Blockchain in professional sport opens up to new heights and whole new markets. Digital Asset Live Editor-in-Chief meets the man, who has placed Juventus and Roma on blockchain, Alexandre Dreyfus, Socios CEO and Founder:
Q1: First the big question: which digital asset do you issue to football fans? In the video, Socios.com boasts to give fans club decisions – which ones? What do fans do with these digital assets now, and do you envisage they can do in the future?
In developing Socios.com, one of our main aims was to encourage the mass adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Through the Socios.com app we are looking at hundreds of millions of fans globally buying, owning and using what we call ‘Fan Tokens’ on a regular basis.
Let me explain a little further, Fan Tokens are digital assets, branded to our sports partners, that can be used solely on the Socios.com platform. They afford the owner the right to vote on club-specific polls and earn rewards. Fans use our in-app digital currency Chiliz ($CHZ) to purchase the Fan Tokens. At the moment, fans can only use $CHZ to purchase Fan Tokens, but we are working towards other utilities.
Q2: Are these assets tradeable? If yes, only at your platform or at other platforms, or OTC? Are they tradeable directly or via a native token?
The Fan Tokens can be traded (bought and sold) for $CHZ via a Marketplace feature on the app itself; think of it like eBay but for Tokens.
Q3: On the background of the Libra talk, is the Socios’s native token pegged to any fiat currency or a portfolio of real-life assets? Why? (please explain both if yes or no)
No, $CHZ is not backed by any conventional/ fiat founded asset portfolio. Our mission is to have $CHZ derive its market value through genuine utility for it as a currency. This in turn will drive supply and demand by users. This is, in part, why our parallel development of Socios.com as a global facing consumer platform is so crucial. This B2C fan influence platform is the first of many scalable product initiatives which will be powered by $CHZ as its official currency.
Q4: You have heavyweights as partners, such as Juventus and Roma. How did you manage to attract them? How do you get new clubs onboard?
Football is nothing without the fans and Socios.com is a fan engagement and rewards platform. So, for clubs it’s about increasing and enhancing their connection to their fans all over the world. The biggest clubs naturally have the biggest international fan bases and therefore the biggest potential user base for our product, so it made sense from a strategic perspective to start at the top. Moreover, all European clubs are keen to increase their footprint and fan base in Asia, where we know the appetite for blockchain-backed services is more prevalent.
Q5: How do you market to fans? Give us some numbers and demographics on the fans attracted.
Just like other brands that partner with football clubs, their fans are our potential customers, so we work in partnership with the clubs to market our product to their global fan bases. If you add up all the fan bases of our current partners, we’re looking at a potential audience of hundreds of millions of sports fans and users for both $CHZ and Socios.com from all over the world.
Q5: In my view, Socios.com is currently one of the most interesting projects in digital assets, because it is very concrete and it delivers. How did the Founders arrive to the idea of a sports engagement platform? Who are the Founders, give us some background please.
I founded Socios.com last year after more than 22 years in the digital space, building and developing tech businesses, including Webcity, the web-based interactive tourism guide, and Winamax (the largest French online poker room).
In 2017, we saw an opportunity to boost fan engagement in sport through blockchain, and the idea of Chiliz was born.
Q6: Do you interact with advertisers at present, and how? Also, do you work with streaming platforms like Twitch and in general with streamers.
Yes we are working with advertisers, and this forms a large part of our user acquisition strategy.
Q7: How do you intend to develop the platform further? I ask because the start page of Socios.com shows an interface to an app, with only two fields out of six filled, Football and Esports. Others say Coming Soon. What is soon to come?
We’ve moved incredibly fast, announcing partnerships with four major European football clubs plus an esports team all since last July. It was always our intention to start with football, and then look at other sports and entertainment verticals. We can’t say much at this point but we have many more announcements in the pipeline.