Top-flight French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is gearing up to launch its own cryptocurrency, offering fans across the world a token-based stake in certain club decisions.
A partnership with a Malta-based blockchain startup called Socios will provide the technology for the Paris club’s ‘Fan Token Offering’, which would allow holders of the coin to vote on decisions such as team jersey choices or opponents in friendly matches.
The PSG fan token will be listed on the Socios platform, enabling fans to engage with the club through mobile voting and polling platforms and engage with other fans from across the globe. According to Finextra, token-holders will also get access to exclusive fan rewards, content and experiences.
Marc Armstrong, chief partnership officer of Paris Saint-Germain said; “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.”
While the use of the technology is new, the central idea of democratised team ownership isn’t. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, among the majority of Spanish clubs, belong to their fans in large groups called (funnily enough) Socios.
Often tens of thousands strong, members of these groups pay an annual fee for the privilege of being able to take part in key decisions, including voting for club leadership and on occasion contributing to decisions on annual budgets.
“We are delighted and very proud to have signed Paris Saint-Germain as our first club to work on the evolution of its fan engagement strategy through the Socios.com blockchain platform,” said Socio’s founder and CEO, Alexandre Dreyfus.
“We admire the Club’s vision in being the first club in world football to adopt this new technology and set a new standard in fan engagement.”
It’s not the first time the two worlds of football and cryptocurrency have collided, however. Last month, social investing platform eToro inked a sponsorship deal with seven Premier League football clubs in the UK, all paid for in bitcoin.
The deal gave eToro access to interview backdrops, rights to players, tickets, stadium LEDs and advertising, while all participating clubs lauded the potential for blockchain and crypto-based technology to contribute to innovation within the sport.
PSG is reportedly eyeing a Spring 2019 deadline to launch the coin.