The cryptocurrency boom has arrived in the world of football and brings huge potential for clubs to monetise their online communities, combining digital payments with fan loyalty programmes to take engagement to the next level.
Having been embraced by LaLiga clubs including FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, Levante UD is the latest to create its own range fan tokens, a move that is designed to expand the global appeal of the club and increase the involvement of its audiences.
The community of Valencia side has come to an agreement with Chiliz, the global blockchain fintech provider that specialises in the sport and entertainment sectors, to launch new tokens through the Socios.com fan engagement app. As Javier Vich, Levante UD’s Director of Business Development, said: “This represents the next step in our expansion; our cryptocurrency will allow us to enhance our internationalisation strategy by engaging with fans from all over the world.”
Promoting interaction among fans
The fan tokens will take on the symbol of $LEV. With the objective of generating interaction between supporters, the fan tokens are guaranteed and authentic digital assets which can be exchanged between owners.
These digital assets can be exchanged for goods or services and give token holder unique opportunities to participate in the running of the club, with binding votes being offered for certain club processes. Via the socios app, tokens can also be used to receive discounts and promotions from the club and its sponsors, win VIP experiences and interact with other fans through a range of chats, games and other tools.
“The fans who acquire our fan tokens will be able to feel like they’re participating in club decisions, able to do so through a voting system,” Vich explained.
Benefits for the clubs and experiences for fans
Already FC Barcelona has allowed token holders to choose the design for a motivational mural in the first team’s dressing room. Other initiatives around the world have seen fans select the message embroidered on the captain’s armband or participate in live chats with club coaches.
More than 500,000 people around the world have downloaded the Socios.com mobile app in just one year, acquiring more than 15 million fan tokens and generating profits of more than 30 million euros for the clubs involved.
By incorporating the tokens into upcoming marketing strategies, Levante expects to continue this positive momentum by bringing in new fans who feel a part of the club’s mission.
“Our main objective isn’t an economic one; there is an economic value of the cryptocurrency, but our idea is to give it an emotional value that will allow us to grow internationally,” Vilch concluded. “One of sport’s values is the feeling of belonging and this is how we see cryptocurrency and sport coming closer together.”