Blockchain firm Zytara has signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Seria A football club AS Roma. Zytara will pay AS Roma €36 million ($42 million) with support from the DigitalBits Foundation for a three-year deal that includes the DigitalBits logo on player jerseys.
DigitalBits is a standalone blockchain protocol that has a token with a market capitalization of $86 million. The sponsorship value is almost half of that amount.
As part of the agreement, AS Roma and Zytara will use the DigitalBits blockchain to create digital assets as well as digital collectibles such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The description of part of the offering seems similar to fan tokens. However, AS Roma already has a partnership with Socios.com for that very product. It also has an NFT deal with Sorare.
AS Roma will sell the first eleven jerseys worn by the players in the friendly match between Roma and Montecatini to celebrate the partnership. The jerseys have the DigitalBits logo displayed on the front. Limited commemorative gold rings will also be available for purchase.
“This historic relationship with AS Roma, one of the most legendary football teams in the world, is transformative, not just for Zytara and DigitalBits, but for the blockchain industry as a whole,” said founder of Zytara and DigitalBits Al Burgio. “AS Roma will be expanding the collective imagination by demonstrating how blockchain technology can be leveraged to elevate the connection between sports teams and their community of fans and other supporters.”
The DigitalBits blockchain does not use proof of work and hence is comparatively environmentally friendly. It supports a high transaction rate and targets stablecoin payments and rewards, amongst other applications. Technically, it is based on Stellar blockchain technology, using a fork of Stellar’s code.
Meanwhile, Arsenal recently signed a fan token deal with Socios.com. Another London-based football club partnered with Animoca for an NFT deal. The Brazilian National Football team launched fan tokens with Bitci, and sports collectible platform Sorare is rumored to raise over half a billion dollars at a $3.8 billion valuation.