Mixed martial arts (MMA) league, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), has partnered with blockchain company Socios.com to launch Fan Tokens. The startup has launched similar offerings with major sporting organizations like Juventus and FC Barcelona, but in this case, it’s the whole league instead of an individual team.
The Fan Tokens are digital assets aimed at enhancing fan engagement with the league. Through the Socios platform, users can vote on various polls, participate in contests throughout the season, including the chance to award fighter bonuses, and earn rewards via the app and in real-life. Socios.com also plans to include new features in the app, such as a leaderboard and chat capability.
Socios’ partnership with PFL will enable the blockchain company to use PFL branding for promotional purposes. The startup’s logo will be featured in and around the arena of the fights. The PFL is growing in popularity, demonstrated in the last year by a 30% digital audience growth, and a 200% spike in social engagement. Furthermore, according to the PFL, MMA has 450 million fans worldwide, although only a portion of MMA fans are actively engaged with the league.
Meanwhile, Socios will assist in marketing the initial Fan Token Offering (FTO) and promote other engagement opportunities across digital platforms.
In addition to the Professional Fighters League, UFC also has a project with Chiliz, the company behind Socios, that enables fans to use tokens when accessing pre-sale tickets to UFC fights and other events. However, UFC has another deal with blockchain firm Dapper, which focuses on blockchain collectibles. Furthermore, Sorare has a partnership with the Korean football league, K-League, also for blockchain collectibles.
The market for blockchain collectibles and Fan Tokens in sports is expanding and becoming ever more competitive. Ledger Insights has covered significant deals with, among others, three growing startups Dapper Labs, Sorare, and Socios. Recently, NBA finalized a deal with Dapper Labs for a blockchain app, Sorare signed Paris Saint-Germain for blockchain collectibles and tradable cards, and at the beginning of the year, Socios partnered with Lagardère Sports to expand its Network of French teams.