Socios.com has extended its deal with FC Barcelona to become a strategic technology partner in a bid to help the club build upon its blockchain, NFT and digital assets, and Web3 strategies.
Chiliz, Socios.com’s owner and technology provider, will invest $100M in Barça Studios to acquire a 24.5% stake in the club’s digital content creation and distribution hub.
The fan engagement platform previously introduced the $BAR Fan Token, which the pair have highlighted will be ‘key’ to unlocking opportunities that extend beyond the Socios.com app and into new, immersive, digital ecosystems.
Building on an existing partnership with the club, which began in February 2020, Socios.com and Barca Studios will now look to develop projects that attract blockchain and Web3 partners to build new features in the Barcelona FC ecosystem.
Since the initial deal, it has been reported that over $39M of $BAR Fan Tokens have been sold which both groups have stated provide a ‘vibrant engage-to-earn community’.
The new agreement will also allow Barça Studios to gain exposure to Chiliz Chain 2.0 – the first Layer-1 blockchain created especially for the sports and entertainment industry.
Socios.com has been investing in La Liga and Spanish football since 2019, and now partners with six of these top-flight teams, whilst also maintaining fan engagement and rewards collaborations with more than 160 sports clubs globally.
Earlier this year, Serie A also made relations with the platform in becoming an official partner of the Italian league. This collaboration also saw the brand named as the main sponsor of the Supercoppa Frecciarossa and Coppa Italia Frecciarossa Finals.
Increased engagement between NFT/blockchain platforms and professional sports has not gone without controversy, with some comparing the products to a form of gambling. In an interview earlier this year, Dan Sormaz – Head of Sales at NFT fantasy sports provider Sorare – reiterated that ‘we firmly believe that Sorare isn’t a gambling platform’.