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Ave Juve! Viva PSG! Leading Football Clubs Have Turned to Virtual Assets

26 September 2018 15:19, UTC
Oleg Koldayev

A new digital era is beginning in the world of football. European top-clubs and smaller teams have started to issue their digital coins trying to outdo each other. The other day, Turinese Juventus has presented a project on creating its own virtual assets; the managers of the French club Paris Saint-Germain announced a similar thing earlier; two clubs of the English Premier League, Cardiff and Newcastle, put their appearance on this field; the Brazilian Avaí club held ICO. And everything started with a small, half-professional team of Gibraltar United, where the players were the first in the world to be rewarded in virtual money. What was the reason for the burst of interest of sports managers in the digital market? And will this boom last long?

The management of “the Old Lady" spoke out quite definitely - club money will appear at the beginning of next year. And fans will have the opportunity to become owners of a rare intangible souvenir. This is how the coin is positioned. And it will become some kind of the identification mark of a dedicated fan. The latter will be able to enjoy preferences. In particular, to buy T-shirts with original autographs of football players, souvenirs, and get passes to the VIP-box at training and games of the team.

“We always follow new technologies attentively and use them actively,” the tax director of the club Giorgio Ricci said. “And we believe that we will be able to give our fans the opportunity to support the club with the help of ultramodern means.”

But the main point is that fans of the club will be able to take part in online voting, during which, quite serious decisions are taken. Now, votes of fans affect not only the results of "The best goal of the month" competition or the color of the team's form in the next game, but also the policy of the coaching staff. They try to defer to fans’ opinion.

According to the managers of Juventus, thus, the club’s purse will be able to attract about $300 million. By the way, for this amount of money, they can purchase the most expensive player in the world, the Brazilian NEYMAR (€192 million) and Cristiano RONALDO (€124 million) for one more term in addition.

Moreover, the market potential of club virtual assets is clearly higher than expected. Only in Italy, 13 million people support Juve. And all over the world - about 180 million.

There is a similar situation in Paris Saint-Germain. The top club of the French championship issues coins as part of the fan merchandise. It is not surprising that the teams have the same DLT-platform. And the procedure has already gained its own name - Fan Token Offering (FTO).

"Paris Saint-Germain is determined to use the opportunities that the cryptocurrency can provide," the club's main partner Marc ARMSTRONG says. "This revolutionary technology will have an important impact on the overall business strategy of the club and on how we interact with our fans."

Cardiff, Newcastle, and Avaí conduct a classic ICO for attracting finance to the club’s purse  - participation in regular championships is not cheap.

English clubs are going to raise funds to purchase new players. The Brazilian team - to survive. The management expects to receive at least $19 million in the virtual market, which will help players compete for one more season.

The situation with the entry of football clubs into the world digital market illustrates exactly two interesting trends.

The first one is that virtual financial instruments are universal. Unlike fiat, they can be not only the equivalent of the value of labor or a thing but an important social tool that determines belonging to a particular community, as a system of “friend-or-foe” recognition in the virtual reality. Along with this, it is unique and one-of-a-kind. It is unnecessary to talk about the demand for such differentiation. Modern society is not a homogeneous mass of people, the community of not a majority, but of a minority: national, musical, and fanatic. Anyway, as you like.

Therefore, community tokens are in many ways the future of the digital market.

The second one is the monetization of the social capital. We have already written about the importance of the social capital in the current global economic system. But in the market of things, a certain kind of goods can still serve the result of such monetization. In the case of football clubs, the situation is different. With the help of digital assets, fans get the opportunity to express their love for the club, and the latter, in turn, gives the illusion (and maybe not just an illusion) of participation in the common cause. In contrast to the usual crowdfunding, here the value is not the result, but the process of interaction with the object of fandom, in this case, with the football team.

In other words, like that little pebble, a small club from Gibraltar gave birth to an avalanche and created a whole global trend.

As many critics of the digital progress say, virtual technologies do not make a person's life easier. The ease of using Internet technologies is an illusion. And they do not bind people, but rather disconnect. It may be so. But with the fact that these nuances make the existence of the world more interesting is sure.