Cointelegraph By Helen Partz
Major blockchain sports venture Chiliz is planning a $50 million expansion into the United States, CEO Alexandre Dreyfus announced Tuesday.
Dreyfus told Cointelegraph that the firm is setting up an office in New York and will start working with local leagues and sports franchises.
New York is the “headquarters for the sports industry in the U.S,” Dreyfus said, stressing that the new office will be critical for Chiliz’s global expansion. In a Reuters interview, Dreyfus said that the company is preparing to launch fan tokens with franchises from the five major U.S. sports leagues.
Chiliz has generated millions of dollars of revenue for some of Europe’s biggest sports organizations. “In 2020, we shared more than $30 million with our partners, but this year we’re targeting a minimum of $60 million,” Dreyfus said.
Headquartered in Malta, Chiliz has years of experience in providing fan tokens to popular European soccer clubs like FC Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. By issuing blockchain-based fan tokens with Chiliz, sports organizations and clubs are able to unlock new fan engagement experiences like fan voting and direct communication with players.
Collaborating closely with its fan engagement platform, Socios, Chiliz is known for working with some of the biggest companies in the cryptocurrency industry. In late 2020, Chiliz announced a partnership with Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, to list several European clubs’ fan tokens on Binance’s Launchpool platform.
Joseph Edwards, head of research at cryptocurrency brokerage Enigma Securities, believes that Chiliz’s entrance into the U.S. is perfectly timed due to COVID-19 restrictions. “Fan tokens right now are just hitting the perfect itch at the perfect time — fans are disconnected physically from their fandom, and this helps bridge that gap,” Edwards said in a Reuters report.