Today fan token firm Socios announced it extended its deal with the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to 2026. The AFA confirmed the deal. This is a two-year extension of what was originally a three-year arrangement.
The fan tokens let users participate in voting, competitions, VIP experiences, merchandise and exclusive offers. In some jurisdictions, fan tokens are seen as controversial because they might be considered a security.
After Socios launched the token for the national football team last year, this January, cryptocurrency exchange Binance was announced as an AFA sponsor, including for fan tokens, sponsorship and naming rights. Socios said all of these rights represented a breach of its contract.
Socios claimed to have filed an injunction later that month, but in May, Binance confirmed its sponsorship. In fact, it’s the main global sponsor of the national team alongside Adidas.
Perhaps the fan token firm had an ace up its sleeve. Lionel Messi, the captain of the Argentine team, happens to be Socios’ brand ambassador. With the World Cup coming up in November, the timing couldn’t be better.
There appears to be some rights bartering as part of the Socios contract extension. Socios no longer seems to have naming rights, nor is it listed as a sponsor. So perhaps those rights have been traded for a contract extension.
Another question is, what about the relationship with Binance? Apparently, the Argentina token was never listed on Binance, although the main Socios token CHZ and other team tokens such as PSG are.
The comments from the national team make it clear that money is what really matters to the AFA. “It is important for our Association to continue generating digital income, as in this case the $ARG Fan Tokens, which also allow us to be close to the fans of the National Team around the world,” said Claudio Tapia, President of AFA.
Meanwhile, Socios recently invested $100 million in an FC Barcelona subsidiary for web3 and NFTs.