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Socios is signing up for Major League Soccer – but that’s not a token effort just yet

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Fan token platform Socios has partnered with 26 Major League Soccer (MLS) teams to offer fan experiences and rewards, but no fan tokens have been announced yet.

The largest professional soccer league in the United States, together with Socios, announced on Wednesday that the partnership will help fans gain access to “exclusive rewards, surveys and opportunities” for the 26 MLS partner clubs.

Although the announcement made no mention of specific fan engagement events, it said, “MLS envisions that fans will have a chance to win prizes if they make correct game-related predictions and answer questions correctly.”

According to Statista and Wikipedia, MLS generated $816 million in total revenue from ticket sales and merchandise from 8.6 million fans in 2019. 2020 and 2021 dates are heavily skewed due to Covid restrictions.

Socios has now partnered with over 125 sports teams across eight international sports leagues, according to its website. Most partnerships involve the creation of fan tokens that buyers use to attend events and gain exclusive access to perks.

Fan tokens represent a pretty big business on their own, with a market cap of around $255 million according to CoinGecko data. The majority of these tokens come from European football teams.

Interaction with fans inevitably involves the issuance of memorabilia that Socios has issued to European football teams in conjunction with the Chiliz (CHZ) platform through non-fungible tokens (NFT). Socios and Chiliz also signed marketing partnerships with 13 NFL teams to create NFTs.

However, the news was not warmly welcomed by MLS fans on Twitter, with some fans venting their dislike for the partnership. A quick look at Twitter suggests that the majority of tweets from fans across the league have been negative, with many pointing to Socios’ existing partnerships with European football leagues.

The fan backlash may have been fueled by mainstream media coverage of the emerging market. An April 29 article by sports news outlet The Athletic portrayed the tokens and their marketing tactics as essentially pump-and-dump schemes aimed at boosting revenue.

The official Twitter account of Dynamo Theory, the community supporting the Houston Dynamo MLS team, tweeted today “You will never see fans in MLS getting together over something like this ever again [over] these Socios sponsorships.”

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When asked to confirm what the tweet meant, the account’s admin told Cointelegraph that the tweet was not against the partnership, but said, “Just read the replies and cite tweets on each team’s announcements.” .” They offered the LA Galaxy thread as an example that has some unimpressed fans.