Inter Milan has unveiled Socios, a cryptocurrency that relies on the Chiliz blockchain, as its new main shirt sponsor, in yet another show of widespread acceptance. This marks the end of a 26-year relationship with outgoing title sponsor Pirelli.
The launch of the new fan token, $INTER, will be part of the Socios deal. The club expects that this would improve the fan experience for their global supporters.
Inter Milan demanded a larger sum of money.
Inter Milan won the league title for the first time in 11 years during the 20/21 Serie A season. This was largely due to Romelu Lukaku, who finished the season with 24 goals as the club’s leading scorer. Producing 11 also helps with the process.
As part of its pre-season preparations, the team is now competing in the Florida Cup. However, its match against Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday is in jeopardy due to covid fears.
The circumstances surrounding Pirelli’s departure are clouded in doubt. Inter Milan, like a number of other clubs, is owned by a commercial conglomerate. The Suning Holdings Group (SHG) in this case is well known for its real estate and finance operations.
SHG also owns Jiangsu FC, the Chinese Super Championship (CSL) winners, who were forced to close down just months after winning the league. Zhang Jindong, the owner of SHG, earlier stated that he wants to focus more on the retail industry and eliminate non-essential activities.
This entire affair has raised questions on the CSL’s long-term survival. More importantly, it casts doubt on Inter Milan’s future.
Pirelli voiced growing questions about the Serie A champions’ future and ownership structure while discussing partnership renewal. According to sources, SHG was hoping for greater sponsorship money, roughly €30 million, than Pirelli was ready to give. Pirelli spent €10.5 million on the 20/21 sponsorship.
Socios and Chiliz have reached an agreement of €20 million, which is less than the estimated €30 million sought. However, the cost is nearly double that of the previous season.
On A Roll With Chiliz
Alexandre Dreyfus, the CEO of Chiliz and Socios.com, said the sponsorship was the perfect opportunity to raise “public awareness” of his business and cryptocurrency in general.
“The Inter Milan front-of-shirt is the ideal location for us to announce the start of this new collaboration and raise public awareness of the $INTER Fan Token’s prospects for innovation and engagement.”
The $INTER fan token, according to Dreyfus, will alter the Inter fan community by allowing fans to participate in a variety of ways.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new era for millions of Inter fans around the world, who will be able to join a thriving digital community on Socios.com, where they will have access to countless opportunities to engage with the team, influence key decisions, and be rewarded by the club they love through $INTER Fan Tokens.”
Due to their volatility and, some argue, unclear use case, fan tokens have received a lot of flak.
Others, on the other hand, regard them as a novel way to interact with and support football clubs.