Spanish soccer team Atlético de Madrid — which plays in the top professional division of Spain’s soccer league, known as La Liga — is partnering with blockchain platform to launch a fan token ecosystem. 

The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 6.

Atlético’s fan token

As previously reported, Socios has described itself as a blockchain-powered, tokenized application of the “Socios” crowd-management concept of Real Madrid & FC Barcelona (“socios” means member or associate in Spanish).

The Socios tokenized voting platform and blockchain-based mobile app is operated by sports blockchain venture chiliZ, which has the backing of high profile crypto industry players that include crypto exchange Binance and OK Blockchain Capital.

Atlético de Madrid finished 4th in UEFA's Club Coefficients rankings for the current season — beating the likes of Juventus (5th), Arsenal (9th), Chelsea (12th) and Ajax (20th).

According to today’s press release, Socios and Atlético de Madrid will launch a club-branded Official Fan Token via a so-dubbed Fan Token Offering (FTOs) in fall 2019 for the 19/20 season.

The token — priced at 2 euros — will be a digital asset that confers voting rights on Atlético fans, and will be used to drive fan engagement by enabling users to participate in tokenized polls on the Socios mobile app. Tokens also grant holders access to merchandise, rewards and games.

Eyeing “well over a billion” crypto users

While the fan tokens are used on the Socios platform, in technical terms they operate on a separate permissioned side chain, where each participating chilliZ soccer club functions as a node with proof-of-authority. 

The sidechain is powered by chiliZ’ native cryptocurrency $chz, an Ether-compliant ERC20 utility token.

Atlético de Madrid joins a host of other major international soccer teams who have already partnered with the platform — including London-based West Ham United, French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain and Italy’s Juventus.

Socios’ CEO and founder Alexandre Dreyfus has said that by onboarding such high-profile teams, he aims to grow the platform’s potential user base to “well over a billion sports fans, all of whom will be eventual cryptocurrency users."

This July, Cointelegraph published an overview of the growing tokenziation of the sports industry. Aside from Socios — which has an official partnership with Binance and has recently had its token listed on the exchange — other platforms such as Utrust are facilitating cryptocurrency payments for tickets and merchandise for teams such as Portugal’s Benfica.
This August, English Premier League football club Manchester City announced a partnership with South Korean blockchain football gaming startup Superbloke.