Socios, the social engagement arm of sports-focused blockchain firm Chiliz, is expanding its offerings to the U.S. The firm is starting with hockey, announcing a marketing partnership today with the New Jersey Devils.
Socios has thus far enabled European soccer teams to directly engage with their supporters via fan tokens. The firm has brought fan tokens, which allow supporters to cast votes for certain club decisions, to teams like Juventus and FC Barcelona among others. The Socios app is powered by the Chiliz blockchain, with Chiliz acting as parent company to the engagement arm.
Though it's mostly focused on bringing crypto infrastructure to European soccer teams and fighting leagues like UFC and PFL, Chiliz has seen considerable growth in the past year, including the run of its native token CHZ. The coin saw a price spike in March from $0.05 to $0.73, and has consistently sat above $0.40 since then according to CoinGecko. With this growth in tow, it's now looking to expand its sports engagement to the U.S.
Socios is opening a New York headquarters and Chiliz will invest at least $50 million in partnerships between Socios and major U.S. sports leagues. It's starting with an NHL marketing partnership to create a presence in the Tri-State area, according to CEO Alexandre Dreyfus. The firm has partnered with the New Jersey Devils as its first stateside commitment with a U.S. pro-sports franchise.
“Given the power and influence of the Tri-State Region, the dynamic engagement rates of the New Jersey Devils fanbase, and the forthcoming installation of a regional headquarters for Socios.com; we felt this team was the natural launchpad for our U.S.-focused endeavors,” said Dreyfus in the announcement.
To be sure, it's only a marketing partnership. The Devils have not yet signed on to utilize Socios' blockchain technology or issue fan tokens. The main addition is that Socios' branding will be displayed as virtual glass signage for all home and away games broadcast by MSG Network for the rest of the season.
Still, this is a first step, according to Dreyfus. Socios is already in talks with other franchises across the U.S.
“We’re working on dozens more partnerships with teams and franchises from a wide number of sports and look forward to greatly increasing our presence in the US and globally throughout 2021."