French soccer giant Paris Saint-Germain football club (PSG) will launch its own cryptocurrency with a token offering that aims to incentivize its supporters over a blockchain.
The development sees a new partnership between the top French Ligue 1 club, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), and blockchain company Socios.com which is based in Malta. The partnership is based on the ‘socios’ concept that already exists between football fans of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
PSG plays in the highest tier of France’s soccer league and has been hailed as the country’s “most popular” team. The club is owned and bankrolled by a Qatar state investment firm and holds the record for the highest transfer fee paid with the $263 million purchase of Brazilian football star Neymar from Barcelona in 2017.
Socios describes itself as a digitized, tokenized form of the “Socios” crowd-management concept of Real Madrid & FC Barcelona — “socios” means member or associate in Spanish. The platform is powered by a sports blockchain venture dubbed chiliZ, which has the backing of high profile crypto industry players that include crypto exchange Binance. chiliZ has raised $66 million in funding to date, according to sources.
Speaking exclusively to CCN.com, Chilliz CEO Alex Dreyfus explained that the platform was looking forward to furthering collaboration with other top soccer clubs.
“We are focusing on onboarding the biggest clubs in Europe and in the coming weeks, we will announce other big clubs who will also be joining our platform. Outside of France, our priority is clubs in the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany.”
PSG’s partnership with the platform will allow the club to launch a Fan Token Offering (FTO) that gives fans access to branded Saint German club tokens which come with voting rights and can also confer VIP status and/or rewards to their holders.
Fans will reportedly be able to vote on “cosmetic” decisions (choosing the club’s jersey color, stadium music and logo) and certain sports aspects (MVP, Player of the Match or Month, friendlies matches, summer tours, charity line-ups, etc).
Dreyfus noted that the strategy represents a limited token mechanism, which does not tokenize the club’s existing corporate structure but is focused on incentivizing and monetizing fan engagement and experiences via crypto. Marc Armstrong, Chief Partnership Officer of PS further elaborated:
“Paris Saint-Germain is determined to leverage the opportunities that cryptocurrency can provide. This revolutionary technology will have an important impact on the club’s overall business strategy and the way we engage with our fanbase”, he added.
Saint Germain fan tokens will reportedly be tradable on the socios.com marketplace, but only against the chiliZ native token ($CHZ). The club’s FTO will reportedly take place before the start of the coming soccer season, although the exact date and token pricing are yet to be revealed.
Dreyfus said that while PSG is the first high-profile club to join the initiative, the platform ultimately aims to engage “hundreds of millions” of soccer fans of multiple high caliber soccer clubs worldwide. Dreyfus said that the platform will help engage and educate a major demographic about blockchain and crypto.
Dreyfus is a familiar figure in the Malta Blockchain scene having already brought a number of crypto companies to Malta including Binance. He is also involved in the Malta Blockchain Campus that is currently under construction in the burgeoning town of Sliema and which aims to bring together crypto and blockchain companies under one roof.
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