By Jason Chilton
FAN Token Worldwide: FAN Token and the 2021 Major League Soccer All-Star Game
The FAN Token Worldwide Series illustrates how the Fan Access Network (FAN) Platform and FAN Token could be used to drive fan engagement and enhance experiences in sports besides football and leagues around the world besides the Fan Controlled Football League.
NOTE: This series does not state or imply that FAN Token will eventually be deployed in any or all of these scenarios. Instead, it is simply intended to provide a vision for the possible future of fan-controlled sports and fan engagement. This article presents a hypothetical deployment of FAN Token in a major U.S. sports league, but no current agreement exists to deploy FAN Token in this league exists and should not be implied.
In 2021, Major League Soccer elects to take its fan engagement to the next level by deploying FAN Token to revolutionize the MLS All-Star Game experience.
In January 2021, MLS acquires an allotment of FAN Tokens and integrates the FAN Wallet into the MLS Mobile App. Every MLS fan who updates to the current version of the MLS Mobile App discovers their own FAN Wallet pre-loaded with a FAN Token along with instructions on how to earn additional FAN Tokens. Fans who participate in quizzes, watch videos and engage with the MLS pre-season games begin to earn additional FAN Token deposited weekly in their FAN Wallets. Several of the league’s major sponsors have also acquired FAN Tokens to reward MLS fans for taking part in branded activations – a luxury automobile manufacturer provides 10 FAN Tokens apiece to the first 50,000 fans to participate in a “virtual test drive,” and a major beverage company includes QR codes in its products for fans to scan and see how many FAN Tokens they’ve won.
In March, the first major vote takes place as fans decide which top-level international club will serve as the MLS All Stars’ opponent. Fans choose from three of European soccer’s most storied clubs, with the amount of FAN Tokens they hold determining the weight of their vote. It’s a tight race after a week of voting, but in the end the fans choose Liverpool to square off against the MLS’ best.
In April the league launches the All-Star Kit Design contest, with fans competing to submit the winning design for the league’s All-Star jerseys for the upcoming match. Fans vote on their favorite design, and the winner receives a FAN Token bonus plus an authentic framed version of their design while all fans have the ability to trade in FAN Token for free or discounted replica versions of the All-Star kit.
Throughout the Spring and Summer, fans who hold FAN Token vote on the MLS players to be selected to the All-Star lineup, choosing the starting 11 as well as five of the twelve substitutions for the match. Fans can vote once per week, and at the end of the voting period fans who voted every week will receive a bonus allotment of FAN Tokens. Fans also vote on which four skills competition events will be included in the All-Star Weekend festivities. Once the events (a free kick challenge, a penalty duel with pairs of players taking five shots against the same keeper, a speed dribbling contest and a diving headers contest) are selected, fans also vote on the players who’ll get the chance to compete in each event.
As All-Star Weekend arrives, fans who cashed in FAN Tokens to bid on VIP experiences get the opportunity to mingle with their favorite MLS Stars at events including an exclusive meet-and-greet party as well as VIP experiences on the pitch during warmups for the game. One lucky fan even gets to be the team’s “24th Man” with a spot on the bench and a full set of authentic All-Star kit.
On game day, fans who hold FAN Tokens are treated to an exclusive second-screen experience through the MLS Mobile app featuring advanced stats and sideline interviews with players. With the game’s relaxed substitution rules, fans vote on substitutions throughout the match and receive guidance from the player tracking and biometric system that measures the players’ top speed and exertion levels. With the game tied 2-2 at full time, fans choose the five All-Stars who will participate in the shootout.
The MLS Fan Token experience doesn’t end there – fans are able to keep earning FAN Tokens throughout the rest of the season and vote on end-of season awards from League MVP and Rookie of the Year to Goal of the Year. At season’s end, the league’s mobile engagement has improved by 30% over the previous year and fans can’t wait to see what experiences FAN Token will unlock in 2022.
Power To The FANS!