares the revenue from the initial token sale. The company is targeting sales of $ 200 million this year.

It intends to share about half of it with its partner clubs. Chiliz has launched fan chips with 20 soccer teams and another 8 with teams from other sports, with plans to expand into the United States.

Fans on the fence

While the tokens have proven popular with some, others are interpreting the move a bit more cynically. For example, AS Roma fan in Italy, Katia Gigliotti, said she was initially reluctant to pay for the tokens. However, she came to appreciate being able to engage with the team and other fans during the lockdown.

On the other hand, some regret having to pay even more for this type of engagement. Sue Watson, president of the West Ham United Independent Supporters’ Association, said it increased existing costs of following a team, in addition to purchasing season tickets and football shirts. Meanwhile, Malcolm Clarke, president of the Football Supporters’ Association, had a more jaded outlook.

According to him, clubs are either trying to make money by giving supporters more voice in club decisions, or “they are trying to squeeze extra money out of supporters by creating online ‘engagement’ surveys. unimportant, “he said. “No either. “

Ultimately, some fans like tokens just for the sake of feeling more involved. “It’s good that the song you voted for is the one you hear, and you think ‘I was part of that”, “Juventus fan Giuseppe Bognanni said.


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