With the 2022/2023 Premier League fixtures being announced on June 16th, fans are already counting down the days to when the season kicks-off on August 6th & 7th.
For the first time ever there will be an 11-week mid-season break due to the FIFA World Cup being held in the autumn instead of summer. That will make the 2022/2023 edition of the Premier League unique in its 30-year history – but it will also be a significant year for fintech’s involvement in the global game. The industry’s biggest businesses and brands are ramping up their presence to tap into football’s massive appeal which, for the Premier League alone, reaches three billion fans.
Hardly a day goes by without a leading fintech firm announcing a player as an ambassador, or a shirt deal with one of the world’s top clubs. Here’s our pick of the biggest news so far – read on to see if your team is in our list.
Paul Pogba & Wahed Inc
The World Cup winning French international and, until recently, Manchester United midfielder has joined the global Islamic fintech company as an investor and brand ambassador. Despite his disappointing return to the club where he began his career, Pogba is still a global football icon and, wherever he goes, brings millions of fans with him. Crucially for Wahed it’s Pogba’s desire and ability to use his status for social good that inspired the partnership, which evolved following a meeting he had with Wahed CEO Junaid Wahedna in September 2021.
Sergio Agüero & FITCHIN
The Argentinian left the blue half of Manchester last year with a legacy that will never fade. Famed for his injury time strike in 2012 that clinched City’s first English league title for 44 years, the club’s top scorer is now looking for new goals after retiring as a player. He recently teamed up with FITCHIN (the blockchain eSports platform) as a brand ambassador and adviser. Agüero is a keen gamer and, just as he could always find a way through any type of defence, he sees FITCHIN as having a clear path to onboarding millions of gamers.
AstroPay & Wolves
The global payment solutions provider will be the name on the club’s famous old gold shirts for the 2022/23 season after they replaced betting brand ManBetX as Wolves’ principal sponsor. AstroPay branding will feature on all of the home and away strips next season, including the men’s and women’s first-teams, under-23s, plus replica kits for fans. With eSports becoming a growing interest for all major teams and their sponsors, AstroPay’s brand will also feature in the club’s European eSports teams.
Messi, Benfica & Socios.com
PSG superstar Lionel Messi became a brand ambassador for Socios.com earlier this year – and more recently Portuguese giants Benfica announced a deal with the leading blockchain provider for the sports and entertainment industries. Benfica are going to work with their new sponsor to launch a Fan Token which is a digital asset that gives fans access to new digital services. So far, Socios say that more than one and half million users from 167 countries have downloaded their Fan Tokens, giving supporters the ability to influence their favourite teams in polls, earn rewards, VIP experiences and access games, competitions and other exclusive offers via an app. Barcelona, AC Milan, and Juventus are among a long list of clubs that already offer Fan Tokens via socios.com – and there are more coming soon.
Jürgen Klopp: The fintech coach
The Liverpool boss has already shared his management expertise with the fintech industry by taking part in the Singapore Fintech Festival. So, as we look ahead to the 2022/2023 season, it’s worth keeping an eye on the firms represented at the festival to see if they can match his team’s success on the pitch!