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Manchester City tap Socios for fan tokens

Premier League leaders latest to enter digital collectibles market.

19 March 2021 Ed Dixon

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  • $CITY fan tokens to be minted on the Chiliz blockchain platform
  • Club join Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan, PSG, AS Roma and Galatasaray in offering Chiliz tokens
  • Barca generated US$1.3m from first $BAR sales last June

English soccer giants Manchester City have partnered with blockchain-based fan engagement platform Socios.com to launch an official club fan token.

Fans of the Premier League leaders will be able to use the $CITY fan tokens to access rewards, club promotions, games, augmented reality (AR) features and voting rights in club polls on Socios.com.

The fan tokens are being minted on the Chiliz blockchain platform.

It makes City the latest soccer club to tap into the digital collectibles market, joining the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), AS Roma and Galatasaray in using Chiliz fan tokens.

Notably, Barca generated US$1.3 million from their first $BAR sales last June after 600,000 tokens sold out in less than two hours.

According to an official release from City, the total fan token market cap recently exceeded US$400 million, while Chiliz’ $CHZ currency is among the top 35 cryptocurrencies in the world, with a market cap of US$3.3 billion. 

“We recognise the significant interest in blockchain and the opportunity it provides us to engage further our global fanbase and we are confident that the Manchester City fan token will prove a popular addition to our digital line-up,” said Stephan Cieplik, senior vice president of global partnerships sales at City Football Group (CFG).

“We’ve been extremely impressed with how Socios.com have led the way in this space with other European clubs, and we are confident that we have the right platform to succeed and grow together.”

Alexandre Dreyfus, chief executive of Chiliz and Socios.com, added: “The club have proven they are ahead of the pack in embracing innovation and will enhance that status further through the $CITY fan token.

“Socios.com and $CITY fan tokens will be hugely complementary to City’s global approach, providing fans around the world with unprecedented engagement opportunities, as well as unique digital, and – once restrictions are lifted – real-life rewards and experiences.”

The growing interest in non-fungible tokens also appears to be extending to other sports, with the National Football League (NFL) reportedly looking to develop a digital collectibles strategy.

This year’s Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski has already got in on the act, with the Decrypt website reporting the 31-year-old made over US$1.6 million last week after putting nearly 350 digital collectible cards up for auction.

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