Chiliz has announced a tie in with soccer club FC Barcelona to digitize their fan reward system. The deal, announced on Thursday, will see Barça Fan Tokens created on the network, giving fans of the footballing giant the chance to interact with their team in a whole new way. The linkup is the latest in a line of such developments, including Barca’s fierce rivals, Real Madrid, as the connection between blockchain and the sports industry grows.
FC Barcelona is proud to announce a global partnership with blockchain platform @chiliz & @socios. Using the digital currency $CHZ, you’ll soon be able to buy Barça Fan Tokens, which give you the right to vote in club polls & earn rewards https://t.co/2NOhfsHV8i pic.twitter.com/a5GhCCo717
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 13, 2020
Engagement Innovation Getting Underway
FC Barcelona said that the move was part of their new digital marketing strategy and would “allow fans around the world to interact in an innovative way with the club”. These innovations will include “the right to participate in polls about Barça’s everyday activities and earn unique prizes related to the Club.”
Participation will be through a $BAR token minted through Socios, the customer-facing portion of the Chiliz offering. Socios is a sports-focused entity which gives sports and fans the ability to “crowd-manage their favorite teams, games, leagues, and events”. Essentially it allows any sports team to mint their own tokens which they can offer to fans in return for engagement, with the tokens redeemable against special merchandise or events.
Fan Token Offering Coming in Q2
Chiliz states that Barça Fan Tokens will be available some time after March this year. 40 million will be made available to purchase through a Fan Token Offering (FTO), with each $BAR costing €2.
Chiliz/Socios has already amassed an impressive collection of soccer teams, including Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, West Ham, and AS Roma, and can now at the Catalan giants to their roster. Barça are following in the footsteps of rivals Real Madrid, who signed a deal with Fantastec SWAP last year to offer blockchain collectibles, chiefly collectible cards, as did German champions Bayern Munich around the same time.
Sports Teams and Blockchain – a Growing Trend
Teams from other sports disciplines have already signed up to similar schemes, with Formula 1, NBA, and Major League Baseball as well as soccer dipping their toes into the blockchain pool. The professional sport market is one that blockchain-based collectibles are perfectly suited for, and it won’t be long before we see all the top clubs in the world utilizing a similar system to boost fan engagement.