According to CoinGecko, as of November 1, 2023, the market capitalization of fan tokens is almost $276.6 million, and the daily trading volume is close to $45 million.
Let’s look at these digital asset classes and find out how they became so popular.
What Are Fan Tokens?
Fan tokens are crypto-assets created by certain sports teams, athletes, leagues, or sporting events. They allow fans, investors, and members of sports communities to get multiple privileges and opportunities after purchasing them.
Here are some of the basic characteristics of fan tokens:
- Connection between fans and athletes. Fan tokens are always linked to specific sports teams, athletes, stadiums, or even events such as championships. This allows fans to support their favorite teams and activities.
- Rights and privileges. Fan token holders can receive different perks including access to exclusive content, voting on important decisions for a team or club, tickets to matches or events, and the ability to have influence over happenings within a club or community.
- Use of blockchain. Fan tokens are essentially cryptocurrencies, so they rely on the same decentralized technologies to guarantee the transparency and reliability of transactions. They also ensure the uniqueness of each token and provide secure asset storage.
- Trading and investing. A considerable part of fan tokens are traded on centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges, so they can be used as investment tools. It also opens up an opportunity for fans to make money on the growth of token value.
It’s worth noting that the initial purpose of creating fan tokens was to bring fans and their idols closer together, giving them new ways to actively participate in the lives of their favorite sports teams or individual athletes. However, as they’ve evolved, fan tokens have also gained popularity as a way to raise extra funding in the sports industry. Moreover, like other digital assets, fan tokens are widely used by investors and traders.
Types of Fan Tokens
Fan tokens can have different functions depending on the sports organization, team, or project that issued them. Here are some of their varieties and features:
- Team tokens. These tokens are associated with a specific sports team. Their holders can receive free tickets to matches, exclusive content, and the right to participate in team-related events.
- Athlete tokens. Owners of these tokens can get different privileges, from access to exclusive content to face-to-face meetings with athletes.
- League and competition tokens. Fan tokens associated with certain championships give their holders access to competitions and giveaways, as well as exclusive information about league events.
- Universal tokens. These tokens can be associated with a particular sport rather than with one specific team or athlete. Such assets allow their owners to participate in various events and promotions held in a certain sports discipline.
- Event tokens. Such fan tokens are issued for specific events, such as world championships or Olympic Games. Their holders can access exclusive content and activities related to these events.
- Virtual goods tokens. Some projects use NFTs as fan tokens to sell digital collectibles, skins, in-game items, and other sports-related virtual artifacts.
- Dividend tokens. Some fan tokens provide the right to participate in the distribution of profits or revenue generated by a sports organization or team.
- Voting tokens. Fan tokens can be used to vote on important decisions related to a team, athlete, or sporting event.
Frequently, fan tokens are designed with the needs and interests of the fan audience in mind, so they can combine different functions within a single asset.
Value of Fan Tokens for Crypto Industry and Their Future
Fan tokens have a significant impact on the cryptocurrency industry, and their future appears promising for a number of reasons, including:
- Mass crypto adoption. Fan tokens help spread knowledge about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies to a wide audience. They attract the attention of fans and people who have no previous experience in the crypto industry and allow them to become part of the Web3 ecosystem.
- Increased interest in sports. Fan tokens boost fan engagement in the world of sports, giving fans a chance to get more involved in the life of a team or athlete.
- Extra funding for sports organizations. Fan tokens provide sports organizations with additional sources of funding. This can be especially important when revenue from other sources of income declines, as happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, for example.
- Innovation in marketing and audience engagement methods. Fan tokens help develop new marketing strategies, introduce innovative communication tools, and increase fan loyalty to sports brands.
- Expanding the sports ecosystem. Fan tokens can become part of the larger ecosystem that exists around sports organizations, including informational and commercial partnerships with other companies, development of additional products and services for fans, and much more.
Top 5 Fan Tokens
To date, over 200 different fan tokens have been created. Their popularity in the crypto market is actively growing, although none of these coins are among the top 500 largest cryptocurrencies.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 fan tokens. The rating is based on data from aggregator CoinGecko as of November 1, 2023.
|Name||Ticker||Market cap||Daily trading volume||Price|
|FC Barcelona||BAR||~$24.5 million||~$5.9 million||$2.2|
|Paris Saint-Germain||PSG||~$20 million||~$1.2 million||$2.92|
|OG Fan Token||OG||~19 million||~$7.6 million||$4.37|
|Manchester City||CITY||~16.7 million||~$1.3 million||$2.78|
|Santos FC||SANTOS||~12.8 million||~$6.3 million||$2.81|
Let’s examine each of the projects in more detail.
FC Barcelona (BAR)
FC Barcelona Fan Token is an ERC-20 token issued by FC Barcelona in collaboration with blockchain platform Socios.com.
BAR was created in June 2020 and provides FC Barcelona fans with the opportunity to participate in surveys regarding the club’s activities. Token holders have a say in important decisions, the club’s managers take their voices into account and bring their initiatives to life.
BAR fan tokens also give their owners access to:
- exclusive tickets to the team’s matches;
- unique merchandise;
- bonuses from Socios.com;
- club NFT collections.
BAR holders can also stake tokens and receive passive income as NFTs, as well as use the cryptocurrency in various online games.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)
Paris Saint-Germain Fan Token is the cryptocurrency of the French football club of the same name. PSG are issued on the Ethereum blockchain in cooperation with Socios.com.
PSG tokens are ERC-20 digital assets. The project was launched in January 2020 by distributing more than 1.2 million tokens among football club fans. Token holders are given the opportunity to:
- vote for decisions related to the club’s activities;
- receive rewards in the form of tickets to the team’s matches or access to exclusive meetings with the club’s players;
- get cashback from Socios.com;
- participate in early sales of NFT collections.
OG Fan Token (OG)
OG Fan Token (OG) is created by the OG organization, one of the most famous teams in the world of cybersports, in partnership with the Socios.com platform. OG is the team that has won the Dota 2 championship multiple times. The cryptocurrency was founded to strengthen the bond between the team and its fans.
The OG coin was launched in March 2020. 1.274 million tokens were distributed to fans through the Future Token Offering on the Socios platform, and the coin was listed on Binance Launchpool on December 30 of the same year. This allowed users to earn OG coins by placing their BNB, BUSD, and CHZ assets in farming pools.
Owners of the fan token can:
- use OG to purchase merchandise;
- participate in promotions and events related to the team;
- vote on the Socios.com platform for different proposals and decisions regarding the team;
- receive a range of bonuses, such as the opportunity to attend online training sessions or meet OG players.
Manchester City (CITY)
Manchester City Fan Token (CITY) is the cryptocurrency of English professional football club Manchester City. The team decided to release the fan token in March 2021, building on the experience of the successful launch of the PSG token.
The token runs on the Chiliz blockchain, which is a side-chain of the Ethereum network. The token’s price directly depends on the news background. For example, its value rose sharply after rumors about the possible transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to the club but also quickly decreased when this transfer didn’t happen. However, that’s relevant for all fan tokens.
CITY owners can use the token for:
- voting, which allows fans to influence decisions regarding the team;
- access to VIP awards and exclusive promotions;
- discounts on tickets for team games and club merchandise;
- access to the technical area at the home stadium.
Fan tokens can also be staked and used to receive NFT rewards.
Santos FC Fan Token (SANTOS)
Santos FC Fan Token (SANTOS) is a fan token of Brazilian football club Santos, created in partnership with Binance Launchpool. The idea of creating fan tokens became a hot topic in light of the pandemic that has severely impacted the club’s financial situation.
Binance and Santos FC announced their partnership in November 2021. As part of the partnership, Binance became the club’s main sponsor and was authorized to issue NFT products. SANTOS holders received several key benefits, including voting rights in polls and access to exclusive rewards. Moreover, SANTOS holders have access to rare and collectible NFTs. Coins can also be used to purchase merchandise and tickets to team matches.