Premier League giants Manchester City are the latest football club to step into the cryptocurrency arena after teaming up with Socios.com to launch the $CITY fan token.
The fan engagement and rewards mobile app, built on the Chiliz blockchain, will allow Manchester City supporters across the world to use fan tokens to access VIP rewards, club promotions, games, AR-enabled features and voting rights in certain binding and non-binding club polls on Socios.com.
The launch of the $CITY Fan Token also creates a new layer of digital engagement for the Premier League runaway leaders who sit 14 points clear of local rivals Manchester United.
The four-time Premier League champions join an elite selection of big-name football clubs to enter crypto. Rangers adopted Bitci last month in the wake of AC Milan announcing they had raised more than €5 million with the launch of a fan token.
A raft of other clubs such as FC Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, AS Roma, Atlético de Madrid, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor have also reported impressive returns on their fledgling crypto projects.
Speaking exclusively to City AM, Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Chiliz and Socios.com, described Manchester City as being the world’s most innovative sports teams.
“We are very proud to have Manchester City to launch our first fan token in the UK and even more excited with the other teams that are lined up,” he said.
“We are building a multi-billion dollar digital asset ecosystem and the more teams we onboard, the more teams can be creative and innovative globally.”
Mr Dreyfus suggested that, while football fan tokens are still in their infancy, there was clear worldwide appeal.
“The Premier League teams have massive global reach and our focus is to work with them on Asia, Latam, Turkey and most of emerging countries,” he added.
“There is a lot of work to do in terms of understanding where we are going, but we are getting there, step-by-step, and we are adding the best brands in the world to achieve this vision.”
Manchester City bosses have hailed the move as a real opportunity to engage with a global fanbase.
“We are excited to launch the new Manchester City Fan Token, which will provide another opportunity for our fans all over the world to get even closer to the club they love,” said Stephan Cieplik, Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships Sales, City Football Group.
“Fans will have access to fantastic competitions and VIP experiences and be able to vote on club initiatives.”
The club also revealed that existing members of its free Cityzen membership scheme will each receive a $CITY token.
Range of benefits
“Every existing registered Cityzen will also be eligible for a free token so they can access the full range of benefits and rewards,” added Mr Cieplik.
“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.
“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.”
The digital collectibles market is currently booming. CoinMarketCap, the world’s most referenced price tracking website for digital assets, has created a dedicated page for fan tokens minted on the Chiliz blockchain. The total fan token market cap recently exceeded $400M.
Chiliz $CHZ – the digital currency for sports and entertainment and the native currency of Socios.com – is among the top 35 cryptocurrencies in the world with a market cap of $3.3 billion.
The Manchester City fan token is available to purchase via the Socios.com app. Registered Cityzens will receive an offer to claim their free token through a voucher code in due course.