Socios.com invests $ 100 million in FC Barcelona

Given the peak of public interest in cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse, sports clubs are also trying to get out of the game, indeed, we are seeing a clear rapprochement between these two worlds. A real marketing strategy, most seem to find an opportunity to attract new supporters. In this context, the famous Spanish football team, commonly known as FC Barcelona, ​​announces the sale of a percentage of Barça Studios to Socios.com for the modest sum of 100 million euros. The purpose of this sale is “to accelerate the club’s audiovisual, blockchain, NFT and web3 strategy”. However, another reason also seems to have justified it.

The information is shared in an official press release posted on the FC Barcelona football club website. In total, the Socios.com platform, a subsidiary of Chiliz (CHZ), acquires 24.5% of the capital of Barça Studios. The latter is none other than the branch of the club in charge of developing everything related to Web3. In particular, it is the club’s digital content and distribution center.

In its press release, it should be noted that the sale was made in accordance with the general meeting held on 23 October 2021. Which means it had already been planned for a while. Joan Laporta, the almost continuous president of FC Barcelona since 2003, welcomed this event. He says about it:

We have reached an agreement for the sale of 25% of Barça Studios for 100 million euros. We have the authorization of the assembly […] sell 49% of the shares and so far we have sold 25% to Socios.com.

Joan Laporta, lawyer and sporting president of FC Barcelona.

FC Barcelona looking for new opportunities

First, let’s clarify that Socios.com is the subsidiary of Chiliz (CHZ), which references a 2018 project that is expected to help sports entities use blockchain-based tools. This is to attract and retain new supporters. As for the Socios.com platform, it helps sports organizations develop fan engagement tokens.

By investing $ 100 million in FC Barcelona, ​​he claims to be able to do so “Reshape the division’s Metaverse and Web3 strategies to include more revenue streams. “ In addition, this amount will allow for the launch of new products with the aim of creating long-term resources.

Socios.com explains that FC Barcelona will now have access to the Chilliz Chain blockchain. This will allow the “Developers to issue NFTs and fan tokens, and create DeFi products and play2earn games. “

Socios.com CEO writes:

Barca Studios can now leverage our technology, experience and global scale to help implement the club’s Web3 content strategy and deliver new long-term revenue streams that will benefit the club for seasons to come. “

Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Socios.com

The metaverse in the sights of both sides

But most of all, it seems that all the investor’s attention is focused on the metaverse. An interest widely shared by the club’s vision of this area and its development which is likely to take place in the (very) near future.

It is true that the Spanish football team has invested heavily in this technology since the beginning of last year. And it wants to continue on this path, given that it offers great growth prospects. In particular, the products should be developed there, while including NFT.

FC Barcelona has hit the financial bottom

As mentioned, web3 development doesn’t seem to be the only reason for this sale. Indeed, FC Barcelona have been in great financial trouble since (already) last year. In 2021, its debt exceeded one billion dollars. It now far exceeds this amount. However, that doesn’t stop the club from spending more and more money to continue its hires and stay on course.

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Either way, these difficulties are starting to get the better of FC Barcelona. For example, they were at the origin of the non-renewal of the contract of the Argentine player Lionel Messi in 2021 and the sale of the television rights of the Liga TV (10%) to an American fund.

Thus, the acquisition made by Socios.com shows that FC Barcelona are absolutely implementing all possible solutions. This is to stay in the green, and avoid the worst. This underlying reason is also confirmed by the club president. The latter stating that it is also a ” request survival“.

“We want to generate new growth opportunities. Our goal is to win titles and make our fans happy, but we must also take advantage of the opportunities offered by the sports sector. It is a question of survival. “

Joan Laporta, lawyer and sporting president of FC Barcelona.

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