According to the reports, Lionel Messi has signed a $20 million deal with Socios to become the fan token site’s global brand ambassador. Messi, who plays for the Paris-Saint Germain soccer club and captains Argentina’s national team, will promote the exchange for the next three years.
Messi becomes the latest global sports personality to enter the crypto world, following NFL quarterback Tom Brady and NBA star LeBron James. The deal is part of a growing wave of tie-ups between crypto firms and soccer.
Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that most often represent different sports teams and enable fans to have input on small decisions within their teams’ communities like squad numbers and celebration songs. Socios hosts fan tokens for a number of different teams across soccer, football, hockey, basketball, and more.
“Fans deserve to be recognised for their support,” Messi said in a statement. “I’m proud to join Socios.com’s mission to create a more connected and rewarding future for fans around the world.”
Paris Saint Germain and Argentina forward Messi, whose move from Barcelona in August included a cryptocurrency payment, will be involved in a publicity and promotion campaign for Socios in the build-up to the Qatar World Cup, which starts in November.
Socios have signed deals, including creating tokens, for over 130 sports organisations, including a number of top soccer clubs such as PSG, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester City.
Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that allow holders to vote on mostly minor decisions related to their clubs. The tokens are increasingly seen by clubs as a source of new revenue but have been criticised by some supporters groups who see their introduction as superficial participation that adds to the already growing costs of following their teams.
Brady last year took an undisclosed equity stake in crypto exchange platform FTX Trading Ltd and became an ambassador for the company.
In January, James announced a multi-year partnership with Crypto.com, a company that recently signed a sponsorship deal with world soccer’s governing body FIFA.
James launched a multi-year relationship with Crypto.com in January, a company that recently signed a sponsorship contract with FIFA, world football’s governing body. Despite his terrible form for PSG, Messi remains one of the best players in the world, capable of changing a game with his left foot at any time.
Football is the sport where Socios’ primary product, fan tokens, has had the most significant impact. However, the platform must address two key competing challenges: the active rejection from organised fan groups and the need for increased brand exposure.
The addition of Messi as an influencer for the product can strategically contribute to Socios’s agenda in the football industry. Messi is one of the most recognised and respected names in football. His presence influences the results of the game and the balance sheets of brands he is associated with.