New Research Article on the Intersection of Blockchain-Based Fan Tokens and the FIFA World Cup

The Dawn of Fan Tokens:

Blockchain’s innovative force extends its reach to sports enthusiasts worldwide through fan tokens. Top-tier sports institutions, from football giants like FC Barcelona to racing legends like Formula 1, have seamlessly integrated this crypto marvel into their fan engagement strategies. Through these tokens, fans are not just passive spectators; they become stakeholders with the power to influence team decisions and access exclusive perks. By March 2023, the staggering value of the fan token market reached USD 450 million, showcasing the phenomenon’s sheer magnitude.

The World Cup Phenomenon:

Sports and sentiments have always intertwined. The research showcases how the crescendo of emotions leading up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup amplified the valuation of these tokens. Tokens linked to national teams, particularly Argentina’s (ARG) and Portugal’s (POR), witnessed exponential growth, soaring by 953% and 1,038%, respectively. This surge is even more significant when contextualized against a backdrop of a bearish crypto market and uncertainties spurred by incidents like the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse.

Shedding Light on Football’s Financial Footprint:

Historically, the financial implications of sports events like the World Cup remained intangible, especially since national teams lacked representation on stock exchanges. This paradigm shifts with fan tokens, offering a tangible medium to quantify the immediate financial repercussions of each match, each goal, each victory, or defeat.

Research Revelations:

The new research has unearthed several captivating patterns:

  • The Anticipation Surge: The hour leading to a match witnesses a fan token spike, echoing investor optimism and the ‘anticipation effect.’
  • In-Play Dynamics: The rollercoaster ride of emotions during a game is reflected in token prices, which usually dip as the match unfolds, especially during tension-filled moments like halftime.
  • Outcome Impacts: Triumphs ignite trading volumes as participants actively engage in the market, yet they leave token prices unaffected, with fans holding onto their tokens in celebration. In contrast, losses trigger rapid sell-offs as stakeholders rush to liquidate positions.
  • Stakes and Fluctuations: High-stakes matches, especially the knockouts, accentuate the volatility. A defeat in a pivotal game can send token values plunging drastically.

The Broader Landscape:

The research does not merely map patterns; it provides a strategic framework for different stakeholders:

  • For Investors: With the volatility and potential of fan tokens during colossal sporting events, strategic investments can translate into lucrative opportunities.
  • For Fans: Beyond the euphoria of supporting one’s favorite team, fan tokens offer an avenue for financial gains (or losses), making it essential for fans to comprehend the intricacies of this digital asset.
  • For the Crypto Ecosystem: The research underscores the evolving facets of cryptocurrency, emphasizing that sentiment and real-world events can be as potent as traditional financial metrics in driving crypto valuations.

The intersection of sports, fan passion, and crypto-economics offers a unique realm of opportunities and challenges. This research highlights the transformative power of fan tokens and the role of global events like the World Cup in reshaping the crypto landscape. To dive deeper into these findings, access the full research paper at

Saggu, A., Ante, L., & Demir, E. (2024). Anticipatory Gains and Event-Driven Losses in Blockchain-Based Fan Tokens: Evidence from the FIFA World Cup. Research in International Business and Finance, Volume 70, Part A, 102333.