Less than a month ago, Endeavor, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), went public on the New York Stock Exchange. This week, there is more important news for the world’s largest MMA company, which announced its intention to coin its own $ UFC fan token in June.
When launching the $ UFC token, the league partnered with sports and entertainment blockchain expert Chiliz. Chiliz takes advantage of the partner platform Socios to allow fans to buy fan tokens with the brand of major sports teams. So far, Chiliz has partnered mainly with big european football clubs, including FC Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, among others. The company also said that Formula One and e-sports teams expressed interest in working with them. The company currently uses a currency on the platform, CHZ.
The UFC will launch its token with Chiliz on the Socios platform, and will offer a stock of twenty million tokens. NHL’s New Jersey Devils also joined the Socios platform as the first American sports team to do so.
Engagement with fan tokens
UFC senior vice president of global consumer products, Tracey Bleczinski, said in the press release that the UFC is “continually looking for ways to increase engagement with our fans”. Bleczinski cited fan tokens as a unique way to connect with fans “through a convincing and authentic product that brings them closer to the UFC and influences them, while rewarding their passion for the sport”.
This is not the first fan token for a major league, of course, and it is not the only way that teams and leagues are taking advantage of blockchain technology to interact with fans. Another blockchain-driven engagement is increasing, from teams that partner with major cryptocurrency Exchanges to leagues that form their own NFT collections.
Next generation fan engagement
The UFC seeks to use the fan token to interact with fans, offering exclusive content, rights and VIP rewards. The league’s announcement also included other potential features, such as chat forums, AR-enabled features and competitions. The UFC will be the second MMA league to engage with fan tokens; the Professional Fighters League (PFL) launched its own token last month. The PFL token allows fans to vote for upcoming headline fighters and receive signed memorabilia and encounters with fighters.
The UFC intends to officially launch the currency on Socios in June, and comes on the heels of a partnership announced at the beginning this year with the crypto betting company Stake.com. The Stake.com partnership currently exists in Asia and Latin America.