Valencia CF leading the next generation of fan engagement with Socios.com

LaLiga side Valencia CF have announced they will become the first team to display their own Fan Tokens on the front of the shirt after reaching an agreement with Chiliz – the creators of Fan Tokens and the Socios.com fan engagement platform, as the club’s Official Fan Token Partner.

Kicking off from the 2021/22 season, the partnership reflects Valencia CF’s dedication to using innovation and technology, exploring new trends and finding new ways of engaging with its local, national and international fan base.

Both Valencia CF and Chiliz strongly believe that football clubs need to add a new dimension of entertainment for fans.

Football must always remain exciting and attractive to all generations, and the club must meet the challenge of keeping the younger generations engaged. Thanks to this agreement, Valencia CF fans from across the world will be able to stay closely connected and interact with the Club in a powerful and innovative way, as they have never done before.

The Socios.com roster includes many other great clubs around the world including FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan or Manchester City, but Valencia CF will be the pioneer to have them on the front of the jersey.

VCF and Chiliz will launch the $VCF Fan Token on Socios.com in the coming weeks.

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy:

“I believe that fans will always be at the heart of football and the use of innovation and technology is necessary to keep this tradition alive. Therefore, we are elated to have Chiliz as Official Fan Token Partner for season 21/22. With them, VCF will enter the next generation of fan engagement through their Socios.com platform which will revolutionize fan engagement through technology and innovation. The club’s priority is to keep innovating and exploring new trends so that we can continue to engage our fans in an ever-changing world. It is with this in mind that we are very happy to embark on a new way forward with Chiliz. This is only the beginning of a great relationship for our fans and for both entities.”

Chiliz and Socios.com CEO Alexandre Dreyfus:

“When Valencia take to the pitch with their $VCF Fan Token proudly on display from the front of their shirt for the first time it will be the most visible milestone yet in our rapid evolution and further confirmation of the increasing influence Fan Tokens and the Socios.com platform are having across the global sports industry.

“This world-first partnership, our third with a major Spanish club and 38th overall, will bring incredible visibility to Fan Tokens and the Socios.com platform, accelerating our mission to shift passive fans into active contributors and create a brighter future for sport – where clubs and fans alike are able to enjoy the rewards created by unlocking the potential of global fan engagement.”

Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program a key investment in Western Australia

Western Australia events are receiving significant support through the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24.

The WA State Government has invested over $630,000 to a host of sporting bodies across a vast number of codes.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • build capacity and capability of the sport and recreation workforce and volunteers to plan, secure and/or deliver quality sport and active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for talented WA athletes, coaches and officials to participate at a national and/or international level in their home environment
  • provide opportunities for the public to participate in sport and/or active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for regional Western Australians to experience and conduct major sporting events and sport development initiatives in a regional location.

The program comprises three categories:

  • event projects (up to $15,000)
  • event hosting (up to $50,000)
  • the Country Sport Enrichment Scheme (up to $30,000).

In Round 1 of the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24, one of the successful applicants was Football West, who ran 2024 Goldfields Regional Festival of Football – a seven-day community engagement event that improved football capacity in the wider Goldfields area. After receiving $24,200, Football West’s main goal is to increase participation in the region.

There is still time to apply for the next round of funding, which closes 5:00pm on February 26, 2024.

For full information and eligibility to apply, you can find it here.

WSL eyeing enormous 150% increase to broadcast rights deal

In a historic first for football in the UK, every single Women’s Super League match is set to be broadcasted live from next season across multiple channels.

The WSL tender document issued to broadcasters this month features all 132 league games, with 56 to be sold exclusively and the remaining 76 available on a non-exclusive basis.

Under the terms of the existing deal that expires at the end of the current season, Sky broadcast 35 matches-a-season and the BBC 22, with the rest streamed for free on the FA’s website.

The tender document is asking for a huge £20 million ($38.48 million) a year TV deal and this 150% increase to the value of its broadcasting deal is far from surprising following the explosion of the women’s game. This figure is set to be confirmed as soon as they can find the right suitors.

In an attempt to gain an increase from the existing £7.75 million ($14.91 million) a year deal, the WSL have responded by making every match available for broadcast, which the league hoped would attract bids from beyond current rights holders Sky Sports and the BBC, It looks to be working.

Sky Sports and the BBC are set to bid again on the rights and extend the current partnership whilst it is said that this potential deal is also attracting networks like TNT Sports and DAZN.

The Premier League and EFL have stood firm on the UEFA blackout that suggests all 3pm Saturday matches are not shown on TV, to encourage locals to attend matches in person. This means the WSL will have to work around it and it is likely that Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoons remain as the most common kick-off times.

There is little the WSL are having to do to persuade broadcasters into putting their hands up for these rights, which is a testament to the sport’s current growth and upward trajectory it is trending towards.

FA Director of Women’s football, Kelly Simmons, explained how important it was to secure this monumental broadcast deal.

“While we’ve been developing this it’s been so hard to sit on it because it’s so exciting for the women’s game. It is transformational,” Simmons said in an interview with Guardian Sport.

“When I first came into this role, we said that we really thought women’s football could really break into the mainstream and this is mainstream, this is prime slots on television, big audiences, week in week out.”

This deal in particular launches women’s football into the mainstream and helps improve the quality of the product which goes a long way to opening the eyes of a huge audience to its impact as a sport and socially.

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