The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has become the latest enterprise to partner with a crypto company. UEFA is now working with Socios.com to establish a new token to be utilized purely by fans of the sport.
UEFA Takes Flak for Its Crypto Goals
The good news is that moves like these tend to cement the crypto space and bring the industry’s goals closer to mainstream territory, but interestingly, not everyone is happy about the partnership. Many are accusing Socios.com of being a haven for what they call “crypto mercenaries.” The firm has established a whopping 53 separate digital currencies for football organizations across the continent including Crystal Palace, Leeds United, Manchester City, and Aston Villa.
The point of these tokens is to allow fans to become more engaged with the teams they respect and enjoy. They have voting rights in matters affecting the teams, can take part in specific competitions, and have other advantages that non-token holding fans don’t. These fan tokens must be purchased using Chiliz, a cryptocurrency offered by Socios.com, and they can be traded on various crypto markets.
But the move is taking a lot of flak from people and organizations like Football Supporters Europe (FSE), which put out the following statement:
We are appalled by UEFA’s decision to team up with Socios, a company that monetizes fan engagement at the expense of match-going fans. This is an incomprehensible move at a time when football needs protection from crypto mercenaries. UEFA’s partnership with Socios legitimizes risky investments in highly volatile and largely unregulated financial assets.
SD Europe also threw its two cents into the mix, commenting:
Meaningful fan engagement should be democratic, inclusive, and transparent via formal mechanisms such as supporter involvement in governance structures, share ownership, voting rights, and representative supporter groups.
UEFA, however, is defending its decision to work with Socios.com. In a recent interview, a spokesperson for UEFA explained:
This regional sponsorship and global licensing agreement will not affect UEFA’s strong commitment to continuously engage and discuss relevant matters of interest directly with fan organizations.
The past few years have seen several sports stars and teams getting involved in the crypto space. Not long ago, college football player Cade McNamara teamed up with a firm known as More Management. For making appearances and posting on social media, McNamara is slated to received digital currency payments from the company.
This Has Been Happening for a While
In a statement, McNamara commented:
Couldn’t be more excited to join MORE. I am looking forward to learning more about crypto and being part of this great organization.
Several of his teammates followed in his footsteps and signed deals with More Management to sell t-shirts, play video games online with fans, and engage in other activities in return for crypto payments.