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.