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Another attestation to the wide expansion of cryptocurrency has materialized recently, this time not from the natural habitat of the financial sphere, but from another utterly distinct field – the world of sports.
One of the most popular football (“soccer” in American English) clubs in the world, France’s Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has partnered up with the blockchain-powered tokenized voting platform Socios.com; this would enable the distinguished French team to launch a Fan Token Offering (FTO), similar to the familiar process of Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
The deal was signed for a number of years and should bring into the club several million Euros; however, the main goal of this crypto endeavor doesn’t revolve around raising capital. PSG is owned by Qatar Sports Investments (QSi) – the official sports investment organization of the Qatari royal family, which is worth more billions than the number of players in one football match (or two, or three). Through its Qatari owners, PSG overwhelmed the world by managing to purchase one of the biggest football superstars in the world, Neymar, for the unprecedented sum of €222 million (!) in 2017 from Barcelona. It would therefore be safe to assert that the several million Euros are not the end goal of the FTO, but another aspect to which PSG Chief Partnership Officer Marc Armstrong alludes:
Always at the forefront of digital innovation, Paris Saint-Germain is determined to leverage the opportunities that cryptocurrency can provide. This revolutionary technology will have an important impact on the Club’s overall business strategy and the way we engage with our fanbase. We are very pleased to welcome Socios.com in the Paris Saint-Germain family.
Acquiring PSG tokens – whose worth hasn’t been determined yet – will grant fans certain voting rights in the club’s less critical decisions such as electing the team’s official uniforms, music, logo and even rivals in friendly matches. Raising the fans’ direct involvement and engagement with the team, even though those won’t be any strategic and acute decisions, will presumably also boost the commitment and dedication of the fans as an almost inevitable consequence; more importantly, perhaps it will additionally enlarge the team’s global fanbase.
To that end, Socios.com will provide the blockchain-powered platform in which the PSG tokens will be listed and where the entire FTO operation will be conducted – from the initial acquisition of tokens to actually voting about club-related matters. Socios.com’s parent company, chiliZ, defines itself as a “global sports and entertainment organization”; so far it has raised $27 million and issued its own token (CHZ), which apparently is still not listed in any major crypto exchange for trading.