Various sports clubs and eSports teams across Europe have been feeling the benefits of bringing NFTs into their offering for supporters, with many of them proving to be very popular. The fan token offering earns soccer clubs millions as eager fans are snapping them up to unlock a host of real-world benefits.
Now, the number of organizations potentially offering these tokens could set to explode into life a little closer to home. Chiliz, the company behind Socios, has invested $50 million to expand their offering to sports fans in the U.S., and they’ve already started to make their mark. A deal has already been struck with the Kraft Group, the holding company for the New England Patriots and the MLS team New England Revolution. Initially, the contract will see just marketing activations, but with similar deals also being struck with teams in the NHL and NBA; it all points to the blockchain fan tokens being closer than they’ve ever been to coming into the sports industry here.
Although officials at the NFL have told teams in September that they can no longer sell sponsorships to crypto trading companies, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. In the past, those at the top of football fought against sports betting but now, there are deals in place that generate $1 billion in revenue. So to think of the possibilities you have to consider the amount of money being raised from the sales of fan tokens in Europe and in other countries around the world, which is quite startling.
There has been a general rise in the price of fan tokens for top European soccer clubs, with Paris St Germain seeing a significant surge in their token value. The French football club saw their token value rise a phenomenal 130% following news of their potential signing of Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi. New fan token sales generated revenue for the club estimated to be around $16.8 million (€15 million). But it’s not just these big-money transfers that have brought fans to snap up their fan tokens. They’re appreciating the chance to get more involved with their clubs, using the tokens to unlock access to special offers and voting rights on club decisions.
Spanish club Barcelona sold all their original allocation of tokens within two hours of them being released, generating over $1.3 million in the process. Manchester City in the English Premier League has seen value spikes, too, with their tokens at one point being valued at $36 each, up some 50% from their original price. Sports fans have an affiliation with their team like no other, and these tokens give them a sense that they own a piece of their heroes, thus further strengthening the relationship between the organizations and their largest group of stakeholders. With all this interest and more teams looking to partner with Socios to bring their offer to supporters, it’s meant that the total market cap has raised significantly too; in fact, it’s grown by over 50% since June 2021, from $260 million to $391 million.
As the market continues to grow at such a rate, while it’s not a forgone conclusion that fan tokens will come to the U.S., it’s undoubtedly a worthwhile suggestion to watch this space.