Category Archives: Barcelona FC

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Can Blockchain Crowdfunding Solve Football’s Financial Burden?

A day doesn’t seem to pass now without the announcement of a top-flight football club’s interest in a new blockchain or crypto project, or an endorsement by a high profile player, and now more are lining up with crowdfunding in mind.

The latest to join the “club” are two more English Premier League teams, newly-promoted Cardiff City and Newcastle United, the latter promoted a season earlier. Both teams are currently in conversations with blockchain-based crowdfunding platform SportyCo. The platform is gaining some prominence now since it formed with an aim to tackle the problem of funding training and international events, faced by many athletes.

Cardiff City, currently lying 17th in England’s top-flight league, were promoted from the Championship last season with high hopes to regain a permanent standing in one of the world’s most prestigious divisions. An ICO launch through SportyCo may be an approach they take in order to gain additional funds in order to strengthen their squad in order to compete at the elevated level. They currently have a debt burden of over USD 150 million.

Newcastle United is also suffering a shortage of funds under owner British billionaire retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley. Supporters are now asking “where has all the money gone?”, with the club being unable to account for GBP 200 million from gate and sponsorship money including some USD 125 million in prize money.

Brazilian football superstar Ronaldinho has already taken the blockchain route on a personal level with his RSC coin, and others have followed, including two Barcelona players Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta, with a blockchain project which links players and fans.

It’s becoming clearer that there is plenty of scope for fans to form closer connections to their clubs through such projects via a rewards mechanism. For example, a practical system would reward investors as token holders with discounts for club-related purchases, such as season passes, tickets and items purchased through the club.

 

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James Rodriguez Launches JR10 Coin in Wave of Superstar Crypto Endorsements

James Rodriguez, an icon of Colombian football commonly known as James, has announced that he is partnering with SelfSell to launch his own crypto token called the JR10, reports USA Today.

The launch of the JR token, so named after his number 10 position in the Columbian squad, will elevate him to being the first active international player to move into crypto space through the launching of his own asset.

In next month’s World Cup in Russia, James, who also plays for German club Bayern München, will lead a Columbian squad competing against group members Japan, Senegal, and Poland.

Rodriguez is not the first footballer to embrace the blockchain space following Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi’s recent affiliation with Sirin Labs who have marketed a blockchain smartphone with the superstar’s endorsement. Michael Owen, ex Liverpool and England International, also recently unveiled his merchandising, Owen Coin, supported by the Singapore-based Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX).

The exchange scored another coup in March, this time signing a boxer to promote the exchange. Philippines Senator, Manny Pacquiao, better known for being the only eight-division world boxing champion, invested in the company which specializes in allowing celebrities to create their own digital currencies.

Sportsmen joining other crypto-crazy celebrities dipping their toes into fintech water include Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, football superstar Luis Suarez, rapper The Game, and stand-up comedian Kevin Hart and Canadian two-time speed skating world record holder Ted-Jan Bloemen who became the first cryptocurrency-sponsored athlete, according to Cryptovest.

The most notable event this year was American Boxer Floyd Mayweather’s endorsement of blockchain firm Stox to 16 million Instagram followers raising USD 33 million in 34 hours. This resulted in charges being made against the company by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations that the (ICO) was a fraudulent activity.

Rodriguez claimed that he will be involved in a range of activities following the launch including interacting with his fans, suggesting that the coin can be used to “become a new engine to grow the global football market”.

 

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Lionel Messi Scores a Goal for Blockchain

Superstar Barcelona FC football player Lionel Messi has become the official brand ambassador for Sirin Labs, the company marketing a new smartphone called ‘Finney’ that runs on blockchain technology.

According to the BBC, the company is known for previously marketing an ultra-secure smartphone for a hefty price of $17,000, based on its ‘watertight security.’ The new device is reported to offer users, “… the first open source, secure smartphone and all-in-one PC’, that will run on a fee-less blockchain, “ now enabling investors to protect their bitcoin on their phones.

Sport is clearly beginning to look at what blockchain offers. Messi, who has expressed more than a passing interest in cryptocurrency has said previously that he has, “…been digging deeper into blockchain and decentralized systems.” Also, Spanish football club Espanyol, and ex-greats, footballers Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho, all have deals with decentralized sports investment platform, SportyCo.

Blockchain technology is under the microscope in sport at the moment. Ticketing issues and touting has always been an issue for some of the larger football clubs with enormous gates. The BBC, in its report, argues that teams like Manchester United with a stadium capacity of 75,000 would have a “logistical nightmare” keeping track of the records attached to tickets sold. Michael Broughton, who is a football business expert at Sport Investment Partners says:

“If you put your ticketing system onto the blockchain, you can verify if people attended, or who they gave their tickets to. If people want to transfer these tickets to friends or others then it has to be recorded on the blockchain.”

He suggests that sport now has this great opportunity through new technology to be at the forefront of its adoption. It can generate better revenues and enable a better service for sports-goers and fans.

Lionel Messi is not the only major sports figure to endorse a blockchain product recently. The world tennis number two, Caroline Wozniacki became an ambassador for health app, Lympo, becoming the first female athlete to follow in Messi’s footsteps.

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