Major League Soccer (MLS) and Socios.com have scored a partnership for years to come. 26 teams – out of a possible 28 – are on-board with the deal.
Only DC United and Charlotte FC declined based on existing sponsorship contracts that might have presented a possible conflict.
MLS’s Emerging Ventures team is leading the charge from its side.
The partnership will endeavor to utilize new digital technologies to reward fans for their loyalty and deliver an overall more engaging experience both at the stadiums as well as off-site.
Socios.com is headquartered in Europe. It aspires to convert passive fans into acting ones by enticing them to have input on some operational aspects of their favorite teams. By coupling transactional fan engagement with “Fan Tokens” which are minted digital assets on the Chiliz blockchain powered by Ethereum, fans can accrue them for varying levels of interactivity and winnings. In the aggregate, Socios.com has forged relationships with over 130 professional sports teams globally, spanning soccer, football, hockey, basketball, mixed martial arts organizations, and more.
If executed successfully, MLS and its fan will develop strong, long-lasting connections while also fueling league growth in popularity.
The partnership will begin with the current 2022 MLS season.
Some engagement ideas being contemplated include answering questions accurately and predicting the outcome and various events within the game itself.
Expect to see integrations by leveraging advances in digital technology across multiple different forms of media, including, a heavy emphasis on social. Digital signage is anticipated to be in the offering too at home games for partner clubs.
Part of the appeal to Socios.com is MLS’s high percentage of millennials – the highest in fact of any major U.S. sport. Additionally, Socios.com has not been bashful about its own expansion plans across the globe and growing its presence across Europe, and simultaneously eyeing more opportunities in South America, Asia, and the aforementioned U.S.
Following are a few examples from individual clubs:
• Orlando City SC has agreed to let Socios.com act as its entitlement partner on August 31st for its upcoming College Night.
• Sporting Kansas City views it as a potentially life-changing experience for its fans.
• Chicago Fire harped on being at the cutting-edge of technology and achieving other impactful touchpoints.
The U.S.-based app, specifically, is targeted to be released before the end of this year. The existing global app is available now in 10 languages with likely more to come.
Its first Global Brand Ambassador is soccer superstar and worldwide icon Lionel Messi.
Last but certainly not least, the newly formed agreement between MLS and Socios.com affords them the luxury too of seeking out further ways to build upon even more fan engagement levels in future years.