Partnership with Socios.com allows supporters to purchase tokens that enable fans to influence some day-to-day decisions.The club is building direct contact with international fans through associated content, with engagement levels soaring.
Atlético Madrid was one of the first football clubs in the world to launch club tokens on the Socios.com app and the current LaLiga Santander champions are reaping the rewards from this early adoption, with commercial returns now being generated.
The $ATM tokens can be exchanged between fans and traders on the platform, while these digital assets also give fans the opportunity to participate in some club decisions, to interact with one another and to receive exclusive promotions or experiences.
As the club receives an ever-growing number of international followers, particularly following its recent title win, the tokens are providing a modern way to generate revenues, while connecting with an overseas fanbase and making the club’s content go further.
Engaging locally and overseas
“Historically, Atlético Madrid has been very good at engaging people locally,” explained the club’s Commercial Director Iñigo Aznar during a Soccerex Connected 100 event. “Currently, we have more than 130,000 members of the club, we know who they are and we are engaging fully with them. But as we were becoming bigger, especially over the last 10 years, we have seen a challenge globally. We needed to bring our passion, our DNA and our brand to our international fans.”
For Aznar and his colleagues, this is now being helped by the Socios.com ecosystem which allows token holders to take part in day-to-day life at the club. At Atlético Madrid, for example, fans have been able to select the design for the first-team’s bus or decide which player should take part in social media Q&As.
As well as giving supporters a greater say in how the club should be run, this collaboration with Socios.com also helps to amplify the new content being created by Atlético de Madrid.
Aznar explained: “During the pandemic, we launched Atleti Studios, an in-house production company. Sometimes it’s not so easy to reach your fans directly, but through this ecosystem, we are getting nearer to our fans and we can communicate more directly than we could through a traditional social media platform.”
The club is now analysing engagement with this content to tailor it for both domestic and international fans. “Perhaps the international fans don’t perceive the brand as we perceive it locally, so I think it’s important that we try to bring our storytelling to fans in new ways,” Aznar added.
Having quickly become one of the most popular clubs within Socios.com, Atlético de Madrid was already seeing significant impact from adopting tokens at an early stage. But after winning last season’s LaLiga Santander title, this growth has accelerated. The club’s achievement created a surge of interest on the Socios platform, driving huge uptake of tokens among fans and traders which in turn has generated major new revenues.
“It’s massive to win LaLiga, it has a massive effect on the brand,” Aznar said. “Our brand is not just about winning, it’s about being authentic, being passionate and fighting, but it helps a lot when it comes to reaching international fans. After winning the title, we saw an amazing boom for our tokens which shows the potential of the offering.”
Spurred on by this success, the club will continue exploring how to use its tokens to establish greater relationships with international supporters. Through high-quality storytelling, it aims to explain the club’s history and values to overseas fans, while at the same time listening to these fans to give them a say in some decisions.
“Our fans have influence in our club and can feel a greater part of things through tokens,” Aznar concluded. “We are innovating as much as we can, while keeping our traditions and our values.”
This article originally appeared LaLiga’s Global Futbol newsletter.
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