The London-based soccer club West Ham United is dribbling into the cryptoverse as it is set to launch a fan token ecosystem in association with the blockchain platform Socios.com. The platform is the first-of-its-kind blockchain mobile application for sports fans and enthusiasts. Socios enables fans to be more than just bystanders; it enables them to acquire voting rights on the select decisions that will influence the clubs they love so dearly.
BlockPublisher reported earlier in Ocober 2018 that an English Premier League club is planing to turn towards the cryptoverse. The blockchain tech has been making waves in the world of online gaming for some time now with crypto-powered fantasy quest games like EtherQuest, EtherWarfare and collectible games like Cryptokitties. However, the technology isn’t solely limited to the world of fantasy video games, it has the potential to disrupt games beyond the virtual realm as well.
West Ham United, currently ranked 11th in the Premier League with over 2.3 million likes on the club’s official Facebook page, is the first Premier League club to partner with Socios.com. West Ham joined with the likes of other European football giant clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in their quest to display the possibilities of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the field of fan management and vote tokenization.
Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO and Founder of Socios.com, said:
We’re proud and excited to have West Ham United as our first announced Premier League partner. West Ham United is a digital-first club, and one that can really maximize the potential of Socios.com’s blockchain technology to build a higher level of fan engagement.
Here is how it works: every club that joins Socios.com generates a supply of fan tokens, which are blockchain- secured digital assets that give fans the right to vote on club matters. Fans can hunt, earn and buy these tokens as well. The tokens and a fan’s influence are directly proportional to each other, meaning the more the tokens, the more the influence. Additionally, the tokens also serve as a membership card of sorts to access rewards, merchandise and experiences.
Socios.com is operated by the sports blockchain venture, ChiliZ, which aims to create an e-sports ecosystem that is controlled by the crowd and where fans have a substantial influence on the management of their favorite teams. Hence, the platform is fueled by by ChiliZ’ native cryptocurrency CHZ, an ERC20 utility token on the Ethereum blockchain.
West Ham United is providing its global fan base with a chance to acquire fan tokens through a process dubbed, the Fan Token Offering. The soccer clubs partnering with Socios.com will seek the opinions of their fans by running polls on their mobile app. The launch of the fan tokens has the potential to evolve the club’s global fan engagement strategy and audience, bringing closer its supporters in the UK and abroad. Karim Virani, Digital and Commercial Director of West Ham United, said:
Our fans are what make West Ham United a unique and special club and we’re excited to partner with Socios.com to give fans a new way to engage with the club
Furthermore, in a recent CoinMarketCap survey, 46% of users shared that they were likely to buy fan tokens from major sports teams, which could be another reason for soccer clubs to join the blockchain venture. As the fan base of famous soccer clubs like West Ham United is global, blockchain provides an opportunity to create a new digital, more engaging link between the clubs and the fans. Virani further added:
“We recognize that many fans are now digital users first, with many looking at and using new technologies in their day-to-day lives. As a result, West Ham United’s presence on Socios.com’s state of the art platform will further give us the ability to interact and get direct feedback in real-time from our global fan base, which will be important to our future fan engagement strategy”.
Fans will have to buy the CHZ token through cryptocurrency exchange or directly from the application itself in order to be able to subsequently buy tokens during the Fan Token Offering. These fan tokens will be tradable between peers on the Socios.com app and the value will be based on market demand.
It is highly likely that they will soon be listed on the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, courtesy the exchange’s investment in their tokenization platform for the e-sports and sports industries. Additionally, fan tokens for West Ham United will be available to supporters at the start of the 2019/2020 soccer season.
The concept of fan tokens is being embraced and implemented by other premier leagues as well. In December last year, the Brazilian Premier League soccer club, Atletico Mineiro launched a fan token dubbed “GaloCoin”.
Named after the team’s official mascot, the rooster or “galo” in Portuguese, the GaloCoin came tied to the national fiat currency exchange rate, hence one GaloCoin is equal to one Brazilian real. The token allows fans to purchase game tickets, official apparel, as well as participate in discount programs.
With star teams of the soccer world embracing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, it is only a matter of time till it becomes mainstream.