Today blockchain platform Socios.com announced its partnership with West Ham United in the development of the football club’s ‘Fan Token’. Available at the start of the upcoming 2019/20 football season, the cryptocurrency based token aims to incentivize fan engagement.
Fan Tokens will be bought or earned exclusively through the Socios.com app. The key use seems to be in polls, where fans can contribute to club decisions. The more tokens they have, the more influence they hold.
Tokens will also be used for rewards, access to exclusive merchandise, in-app games and prize draws for club experiences. They will be tradable, with their value driven by market demand.
West Ham United is Socios.com’s first Premier League partner, the highest level of the UK football league system. The club claims to have 60 million fans worldwide, with 5 million on social media.
Inspired by Socios.com’s similar projects with Italian team Juventus and Paris Saint Germain, this partnership aims to bolster the fan community. The UK club’s Digital and Commercial Director, Karim Virani, said: “We recognize that many fans are now digital users first, with many looking at and using new technologies in their day to day lives.”
Alexandre Dreyfus, the CEO and founder of Socios.com, shared his thoughts: “Having a club like West Ham United adopt fan voting is a big step in realising our goal of building the world’s biggest global football community and marketplace for football fans, alongside demonstrating that blockchain and cryptocurrency is the trusted technology of the mainstream.”
Hinting for the future of the blockchain platform, he continues: “We will be announcing more European partners very soon, with more Premier League clubs set to follow West Ham’s lead in creating the best-in-class fan engagement.”
Socios.com uses the Chiliz platform for its tokens, operating on a side chain of Ethereum. Chiliz claims to have secured $66 million through a private placement including Binance, OK Blockchain Capital and FBG Capital. Chiliz is part of Malta-based HX Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mediarex Group which was previously active in the poker sector.
Another company targeting a similar set of fans is Fantastec. Instead of issuing tokens, Fantastec SWAP is bringing authenticated collectibles into the digital age. Led by a team with a strong track record in sports marketing, so far they’ve partnered with Real Madrid, Arsenal, and Borussia Dortmund.