You can’t teach an old dog new tricks – but it seems you can
Juventus, alongside Fiorentina, are two leading Italian
football clubs who have announced the launch of blockchain projects focused
around fan engagement and shirt certification respectively. Yet not all may be
what it seems.
Last week a press release from Socios, a Malta-based company
which claims to be ‘the world’s first blockchain-based voting and rewards mobile
app for sports and entertainment’, trumpeted success in a campaign to change Juventus’
post-goal song through fan engagement.
There were four candidates to replace the previous song, The
Fratellis’ Chelsea Dagger: Blur’s Song 2, Boom by P.O.D, House of Pain’s Jump
Around, and All The Small Things by Blink 182. Song 2 won with just over a
third (33.65%) of the vote, with the poll being held on Socios.com.
The voting came about, Socios says, through a ‘fan token
offering’ (FTO), which was launched with Juventus in another proclaimed world-first
in December. Fans voted on the new song by exchanging $JUV Fan Tokens, which Socios
describes as ‘bespoke crypto assets that provide the right to vote on certain
club decisions and earn rewards.’
The FTO launch was not universally acclaimed. CCN derided
it in December as ‘the world’s most pointless blockchain use case’, noting –
not without justification – that a Twitter poll would have been sufficient.
The Old Lady nearly suffered from opening night nerves when
the first game featuring Song 2 took place. Juventus were at home to Cagliari –
who currently sit sixth in Serie A albeit having lost their last four games – on
January 6 with the game scoreless at half time. The deadlock was broken through
Cristiano Ronaldo in the 49th minute, with the Portuguese star eventually
notching a hat-trick, alongside a Gonzalo Higuain strike, to secure a 4-0 win.
In Florence, meanwhile, ACF Fiorentina is using blockchain
technologies provided by Italian startup Genuino to authenticate official
shirts used by the club’s players during games. As
reported by SportBusiness, the shirts are fitted with a dedicated chip, on
which sits a unique and unchangeable code, to confirm authenticity.
The club said the partnership will help involve supporters,
as well as fight counterfeiting. Certified shirts will be made available for
purchase through a charity auction.
Meanwhile Socios, which raised $27 million as part of Chiliz in April 2018, said similar FTO initiatives will take place for Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid later in January.
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