- Inter to promote $INTER fan token on front of playing shirts
- Deal ends club’s search for a replacement for Pirelli
- CEO Alessandro Antonello says deal shows “the growth and appeal” of the Inter brand despite the pandemic
Italian soccer giants Inter have confirmed Chiliz-owned fan engagement platform Socios.com as their shirt sponsor for the 2021/22 season.
Similar to the partnership Chiliz recently agreed with Spanish side Valencia, the deal will see the reigning Serie A champions promote the soon to launch $INTER fan token on the front of their playing shirts.
The deal concludes Inter’s lengthy search for a new shirt sponsor following the departure of longstanding partner Pirelli. The Italian tyre company confirmed in March that it would be ending its near three decade stint on the club’s shirt at the end of the 2020/21 season, although its exit had been reported for some time.
Inter’s deal with Pirelli was worth a reported €10.5 million (US$12.4 million) per season plus bonuses, but the club were purportedly seeking to fetch closer to €30 million (US$35.3 million) from their next deal.
The financial terms of the club’s agreement with Chiliz have not been disclosed, but Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport previously reported that the contract is worth €20 million (US$23.5 million) per season.
The arrangement will see Inter become the latest of more than 40 major sports organisations to launch a fan token on Socios.com, which will give fans access to exclusive club-related content. Inter’s fan token holders will also have the opportunity to influence decisions at the club through polls on the platform.
“This is a special event,” said Alexandre Dreyfus, chief executive of Chiliz and Socios.com. “It’s the first time in more than a quarter of a century that the name on the front of the club’s shirt has changed. We’re very proud to be taking that privileged space to promote the launch of the $INTER Fan Token.”
Alessandro Antonello, Inter’s corporate chief executive, said the deal “confirms the growth and the appeal” of the club’s brand, despite “all the challenges” the team has faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The arrival of a new shirt sponsor will be a welcome financial boost for Inter, who also recently confirmed a financing deal worth a reported €275 million (US$323.6 million) with US-based asset management firm Oaktree Capital Management.
That much-needed investment came after Suning, the club’s Chinese owner, said it would look to refocus on its core retail business amid reported financial difficulties, which resulted in the company shutting down its soccer clubs in China.