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Socios will help launch fan tokens for all UEFA events including the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference league, and UEFA Super Cup.
UEFA has officially announced a multi-year deal with the fan tokens platform Socios. The partnership comes after UEFA issued a request for proposals (RFP) in October 2021, with a specific focus on crypto exchanges, NFT platforms, and fan token providers. The partnership will elapse in 2024. Socios has been racking up partners since 2018 and boasts more than 120 sporting partners and up to 50 live tokens. Major clubs in Europe with pre-existing agreements with Socios include Manchester City, FC Barcelona and Paris-Saint Germain.
Perks of the Deal
Until now, Socios’ partnerships in the United States have been limited to marketing and fan engagement with NBA and NHL teams. This is perhaps due to the securities regulation in the country. Now, as part of the perks of the agreement, Socios will become a regional sponsor of the Champions League in the United States.
Additionally, the deal also includes marketing rights allowing Socios to put up virtual perimeter signage, broadcast billboards, and digital sponsorship rights in the US.
Following this announcement, Socios will help launch fan tokens for all UEFA events including the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference league, and UEFA Super Cup. Fans will be able to exchange these tokens for some added incentive for their fan engagement. These perks include VIP trips to UEFA season kick-off events and UEFA headquarters, virtual meetings with UEFA legends, match tickets, and merchandise.
CEO of Socios, Alexandre Dreyfus, noted that the deal will expand the companies reach and visibility. He said:
“UEFA’s massive global reach and network will allow us to reach hundreds of millions of fans.”
Fan Tokens a Barrier to Fan Engagement
The announcement has stirred controversy among fans and fan organizations. According to a Guardian report, Socios has been accused of ‘monetizing fan engagement at the expense of match-going fans.’
While some argue that the fan tokens add a barrier to fan engagement with their preferred teams, others say the incentives were already available for free through other schemes. Likewise, many expressed concern about the volatility of fan tokens like many other cryptocurrencies. Some also expressed concern at UEFA’s involvement with an under-regulated industry
In its defence, UEFA stated that “the regional sponsorship and global licensing agreement will not affect Uefa’s strong commitment to continuously engage and discuss relevant matters of interest directly with fan organizations.”