- Fan token platform Socios has announced a sponsorship and licensing deal with UEFA for the Champions League and related tournaments.
- Holders of existing Socios soccer team tokens will receive free UEFA add-on tokens, which come with potential rewards and benefits.
Socios is the largest purveyor of crypto fan tokens, racking up more than 120 partners across soccer, basketball, and other professional sports, including 50 live fan tokens to date. This week, the firm added another prominent player to the mix, revealing a sponsorship and licensing agreement with European soccer admin UEFA for the Champions League.
Through the deal, Socios will launch fan tokens based on the annual Champions League tournament, along with the Europa League, Europa Conference League, and Super Cup. The alliance runs through the 2024 season cycle.
Socios already has a number of fan token agreements with teams that participate in UEFA competitions, including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, AC Milan, and Juventus. The firm plans to launch free add-on tokens for existing token holders for those and other participating clubs, providing added incentive to hold its crypto tokens.
Fan tokens are officially-licensed crypto tokens that provide certain incentives to holders, beyond the potential that they will increase in value over time. Socios token holders have benefits such as voting on team decisions, gaining access to exclusive events, and other perks.
💫A New Era
We are thrilled to announce that UEFA Club Competition Fan Tokens are coming to the Socios App.
— Socios.com (@socios) February 15, 2022
The UEFA fan tokens add another layer to that. Socios and UEFA will reward the token holders with opportunities to win VIP trips to UEFA events, a UEFA headquarters visit, meet-and-greet opportunities, merchandise, among other perks.
The newly-announced partnership comes following UEFA issuing a request for proposals (RFP) in October, with a specific focus on potential partners such as cryptocurrency exchanges, NFT platforms, and fan token providers.
“UEFA understands that blockchain technology will play an increasingly important role in how we, as a society, operate and interact digitally,” Socios CEO Alexandre Dreyfus told Decrypt. “This is precisely why they put out an RFP inviting the best projects in the space to come forward and share their proposals for collaboration.”
Socios has also secured significant marketing considerations as part of the sponsorship deal, including virtual perimeter signage, broadcast billboards, and digital sponsorship rights in the U.S.
“UEFA's massive global reach and network will allow us to reach hundreds of millions of fans,” Dreyfus added, “increasing our visibility and allowing us to educate a huge audience to the benefits of fan tokens.”
Socios parent company Chiliz started racking up major partnerships in the European soccer world in 2018 and has since expanded its focus, adding partners like Ultimate Fighting Championship and esports teams like OG and Team Vitality.
More recently, Socios has expanded into American sports, signing partnerships with 27 NBA teams—including the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls—as well as several NHL teams and the NFL’s New England Patriots. These alliances are billed as marketing and fan engagement deals and do not currently have a token component, perhaps due to regulatory uncertainty in the U.S.
Socios fan tokens are currently minted on Chiliz Chain, a platform that was forked from Ethereum. Last week, however, Chiliz announced plans to launch a second-generation fan token blockchain in partnership with Ankr, built on the newly-rebranded BNB Network (formerly Binance Smart Chain).
Chiliz Chain 2.0 promises lower transaction fees than the current platform, and is still compatible with Ethereum and its Solidity programming language thanks to Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) support. The new platform’s testnet will launch sometime this quarter, and Chiliz believes that it will make fan tokens more approachable for a potentially much larger audience.
“[We’re] enabling leading brands to build fan tokens, NFTs, and digital assets,” Dreyfus said of the new platform, “and laying the foundations down for an authentic, prosperous future for sports and entertainment in blockchain.”