Popular Portuguese Football Team Considers Launching ICO
Despite the ongoing woes of cryptocurrency owners brought about by the recent and rapid price slumps experienced by the global crypto market, ICOs could potentially change the fortunes of one of Portugal’s most popular football teams.
Sporting Clube de Portugal (SCP), which is based in Lisbon and is often referred to by the Portuguese as “Sporting” and “Sporting Lisbon” by other countries, has been struggling to raise vital funds so that it can repay investors for a bond issue that’s due to mature on 26th November 2018.
Although the club managed to raise some of the monies required (N.B., around €26m) through subscription orders by promoting the financial dilemma to its fans, it’s still €4m short of its target. In a bid to raise the extra cash required, the vice-president of Sporting Clube de Portugal, Francisco Salgado Zenha, is reported to be considering launching an ICO (International Coin Offering) as an alternative way to raise the funds it so desperately needs.
According to the popular online Portuguese business magazine, Dinheiro Vivo, the vice-president has spoken about his eagerness to take advantage of “new world” digital currencies. However, nothing is set in stone as the club is currently only “in meetings about it”, although Francisco Salgado Zenha admits that he sees “a lot of potential value” in launching an ICO.
But, if a resolution to the lack of funds cannot be agreed on imminently, Zenha told RTP (Portugal’s public service broadcasting organisation) that the club may be forced to sell some of its players. The club has yet to reveal any further details of how it intends to manage its cryptocurrency. But, similar organisations have been known to allow investors to use them to buy services or products at a discount.
It’s not the first time that a sports club has looked to ICOs and cryptocurrencies for financial assistance.
In January 2018, English Premiership football club, Arsenal, entered into a sponsorship deal with Cashbet, a US cryptocurrency, to promote Cashbet’s ICO at its 60,000-seat stadium. The ground-breaking agreement saw the first major global sporting team official partner with a cryptocurrency company.
In June 2018, Havas Sports & Entertainment and Havas Blockchain launched a new cryptocurrency that rewards sports fans with digital coins that can be traded among supporters, redeemed for real goods and “money can’t buy” experiences or swapped between different loyalty programmes. The scheme awards digital coins to fans in return for them becoming key opinion leaders on behalf of a sports club or federation or based on their loyalty.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian football club, Avai, launched a $20m ICO in September 2018 mere days after the French team, Paris Saint-Germain, announced its own cryptocurrency and accompanying ICO.
More recently, two English Premier League football clubs, Cardiff City and Newcastle United, has also revealed that they are in discussions with SportyCo to ascertain whether launching their own cryptocurrencies would be of benefit to their respective clubs. SportyCo is a decentralised sports investment and funding “ecosystem” that currently sponsors Barcelona’s RCD Espanyol.
By Laura Kilby.