Move over CFD brokers, cryptocurrency firms are making headway in the sports sponsorship market. This Tuesday, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), a French football team, announced that it had formed a “multi-year strategic partnership” with Socios.

The deal will see Socios becoming PSG’s “official branded cryptocurrency partner.” Neither side stated what sort of money was involved in the deal.

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Past sports sponsorship deals by brokers and crypto firms have often been framed in rather fatuous terms. Vacuous references are often made to the similarities between kicking a football at a goal or punching someone in the face and finding the best liquidity to execute a trade.

Socios is a different story. The cryptocurrency firm purports to be the first “tokenized football fan voting platform.”

PSG fan ownership

What the hell does that mean? Well, the platform will use chiliZ tokens, developed by Socios founder Alexandre Dreyfus.

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A former gambling site-operator, Dreyfus created chiliZ to give greater control to sports fans. The tokens represent a stake in a sports or e-sports team. Those tokens give them voting rights and will enable fans to guide the decisions that their teams make.

The best analogy to draw is with the football teams Barcelona and Real Madrid. Though it may not be apparent, both clubs are, to some degree, fan owned.

Both teams have tens of thousands of ‘socios’ – ‘members’ – that vote on decisions the club makes. For example, every four years Barcelona’s 155,000 socios vote on who the next president of the board of directors will be.

Socios will be much the same. As is obvious, the company’s name is taken from the Spanish football clubs’ fan ownership system.

What voting rights fans will actually get from the system is unclear. Given the vast amounts of cash that Qatar Sports Investment has farted into PSG’s coffers, this author isn’t convinced its president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is going to allow any of the proles much say in the club’s activities.

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