Tottenham Hotspur will become the latest English Premier League team to tap into blockchain technology to issue and manage its own Web3 fan token to drive supporter engagement and rewards.
Spurs will issue the fan token through Socios.com, the fan engagement platform built on the Chiliz blockchain that has attracted over 80 major sporting teams from different codes worldwide. The platform enables teams to issue and manage fan tokens, digital collectibles and real-world rewards, while users can participate in decentralized autonomous organization-like decisions involving their favorite teams.
Spurs join the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atlético Madrid and A.S. Roma, which are some of the most prominent teams in professional football making use of blockchain to innovate engagement with supporters.
The launch will allow SPURS tokenholders to participate in on-chain voting on various team dynamics, including potential kit changes. Spurs will also partner with MatchWornShirt, the platform that facilitates auctions of jerseys worn by players during games authenticated on the Chiliz blockchain.
Commenting on the partnership, Tottenham commercial sales director Ryan Norys said the fan token will build on its existing membership scheme with a “new range of club-related rewards and experiences.”
Speaking directly to Cointelegraph, Chiliz and Socios CEO Alexandre Dreyfus said that talks have been ongoing with Spurs since 2022. He also said that the club would use Socios while simultaneously integrating its fan token into its own loyalty program and mobile app in the future.
SPURS tokens are set to be launched on Oct. 4 and will be listed across cryptocurrency exchanges that support Chiliz tokens. Socios users in the United Kingdom can also expect to see disclaimers on fan token offerings from Oct. 8, as the marketing of crypto asset promotions comes under the auspices of the Financial Conduct Authority.
This will require stricter advertising rules and a disclaimer warning investors of potential losses investing in cryptocurrencies or fan tokens.
Manchester City, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton, Leeds and Crystal Palace are the other Premier League clubs that manage fan tokens on the platform, with Dreyfus stating that the ongoing cryptocurrency bear market has hindered the onboarding of teams over the past year.
Fan tokens have become a significant source of revenue as teams look to leverage digital technologies to drive user engagement. Chiliz estimates its blockchain platform has handled over $400 million in revenue for teams and leagues since 2018.
Chiliz was initially built as an ERC-20 token ecosystem but shifted onto its own layer-1 blockchain, which is a fork of the BNB Chain, in May 2023. It operates on a proof-of-stake authority consensus mechanism touted to deliver shorter block times, reduced fees and lower energy consumption, and it is Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible, allowing it to use Ethereum development tools.
The International Cricket Council is also looking to leverage blockchain technology to drive fan engagement during the upcoming 2023 Cricket World Cup in India. Near Foundation’s blockchain operating system will serve as the backbone for a Web3 fan engagement app during the six-week global competition.
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