Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi has signed a deal worth over USD 20m to promote digital fan token company Socios.com in another sports-crypto marketing effort.
As part of the deal, Messi will be involved in a promotion campaign for Socios in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, a source close to the deal has told Reuters.
Back in August, when Messi joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), the professional player received a payout in the club’s fan token.
However, according to the source, Messi’s “ambassador” deal with Socios does not include crypto payments and is a three-year agreement.
“Fans deserve to be recognized for their support. They deserve opportunities to influence the teams they love,” Messi reportedly said. “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.”
Social has partnered with and created fan tokens for several top-tier sports organizations, including leading soccer clubs like PSG, Barcelona, Juventus, and Manchester City.
Messi’s move to strike a crypto partnership follows similar deals by other professional athletes like NFL quarterback Tom Brady and NBA star LeBron James.
As reported, American football star Tom Brady took an undisclosed equity stake in crypto derivatives to exchange FTX in June last year and became an ambassador for the company.
However, not everyone in the crypto space is in favor of such deals, particularly since celebrities usually have little to no information about what they are endorsing.
“Celebs selling their status in areas they have no expertise or experience to make millions? Color me surprised!” one Reddit user commented.