The Growing Influence of Crypto Companies in Football

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When English team Bradford City recently received a bid for the club from an American consortium looking to take over, it attracted plenty of attention. When it emerged the proposal was linked to cryptocurrency, it made headline news.

There are quite a few reasons why it’s attracted so much interest, one of them is who the WAGMI United are. The group of investors reportedly looking to secure ownership of the fourth-tier club are undoubtedly high profile. One of those involved is a big player in the world of sports in the States; he’s the president of the Philadelphia 76ers, Daryl Morey. The other interesting factors come from how WAGMI wants to use data and analytics to make decisions about running the club and sustain The Bantams financially. The group intends to raise capital to support the club via non-fungible tokens.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are emerging technologies that other clubs have already embraced to raise funds, but differently. There has been a rise in the number of clubs utilizing Socios fan tokens to connect and engage with their supporters. Fans have been snapping up these NFTs as not only do they get a unique piece of memorabilia, but owners of the tokens get exclusive access to fan polls, merchandise, and the potential of meeting their heroes too. As with crypto, the token value can rise and fall, but unlike the currency, price changes are driven by events at the football club. The perfect example of this is when Lionel Messi joined PSG from Barcelona last summer, as noted by First Post the price of the French club’s tokens soared from €2 ($2.25) to €30 ($33.82) in a matter of hours as fans eagerly snapped them up.

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In the English Championship, former Premier League club, Queens Park Rangers, have also dived into the world of the NFT by launching their own digital, officially licensed collectibles for fans to buy. These limited-edition pictures and videos have a fixed supply, and fans can buy and trade them as they see fit. However, while some fans across Europe accept them, NFTs have not been widely accepted by supporters’ groups, especially in the UK. It has led to a small number of clubs looking at introducing them, changing their minds.

Meanwhile, back in Bradford, their chairman, Stefan Rupp, has also decided that crypto will not be the driving force behind a takeover. He’s told the press via a club statement that they have rejected the possibility of selling the 118-year-old football club to WAGMI United. “A great deal has been aired publicly since the offer was made. This, as well as a number of factors which will remain private, has led me to this decision.” He continued: “As a proud custodian of this wonderful football club, my first and most important responsibility is to protect it and safeguard its long-term future while upholding our values.”

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So, it seems, for now, we’ll have to wait a little longer before cryptocurrency makes a solid partnership at the top tables of football clubs. However, with clubs already earning millions from NFTs, as eager fans continue to snap up things like fan tokens, it looks like blockchain technology is here to stay.

This article was not written by Futballnews.

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