With the COVID-19 pandemic reducing fan attendance and cutting into team revenue, several sports teams have turned to digital ‘fan tokens’ to help generate income as well as enhance fan engagement.
The crypto tokens have been embraced by major European soccer teams such as FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan, Manchester City and MMA giant UFC.
The $ROUSH Fan Token will be minted on the Chiliz blockchain that provide owners with access to voting rights in polls, VIP rewards, exclusive promotions, AR-enabled features, chat forums, games and competitions on the mobile app Socios.com.
“We are excited to provide fans with the opportunity to play a real role in selecting what our cars and other assets will look like, and believe it will resonate very well throughout the industry,” said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark.
“We’re appreciative of everyone at Socios.com for their interest and trust in Roush Fenway and can’t wait to kick off a fun partnership that brings our goals and objectives to life.”
Roush Fenway Racing fans can look forward to the opportunity to influence a wide range of decisions through $ROUSH Fan Tokens, starting with the chance to select race car paint schemes, team uniforms, pit signage and other assets for the RFR Fords of drivers Ryan Newman and Chris Buescher at the Aug. 8 Cup Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
In February, Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Chiliz and Socios.com told Motorsport.com that it hoped to confirm a deal with at least one Formula One team early this season but it appears NASCAR has made the foray into crypto fan tokens first.
“Transitioning passive fans into active fans is essential to the future of sport. Our vision is for an extensive network of the world’s leading sporting organizations to achieve this through Fan Tokens and transactional fan engagement on Socios.com,” Dreyfus said.
“Roush Fenway Racing have already laid out an impressive first round of fan engagement activity on Socios.com that will give their fans levels of influence unprecedented in NASCAR.”
The business model for fan tokens is quite straightforward. Teams get a percentage commission of each token sold, plus a share of trading fees that are generated from the buying and selling of the tokens on either big exchanges like Binance or with the Chiliz crypto platform.
$ROUSH Fan Tokens will be priced at $2. Details on the launch date will be revealed soon.