In the digital era, it is increasingly common to hear words such as cryptocurrencies, blockchain, Bitcoin or NFT.
The fact is that these terms, linked to the recent modality for carrying out transactions virtually, have made the most powerful teams in the world and others not so powerful -economically speaking- bet on joining this new wave and multiplying the number of figures in their bank accounts.
The signing of Messi to PSG, multiple European top teams having tokens already, the first transfer between Liga MX and the NWSL, the new sponsorship of teams, and salary payments all have something in common: cryptocurrencies that are constantly exchanged with a GRID bot have played an important role in what could be the future of football.
Lionel Messi Received Cryptocurrency from PSG
PSG relied on a cryptoasset to add Lionel Messi to its ranks, and did so through ‘fan tokens’. An asset that allows fans of a specific club to pay to access exclusive benefits such as discounts, promotions and even participate in some of their team’s decisions.
Although the figure for which the Argentine arrived in Paris is unknown, it is estimated, according to Reuters, that the player received between 25 and 30 million euros from the team’s fan tokens.
All created by the company Chiliz as part of his welcome to the club. Messi’s contract with the Parisians is a “milestone” for including this form of payment in future signings of other football stars.
The First Women’s Football Signing Made with Cryptocurrencies
Tigres was the first team to make the first transfer in women’s football using cryptocurrencies. Stefany Ferrer joined Angel City FC, becoming the first transfer of a Liga MX Femenil player to a US National Women’s Soccer League team.
The company Bitso was the one that facilitated Stefany’s departure to North American football.
Thanks to the commercial alliance between Tigres and the company with more than 3.3 million users, this historic agreement could be celebrated.
Bitso joined Tigres as a sponsor at the end of November 2021 and just four months later, they managed to take their first big step in women’s football and later allied with the Mexican national team.
NFTs in Football
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens, a kind of digital token that has a certificate of authenticity and uses the same technology as cryptocurrencies.
The internet defines an NFT as an image, video, audio, text, or a specific compressed file that obtains an identifier in which the author’s name, initial value, and sales history, among other metadata, are recorded. This good cannot be duplicated, consumed through use, or replaced by something else.
In short, NFTs are collectibles that primarily focus on digital artwork, stickers, sports videos and other rarities.
For the same reason, the NBA or some football players such as Neymar or Keylor Navas, among others, have started to meddle in this market to promote the sale of their collectibles.
Of course, football was not left behind. Sorare, a platform that managed to merge NFTs into a game where the owner of the rarest football cards wins, had a Lionel Messi card auctioned for 1,000,000+ dollars and a Cristiano Ronaldo card for just over 265,000.
In June 2021, Keylor Navas, James Rodríguez, Joao Félix and six other footballers joined the initiative of blockchain companies Zilliqa and Polaris Sport, to become NFTs and offer exclusive content from these stars for sale.
The differentiator of this company is that some of the buyers – chosen at random – could receive items autographed by one of their idols.
Pumas and Chivas are some of the forerunners of NFTs. The university team “opted for this new line of business because of the pandemic crisis,” explained Alejandro Carmona – commercial director of Pumas. While Chivas invited their fans to create illustrations of the team to enter them into a series of auctions.
Chivas, meanwhile, has been able to better exploit this new digital market and obtained 20,344 dollars and 26 cents in auctions for its first group of collectibles, with the most valuable NFT being a sticker for 3,958 dollars and 39 cents.
Club Leandro Alem Pays Salaries with Crypto
In Argentine football, Leandro N. Alem’s players were the first to receive their salaries in crypto.
Daniel Etcheverry – the club’s manager – decided to innovate the way in which his players would collect their cheques at the end of the month, influenced by everything that was happening in other latitudes thanks to cryptocurrencies.
Etcheverry said he “thought it was a very positive thing for such a popular discipline” as football. He also said in an interview that “the positive thing about cryptocurrencies is that there is no regulatory body; it is user to user. The only technology involved is the Blockchain network, which is more secure than any bank”.
Lautaro Constanzo – a Leandro Alem footballer – backed up his team leader’s decision by saying that “it was something surprising for them which they didn’t understand much about, but they – his teammates and he – always take whatever is for their own good.
Having been at the club for a number of years you want to progress and get used to the idea that it’s an income.
Teams Staking Big on Tokens
More and more teams in Europe are among the best on the planet, and are even sporting tokens on their own jerseys.
The best examples of these teams are FC Barcelona, Manchester City, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal London – and obviously, Paris-Saint Germain.
The reason for this big revolution in sports tokens is that they serve to promote both the team and generate interest and revenue from fans.
Fortunately, the move to trade cryptocurrencies and own tokens has gone well in the world of football. If you just take into account player purchases, paying salaries in cryptocurrencies, and multiple fan tokens – there is certainly a promising future.