English Premier League (EPL) leaders Manchester City joins a host of European teams by providing a digital fan engagement token. In a March 19 blog post, the 4-time English champions said it had signed a partnership deal with fans engagement and rewards company Socios.com to launch the Manchester City $CITY fan token.
$CITY Goes Live On Socios.com
The partnership will see City fans use the $CITY digital token to access VIP rewards, club promotions, games, artificial reality (AR)- enabled features, and voting rights in club polls on the socios mobile app.
Also, all existing 76 million “Cityzens” (a nickname for Man City supporters) would get a free $CITY token.
The pandemic-induced lockdowns affected football negatively. Most clubs are licking their wounds due to loss in revenue and support.
With many teams having to downsize, fan engagement has plummeted. Digital asset solutions like those provided by Socios are providing alternative solutions in the football world.
Socios.com is a mobile app built on the blockchain network Chiliz. These digital assets, called Fan Tokens in football, enable fans to connect to the club they love and support.
Tradable for other goods and services provided by the issuing football team, fan tokens use has grown exponentially.
Stephen Cieplik, Vice President of Global Partnerships Sales, City Football Group, said that the partnership was important due to the significant interest in blockchain. Cieplik said it was an opportunity to engage more with fans.
Alexander Dreyfus, CEO of Chiliz and Socios, speaking on the launch, said that City’s innovative team spirit has seen them compete against the best in modern football.
“The Club has proven they are ahead of the pack in embracing innovation and will enhance that status further through the $CITY Fan Token,” Dreyfus added.
Manchester City is known for a lot of things. This includes their smooth-flowing display on the pitch and the wealth of experience in their squad. Locally though, the club is widely known as the “other side of Manchester.”
City has enjoyed a series of successes since they signed former Barcelona first-team coach Pep Guardiola in 2016. Man City has since gone on to claim four Premier League titles, winning it two seasons in a row in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Once considered an underdog behind rivals Manchester United, City has seen their fortunes rise and are currently the fifth most valuable football team globally. The Arab-owned English club is worth $2.6 billion, according to Forbes’ estimate.
The World of Sports Embraces Crypto
Manchester City’s parent company, City Football Group, is owned by the innovative and futuristic Abu Dhabi United Group controlled by Sheikh Mansour. The English club joins a list of elite European teams who have taken the step to stay connected to their fans.
FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), Atletico de Madrid, AC Milan, and a host of others have all taken the initiative to create a fans token.
With crypto gaining global acceptance daily, other sports segments like the gaming community of esports have also embraced a digitally-traded asset concept. Spanish esports organization Team Heretics, OG, Natus Vincere, and Team Alliance are known participants in the fans’ token rise.
With the digital assets space rapidly expanding, fan engagement tokens have found a niche for themselves, according to popular crypto website coinmarketcap. The industry is said to be over $400 million and growing.