Football Business Inside recently interviewed Sebastien Helbig, the Head of Newsroom at BSC YB, about their partnership with Socios.com. Check out what Sebastian had to say:
You launched your Young Boys Token in December, can you tell us more about it?
Yes, we are the first club in the German-speaking area co-operating with the fan engagement app Socios.com. On this innovative platform, our fans can purchase the YB Fan Token ($YBO). With just one token you are entitled to take part in exclusive polls made by the club. Therefore it is not a payment currency but a voting right.
Is the token an additional revenue stream for the club?
An additional revenue stream is not the main idea behind the project. First and foremost we want to create added value for our fans and increase engagement.
Does a club need an initial budget to implement such a project?
No, beyond the human and marketing resources there is no need for a budget.
How do you plan to use this token?
As indicated, the token can be used by our fans to participate in binding votes. At our YB Hackathon, two YB-Mobile games were created. In mid-December we let our fans decide which of these games should be further developed and integrated into our official app.
For our next vote at the end of January, fans were able to submit design suggestions for a specific T-shirt. Now they have the chance to vote on which T-shirt should be officially included in our fanshop.
There are numerous other innovative approaches. Juventus Turin let fans vote on the team bus design and Galatasaray asked for their new entrance song. There are several implementation possibilities, up to questions of who should be in the line up for an anniversary or charity match.
How many tokens are to be sold?
In the so-called first token offering, 100,000 YB tokens were offered and all sold out within a few days. In total, there are 5 million YB-tokens, which are offered in a staggered manner, but also “burnt”. But this is already quite crypto-specific. We incentivise the purchase or participation in the votes. You get points and receive gifts as fan merchandise or meet & greets with players. Existing season ticket holders and other YB members received a token free of charge.
How many are we talking about?
All fans over 18 years and with a season ticket received a code for a free token and thus a right to vote. We are talking about approximately 14,000.
How many tokens can you buy as an individual fan?
Initially, 1,000 tokens could be bought per person. But the important message is on the one hand, that it only takes one token to be able to vote. And on the other hand there is a limit to the maximum number of tokens that can be used per fan per survey. In the first poll for example, the stake per person was limited to 10 tokens.
How long did it take from the decision to the implementation itself?
The first talks with Socios took place back in spring 2019. Decision-making for an innovation like this takes some time. We have been in close contact with Socios for a year and started the concrete implementation with a brainstorming session in August 2020.
And Socios provides the platform?
Exactly, everything runs via the app of Socios.com and not via the official club app. We are the first German-speaking club, so the app was translated into German for us. All clubs and organisations are united on this app and there is also a token exchange where you can trade different tokens.
Do the other club tokens have the same price?
The initial price for the first token offer is set by Socios in consultation with the respective club. After a fixed lock-up period, the market and the demand determine the price. Accordingly, the token price at FC Barcelona or Juventus Turin is higher than ours.
Can I also pay with the Young Boys Token in the stadium?
As mentioned at the beginning, the token is not a payment currency, but a voting right. But we’ll see what happens. Crypto currencies and blockchain will play an even bigger role in football in the future.