The sports and cryptocurrency worlds are discovering a somewhat expected synergy. These days the link between football and crypto is becoming more prominent, especially in Italy, but not only.
The news that Leo Messi received $PSG fan tokens in his welcome package is a point of no return for football. And considering that Socios (which issues the fan tokens) is partnered with around twenty teams, it is to be expected that other clubs may do what PSG did with star Messi.
But it is in Italy that the relationship between football and cryptocurrencies is becoming very close. One wonders what Cristiano Ronaldo would think if part of his salary was paid with the $JUV fan token.
After all, Juventus was one of the forerunners, using the fan token to vote for songs to be played at the stadium, and even to choose the jersey.
Juve was soon joined by AC Milan, Roma and Inter Milan, partners of Socios and therefore with their own fan tokens.
But the story doesn’t end there.
While on the one hand there is Socios with its fan tokens, on the other, there is Sorare with blockchain fantasy football.
Well before the NFT hype, Sorare had started partnering with football teams to turn players into NFTs that could be exchanged on the Ethereum blockchain. Of course, Sorare has not limited itself to Italy: Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, and many other teams have turned their players into NFTs, replacing the classic sticker album.
Sponsorships consecrate the relationship between football and cryptocurrencies in Italy
Then there are the sponsorships. Italy is leading the way here. Last May, Crypto.com sponsored the Italian Cup final.
At the moment, there are three teams with cryptocurrency companies as sponsors.
In the beginning, it was AS Roma with DigitalBits. Then followed Inter with Socios. In these cases, we talk about the main sponsor, which is the brand that appears on the front of the players’ uniforms. Then came Milan, with BitMEX as sleeve sponsor, with the logo clearly visible on the sleeve of the uniforms.
This turn of events is no coincidence: football clubs have suffered not only from the lockdown, but a whole year of closed stadiums, which has led to reduced revenues. Sponsorships with crypto companies take advantage of an up-and-coming sector with lots of cash and create a new relationship with fans, who have been pushed out of the stands.
There is every reason for this relationship to grow stronger. And given the popularity of football in Italy and around the world, it cannot be ruled out that this could lead to an increase in cryptocurrency adoption.