Fan token platform Socios, owned by blockchain startup Chiliz, is branching out from its primary sports focus to include entertainment IP—and will use its existing connections with sports teams to sell an upcoming film on big soccer stadiums.
Ahead of the upcoming release of the animated film “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” Socios is putting together Spider-Man-themed trivia and games app with 1.8 million users across 160 countries. Through a license agreement with Sony Pictures, the Marvel superhero also now appears in the stadiums of LaLiga in Spain and the Serie A soccer leagues in Italy.
English Premier League clubs Manchester City, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Leeds United, and Everton are also part of the marketing initiative.
Andrea Morando, the head of collaboration with Chiliz EMEA & ROW, said Decrypt that pairing “came very naturally” in terms of storytelling, with Socios describing the various perks and benefits attached to fan tokens as “super powers” for holders.
An actor dressed as Spider-Man was recently wired down from the rafters to the pitch at Spain’s Reale Arena before a LaLiga match between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid.
The superhero also makes appearances at stadiums and training facilities for prestigious clubs such as Inter Milan, Juventus, and Atlético de Madrid—where he will participate in benefits exclusive to Socios fan token holders, such as visits to locker rooms and watching games from. VIP boxes.
Socios has partnerships with over 160 sports teams around the world, and its parent company Chiliz bought a $100 million stake in the media studio of FC Barcelona last year. The majority of Socios users are between 18 and 35 years old, according to the company.
“Our global multi-sport roster partner is a great asset, not only for Socios.com but also for our partners,” said Morando. “They benefit from the network effect, which makes them more powerful. We can certainly use this network effect wherever there is an opportunity to provide value to our users, our partners, and ourselves.
Socios fan token holders also have the chance to be selected for trips to attend the world premiere shows of “Across the Spider-Verse” in Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, and London. Users can also redeem their fan token rewards for Spider-Man merchandise.
Teaming up with Socios isn’t Spider-Man’s first foray into Web3, though Marvel launched NFT collectibles based on superheroes in 2021 through the VeVe platform. “Across THE kaka–Verse” is the sequel to Sony’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” feature film released in 2018, the same year Socios was founded.
Bringing Spider-Man and Sony Pictures into the existing Socios partnership with sports teams brought some challenges, Morando acknowledged, which were “more logistical and operational due to the large number of stakeholders involved.”
Getting teams on board with the promotional plan “proves that they understand the nature of the product and embrace the full potential of their fan tokens,” however, in Morando’s view. He added that many of Socios’ deals with sports clubs are at least two years old, and believes that the company has “gained a high level of confidence” to pursue broader initiatives like this.
Last year, Socios worked with Amazon, a sponsor of the Italian soccer club SSC Napoli, to offer a discount to select people. Naples products for fan token holders. The company expects its growing user base to continue to be an attractive advertising target for brands, with “entertainment and mass consumption brands” a particular focus for Socios.
“We show what it is possible to achieve for other brands in entertainment, sports, and other sectors by using Socios.com as a medium to reach large audiences,” added Morando.