Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi has signed a three-year deal worth $20million to promote crypto fan company Socios. The Argentine will become an ‘ambassador’ for the company and will get involved in promotional campaigns during the build-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
According to Reuters, Messi’s three-year agreement does not include crypto payments itself but his move from Barcelona to PSG last summer did include cryptocurrency, which was highlighted at the time.
The Barcelona legend follows fellow big named sports stars, such as NFL quarterback Tom Brady and NBA legend LeBron James in joining the company, which has made its way into football over the last few years.
Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that can allow holders to vote on mostly minor decisions at their club, such as what song the team walks out to, as well as access to exclusive clubs.
The company has a strong presence in the Premier League and have deals with Arsenal, Leeds United, Aston Villa, Everton, Manchester City and Crystal Palace.
However, Socio’s practices have come into question of late and an investigation has put Premier League clubs under pressure to review their relationship with the organisation.
Arsenal told The Mail on Sunday that they had approached Socios and parent company Chiliz for more details on the allegations surrounding its founder and chief executive Alexandre Dreyfus and the supposed non-payment of his staff.
The investigation which was published earlier this month by Off The Pitch found that Dreyfus, a French internet entrepreneur, had advised withholding the payment of millions to high-profile individuals to protect the value of his firm’s cryptocurrency. He did, however, pay up shortly after Socios management established that they were in contact with Off The Pitch.
Despite this, the deal with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is a major one for the company, especially when it coincides with the build-up to football’s biggest tournament.
It won’t be long before we see the fruits of this partnership appear.