Lionel Messi, the 7-time soccer Ballon d’Or winner and Argentine and Barcelona legend, has become a brand ambassador for Socios.com, a digital fan token firm that has over 100 professional sports clubs signed up.
The deal is said to be worth $20m to the now Paris St Germain player, but payment is not thought to be made by cryptocurrency as the player’s wages are reported to be.
The 3-year deal will see Messi, Argentina captain, participate in the firm’s promotional activities the world over ahead of the soccer world cup that starts in November in Qatar.
Socios is one of the biggest and most well-known firms within the fast-expanding cryptocurrency industry, and many firms are trying to sign up sports stars and celebrities that are household names to boost their profile.
Their site states you can expect to ‘get your voice heard, your passion recognized. Influence your team, play exclusive games and win once in a lifetime experiences, all from one app’.
Once you have bought tokens, you have the chance to sell them at any time just like shares and can buy tokens in as many clubs as you want, not just those you support. If you think a club is going to start doing well, it could be a good time to buy tokens before selling if you think they may go through a bad patch.
As well as Paris St Germain, Messi’s former club Barcelona, Italian giants Juventus, AC Milan and Roma as well as English Premier League sides Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton have tokens along with current Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.
Messi commented “Fans are entitled to recognition for showing their support for their team, the fan experience with Socios goes that extra mile. I am proud to be a brand ambassador for Socios.”
The firm posted a video welcoming Lionel Messi to the team. The ‘fan tokens’ that supporters of teams that have signed up can buy are described on their website as ‘digital assets’ which are held on the Ethereum blockchain via a secure ledger.
Fans who own these have the right to vote on the important decisions regarding their club and get other perks besides.
Although these decisions aren’t based on the daily running of a club, items such as music played during a match and how the team bus appears are just 2 examples of what some fans can vote on.
These tokens provide revenues for the clubs but do not give owners shares in the club themselves. Messi’s club team, Paris St Germain, is one of the most high-profile to have signed up and has the likes of Neymar and Mbappe on their books as well.
The fan token for PSG as they are known is worth over $13. There are currently over 130 teams to buy tokens for on the Socios Marketplace.
The Crypto and NFT markets are seeing exponential growth and Socios has found a way to take it one step further, offering perks from buyers’ favorite clubs in return for an investment.
Expect to see more high-profile sports stars and other celebrities sign up to Socios and similar sites in the not too distant future as the industry continues to strengthen.