French club AS Monaco announced last Tuesday a partnership with Capital Block to develop NFTs (non-fungible tokens), marking the latest foray of a soccer team into the world of cryptocurrency and digital coins.
"This is a first for French football since AS Monaco will be the first club to work with an NFT consultancy, which will enable the Monegasque club to acquire an inside knowledge of the NFT market and thus create a successful and sustainable offering," said Capital Block CEO Tim Mangnall in a statement.
A growing number of leading clubs around the world have launched digital coins, as the sport faces slumping revenues due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fan tokens are a form of cryptocurrency that allow holders to vote on mostly minor decisions related to their clubs.
Last year, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) said Lionel Messi's signing-on fee would include some of its own cryptocurrency fan tokens.
Similar to bitcoin and other digital currencies, fan tokens can be traded on exchanges. They also share in common with other cryptocurrencies a tendency for wild price swings, leading some regulators to issue warnings to investors about digital assets.
Supporters are divided over the topic.
Some appreciate the novel way to engage with their teams and help make decisions, even if only on small-time matters such as the song played at matches after a goal is scored or images used on social media.
Others dismiss the tokens as superficial participation that adds to the already growing costs of following their teams.
AS Monaco, who have won eight Ligue 1 titles and were runners-up in the 2004 Champions League final, are currently seventh in the league.