<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-NZKQMDR" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"></iframe>
Back to all research
Macro Research

FAN TOKENS: Tokenizing Fandom and Onboarding Millions of Sports Fans to Web3

Latest updates: Dec 15 2022




The World Cup is coming up once again, but this time, fans will have radically new ways to engage and show support for their teams thanks to Web3. We all have high expectations on the crowd and their engagement process with the tournament. But more than that, the crypto community is going to be able to easily tap into those fans through a simple integration that will allow them to become part of this new trend in cryptocurrency Tokenizing fandom.

Alongside the rise of alternative financial systems powered by blockchains, the ways in which we interact and perceive value are also evolving. Social media has led to hyper-connectivity, obliterating the geographical barriers, which, for sports fans, matters quite a lot. As Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Chiliz and Socios puts it: 99.9% of fans aren’t even in the stadium. We all take for granted that information can be shared and accessed from almost anywhere, along with the ability to engage. Through likes and comments, users have a number of tools that let them voice their opinions, show support, and interact even with total strangers. This behavior has become so prevalent and pervasive that metrics such as followers, likes, and engagement rates are now considered very important measurements of success for a brand.

Fan tokens represent an amalgamation of these two movements, blockchain and engagement. Similar to branded currencies, fan tokens look to enhance the relationships that exist between brands and their fanbase, allowing for heightened engagement and stronger connections.

So what are Fan tokens?

Fan tokens are a type of utility token that individuals and organizations can use to enhance their engagement with fans and vice-versa. These blockchain-based assets facilitate more direct connections and new types of activations that make fans more active participants in the content they consume.

Fan tokens allow people to show their support for their favorite teams and athletes in exchange for rewards that actually have value for them. For example, if you're a huge fan of LeBron James and want to see him win the NBA championship this season, you could create content about him excites other fans too—and then earn tokens when people engage with it!

This type of engagement is usually reserved for professional marketers who know how to make content go viral (and charge big bucks for it). But now it's available to everyone who wants to participate in this new economy—and get rewarded for doing so.

Today, there are over 2 billion sports fans worldwide that teams could be doing more to engage with (and monetize). The problem is: how?

"It’s been said that the only thing more valuable than a fan is a fan who pays you."

Tokenizing Fandom and Onboarding Millions of Sports Fans to Web3

Voting rights

For the first time ever, Fan Tokens empower fans to vote on club decisions. Several of the world’s top football clubs including Manchester City, AC Milan and Juventus have used fan tokens to give a voice to their fanbase, who now help make decisions on alternative logo designs, song playlists, merchandise, etc.

For example, in 2020, Juventus fans used their Juventus Official Fan Token ($JUV) to vote on a new goal celebration song on the polling site Socios.com. For 8 years, every goal scored by Juventus at the Allianz Stadium was celebrated to the tune of ‘Chelsea Dagger’ by The Fratellis. The upbeat hit became synonymous with the club, but the team decided it was time to make a change with the help of their fans. Now, whenever Juventus scores, Blur’s “Song 2” blares from the arena speakers, a decision that was made by holders of the Juventus fan token $JUV.

Exclusive access

Fan tokens can be used to grant access, offering a sense of exclusivity to holders. A fan token acts like a ticket into an exclusive inner circle of fans who share a passion for the team and the sport. The more tokens a fan holds, the higher their fan ranking, moving them upwards through different reward tiers until they have access to the biggest VIP benefits offered by the club.

???? Clubs are therefore able to use Fan token as part of their fan engagement strategy to continue to build their global fan bases, particularly in Asia where the football fan community is experiencing incredible growth but feels less connected (geographically) to the club they support.

Parallels in Music: The Kings of Leon’s foray into blockchain was a first for the world of rock, releasing an NFT series alongside their latest album, “When You See Yourself.” $50 NFT albums were issued for two weeks, after which, no more would be produced. The NFT gave holders access to a download of the record, exclusive artwork and a limited edition vinyl. Additionally, six “Golden Tickets” were auctioned in the form of NFTs, granting the holders four front-row seats to one show of every Kings of Leon headline tour for life.

Medium of exchange for Memorabilia & Digital Collectibles

Source: airnfts.com

If you're a sports fan who wants to own an unforgettable moment or memorabilia items, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) may be an attractive option and clubs can utilize fan tokens as a medium of exchange for these digital collectibles. A Deloitte Global report on sports media NFTs indicates that by the end of 2022, 4-5 million sports fans globally will have purchased or been gifted an NFT sports collectible.

The popularity of digital collectibles has been growing rapidly over the last few years which is expected to continue into the future. According to a study by Emarketer, NFT sales are projected to reach $6 Billion by 2022 and it's estimated that more than 700 million people will be using NFTs by 2025.

Using NFTs has the potential to revolutionize how sports teams interact with fans and sell merchandise. The ability for fans to purchase their favorite players' jerseys or other memorabilia using fan tokens could make transactions easier and faster than ever before.

New revenue stream for clubs

Clubs make a considerable amount of money when the token is first 'minted' and made available to purchase for fans - known as an initial "Fan Token Offering" (FTO). When Barcelona launched their initial FTO in June last year, the $BAR tokens sold out in less than two hours, generating US$1.3 million immediately for the cash-strapped La Liga team.

???? Important note

  • Fan tokens primarily target sports fans. However, traders can use these tokens for speculative purposes. Let’s say Lazio has signed a world-class player; this could impact the $LAZIO token’s price to rise. Conversely, if the club is doing poorly, it could prompt speculators to sell the token.

  • According to Chiliz and Socios CEO, Alexandre Dreyfus, the things fans can vote for will mostly be fun-driven, which means fans can't get to vote who will be the next coach or which player the club should hire. There is also a cap on the number of votes an individual can have to avoid a situation in which one Whale owns so much of the supply that it destroys any sense of fairness in votes.

  • Fan tokens still carry all the risks of cryptocurrencies. First of all, it’s important to remember that fan tokens are vulnerable to hacks or regulations as well as crypto market volatility. Secondly, even if you have a good feeling about what’s going on with the team, there is always the possibility that things could go wrong and your fan tokens could lose value.

    For example:

    When the news of Messi's potential departure from Barcelona to PSG leaked, the total volume of the $PSG token traded in Brazil was even greater than that of Bitcoin. The market is driven by emotion, so whenever something big happens in the football world, you can expect volatility in price.(Source)

    • Part of Messi's signing fee was paid in fan tokens

    • PSG token trading volume topped $1.2B in the days leading up to his move.

So before buying any fan tokens, make sure you understand the risks involved. Do your own research on the token and by reading articles like this one!


Final thoughts

How much is a fan worth? Well, it depends on how you look at it.

If you think that they’re just people who show up to watch your team play, maybe fandom isn’t worth all that much. But if you consider them as the lifeblood of your brand — the ones who help spread the word about what you do, share their excitement with others, and make your team better by supporting it financially — then they are worth everything.

That’s why fan tokens are such an important next step for teams looking to build strong relationships with the people who matter most: the fans. Fan tokens will usher in a new era in fan engagement, giving sports organizations the tools they need to connect directly with their most enthusiastic supporters and create a new way for them to interact with one another while watching games or enjoying other content related to their favorite team/league/player/etc.

Share this article
Azuki - The Rise, The Fall and The Future
Azuki is a collection of 10,000 avatars released by a Los Angeles-based group of artists on January 12, 2022. Azuki, which features anime-inspired artwork, has been called a mix between the 3D action role-playing game The World Ends with You and the stylistic sensibilities of the iconic skateboarding magazine Thrasher. Azuki then quickly became a brand that resonates with many – from avid NFT collectors to regular folks.
Dec 27 2022
Free-to-Own: The Future of Gaming or Marketing Buzzword?
Gabe Leydon’s Limit Break game studio made quite a splash in the web3 gaming world at the end of August by emerging from stealth to announce they have raised a whopping $200M in funding to build a new blockchain game. Investors include Buckley Ventures, Paradigm, FTX, CoinBase Ventures, Shervin Pishevar, Anthos Capital, SV Angel, and Standard Crypto. But it wasn’t just the money that made crypto twitter headlines.
Treeverse - An exclusive interview with Loopify
Ancient8 Research recently had the pleasure of interviewing Loopify, Founder/CEO of Treeverse. Treeverse is one of the most highly anticipated web3 titles in development, and with good reason. It doesn’t take much digging to realize there’s something special about Treeverse— Whether it’s the artwork, combat trailer, game design previews, detailed monthly updates, community engagement, or all of the above, there’s a clear commitment to quality and a cohesive, compelling vision throughout.
  • Introduction
  • So what are Fan tokens?
  • Tokenizing Fandom and Onboarding Millions of Sports Fans to Web3
  • Final thoughts