Lionel Messi’s new contract with French side Paris St Germain (PSG) included a payment in cryptocurrency tokens from the service created by Malta-based Socios.com
In a bombshell revelation from news outlet Reuters, it was revealed by a source close to the matter, that Messi’s contract also included a payment in cryptocurrency fan tokens. This is but another step in the quest to mainstream the use of crypto in everyday life.
The Argentinian national recently left his boyhood club Barcelona and moved to Qatari-owned French side PSG on a two-year contract with the option to extend for a third year. The tokens were part of Messi’s signing bonus according to a statement made by the club, although the specific amount involved was not provided.
Teams signed up to the Socios.com platform will be able to provide their supporters with branded fan tokens purchased with Socios’s own cryptocurrency – Chilliz ($CHZ). Socios.com has been making waves over the past years where clubs can give voting power to their fan base to make decisions for the club, such as the team’s home and away kits and the team bus.
Other teams that have jumped on the crypto-train include AC Milan, their rivals Inter Milan and Manchester City.
Focusing on the token, it very much functions like any other crypto. It can be traded on exchanges, sees volatility up the wazoo, and makes financial regulators and investors alike weak at the knees. Likewise, PSG’s token saw massive volumes of trading from before Messi’s transfer was officially announced.
In the statement, they explained that “the hype surrounding the latest signings in the club’s busy summer transfer window created a huge surge of interest in $PSG Fan Tokens, with trading volumes exceeding $1.2 billion in the days preceding the move. The token rose 130% to an all-time high of over $60.
Less than a month ago, Socios.com signed a $24 million per year sponsorship deal with top-flight team Inter Milan, getting them a place on the legendary team’s shirt. This move replaced the Pirelli sponsorship that had graced the Nerazzuri jersey for 26-years.
The sponsorship is the third-largest within the league, and the fact the Inter are the reigning champions definitely makes it that much better.
Inter’s tokens will simply be $INTER, which fans will be able to use to trade with other supporters, play themed games, or hodl and accumulate them for awards from the team. These include private meeting with the team’s players, VIP access to home games and signed merchandise.
$150 million in revenue has been generated by fan tokens in 2021, according to Socios.
A press release by the club noted that one of the reasons that convinced Inter to launch their own token was the rapid expansion of the fan token industry. The team’s CMO, Luca Danovaro, also explained that this is part of a strategy to grow their global fanbase.
“The exciting activations that we are designing together will enable us to succeed in engaging with young generations all over the world, an objective that became even clearer for us during these months, when we felt the overwhelming support of all the Interisti even with closed stadiums.”
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