London-based West Ham United — a soccer team that plays in the English Premier League — is partnering with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch a fan token ecosystem. The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on April 30.
As previously reported, 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.
West Ham United, currently ranked 11th in the Premier League, has over 2.3 million likes on the club’s official Facebook page.
According to today’s press release, Socios and West Ham United will launch a club-branded Official Fan Token via a so-dubbed Fan Token Offering (FTOs) at the start of the 2019/20 soccer season.
The token will be a digital asset that confers voting rights on West Ham United 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, the press release notes.
While the 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.
To purchase West Ham United branded-tokens and participate in the Fan Token Offering, club fans must first buy $chz via the app or a crypto exchange in order to subsequently trade them for their Fan Tokens.
The press release cites a survey from crypto statistics provider CoinMarketCap.com, which reportedly revealed that 46% of users said they were likely to buy Fan Tokens associated with high-profile soccer teams.
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).