Football star Lionel Messi completed a free transfer from La Liga club Barcelona to top French team Paris Saint Germain (PSG) this week. The player signed a two-year contract with a reported annual salary of $41 million and an additional $30 million signing-on fee. Part of his financial package will be paid through PSG’s fan tokens, which are licensed by Socios.com.
PSG was one of the first clubs alongside Italian Juventus to join the Socios.com network in 2018. To this day, the club’s fan token market cap is greater than any other offering in the industry at $121 million, up from less than $50 million at the start of August. In comparison, Barcelona’s fan tokens stand at a little less than $82 million and Juventus’ just surpassed $19 million.
According to PSG, in the days preceding Messi’s move to the club, the trading volume exceeded $1.2 billion. In comparison, Barcelona’s fan token volume transaction was less than $22 million in the past day compared to PSG’s $297 million.
The announcement of Messi’s involvement with the product likely influenced the exponential increase in token transactions, but the number of PSG token owners stands at 16,201, which is less than Barcelona and Juventus.
For PSG, the partnership with Socios has yielded a new revenue stream that enabled the club to reach a different audience in its fan engagement solutions. The offer allows fans outside of Paris or anywhere in the world to have some influence on the club’s decisions and is attractive for a younger and tech-savvy demographic.
The move to include fan tokens as part of the payment in Messi’s welcoming package has the potential to position Socios as a product aiming to attract a more traditional football audience. Messi is one of the most admired and respected players in football and his move from Barcelona to PSG is one of the biggest talking points in the industry at the moment. Having fan tokens in his contract puts Socios in the conversation.
“Paris Saint-Germain are reaping the rewards of their bold approach and I believe this could be the start of a new trend as Fan Tokens and Socios.com play an increasingly prominent role across sport at the very highest level,” said Socios CEO Alexandre Dreyfus.
Meanwhile, Premier League’s Everton and Arsenal signed fan token licensing deals with Socios in the last month. Turkish team Fenerbahce launched a long term fan token agreement with crypto trading platform Paribu.