UEFA announced to expand its blockchain ticketing solution to UEFA EURO 2020 and Barca is the next club to issue its own fan token. How the football industry takes advantage of blockchain.
UEFA’s blockchain project goes into the next round. Early February, we reported about a pilot in 2018, where UEFA tested a blockchain-based ticketing system at the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid in Tallinn. At the time, UEFA distributed 100% of the match tickets sold to the general public through the deployment of a blockchain-based mobile app.
We also reported rumors that the same system might get used during the UEFA EURO 2020. Those rumors have now been confirmed: UEFA will sell one million out of three million tournament tickets on the blockchain.
Football fans who purchased a ticket in the sales round in December 2019 or later will receive a blockchain token through the UEFA Euro 2020 ticket App. Similar to the pilot in 2018, fans will have to authenticate their token through the mobile app via a QR code before entering the stadium to prove the validity of their tickets.
From 13,000 tickets in 2018 to 1 million or more in 2020! It is only a matter of time until blockchain-ticketing becomes the standard in the multi-billion-dollar sports industry.
FC Barcelona issues Fan Token to improve community building
It’s not just tickets. Last week, the famous sports club FC Barcelona announced a Fan Token ($BAR) to strengthen the bond between the club and its fan community. Token holders can access a voting platform, where they can participate in club-internal surveys and votes – the token provides the encrypted voting rights.
According to the official announcement, $BAR is part of a global expansion strategy with a “clear focus on the digital realm.” Barca plans to sell 40 million $BAR tokens this year at $2.20 each. Considering the club’s massive fan base of more than 351 million, there should be no shortage of demand.
The idea of “Fan Tokens” is not new though. The first teams already announced their tokens back in 2019, with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Juventus being the first. Throughout the year, Atlético De Madrid, Galatasaray, AS Roma and West Ham launched Fan Token Offerings as well.
Connecting people: Blockchain is much more than finance
The concept of Fan Tokens shows one aspect of blockchain that is often forgotten. The goal of Fan Tokens is not necessarily to achieve capital gains on the part of the token holder and it’s not only about finance for the token issuer – although that is certainly one of the goals.
Instead, Fan Tokens offer a way to connect with an audience by allowing for greater engagement, in this case, through voting rights. They could also be used to purchase fan merchandise, get stadium discounts, access to certain fan events, and more.
What works for a football club can also work for any other private business. Blockchain provides a way to engage with a community, which can support brand building activities and increase customer loyalty. At its essence, blockchain is about connecting people, and that does not necessarily always involve a financial investment.