Long-suffering football supporters will be able to offset their 90 minutes of weekly pain with rewards this season, thanks to a new wave of blockchain-based fan engagement solutions.
Among the new apps to be launched on the market is FanHub, the brainchild of Cambridge University post-graduate student Gareth Lippiatt, who spotted an opportunity as part of a research study into fan behaviour.
Lippiatt founded FanHub as a start-up while completing his Executive MBA course at Judge Business School.
The concept is based on supporting and rewarding those fans who attend multiple games every season.
Alongside one-stop, discounted travel and accommodation booking, the app also encourages supporters to log the distances they travel in following their clubs.
Supporter miles are then converted into points that unlock rewards from brand partners such as Uber, JustPark and Amazon.
Lippiat, who is working with marketing consultancy Overdog, says his future plans for the app include adding a content platform, built on blockchain technology, that will allow fans to earn rewards for creating, curating and sharing content.
He said: “Football fans commit to spending significant amounts following their team, so we created FanHub to finally start giving something back.
“Helping fans to save money on travel and hotels is just the start - we plan to reward fans in all sorts of otherways.
“We believe that it is the fans who turn up to games that create the atmosphere which is a massive part of the experience for the huge television audiences that have caused so much money to flow into the game.”
FanHub’s launch follows a flurry of eye-catching developments in the area of blockchain-based fan engagement.
Earlier this month, PR agency PrettyGreen was appointed to support Socios.com, described by owner Mediarex as a “groundbreaking fan engagement and monetisation platform for the football industry.”
Socios is a scalable, tokenised voting platform through which football fans can buy, trade and execute voting rights for their favourite teams.
The concept was inspired by the ‘socios’ or democratic management frameworks of clubs like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich.
It provides teams with a turnkey solution to monetise their fan base through a Fan Token Sale, powered by the chiliZ fintech platform and the $CHZ token.
Mediarex CEO Alexander Dreyfus explains: “We believe our Chiliz Token, partnered with the technology can be a global game changer for football fans and clubs.
“We’re taking the DNA of football’s fan-led management system and creating ‘Socios 2.0’ - fusing the power of blockchain technology to create a new era of football fan engagement & monetization as well as gamification opportunities for clubs."
Mark Stringer, PrettyGreen founder & CEO, added: “We’re about to see a seismic shift in sport because of Blockchain technology and it’s exciting to be helping lead that change.”
Mediarex has committed $20 million to the Socios venture.