Socios.com has hired Argentine soccer legend, Lionel Messi, as its first worldwide brand ambassador. According to Reuters, the three-year arrangement is worth $20 million and does not include bitcoin payments.
Messi will appear in a variety of marketing activations, including different instructional and commercial efforts. Socios has often said that its fan tokens are not an investment. The company’s goal is to provide value to supporters while also generating cash for sports teams.
Critics, on the other hand, say the tokens are only an attempt to further monetize fandom and that they may cause fans to lose money. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reviewed in December whether certain Socios ads from English Premier League soccer club Arsenal.
The watchdog also investigated whether the advertisements failed to convey the investment’s risk. They did not make it apparent that the token was a crypto asset that could only be purchased by opening an account.
Since 2018, Messi’s current club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), has worked with Socios. Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City, and Atlético Madrid are among the other soccer clubs that have signed arrangements with the site. Socios.com also has a global licensing and regional sponsorship deal with Uefa.
“Fans deserve to be recognized for their support. They deserve opportunities to influence the teams they love,” Messi said in the statement.
“Socios.com exists to enhance the fan experience, to enable fans to ‘be more. I’m proud to join Socios.com’s mission to create a more connected and rewarding future for fans around the world.”
Socios.com has partnered with almost 130 sports organizations in total. Messi joins a slew of other athletic greats in the crypto industry as part of the company’s latest endorsement. LeBron James, the NBA’s best player, hooked up with Crypto.com in January for a multi-year relationship focused on the decentralized Web 3.0. Tom Brady, a great quarterback in the National Football League (NFL), signed a long-term partnership with bitcoin exchange FTX in June.