The German sportstech and blockchain startup Liquiditeam and Bundesliga top club Borussia Dortmund (BVB) today announced the beta-launch of a new, blockchain-based community for the club’s international fans, the BVB-FanToken App. The app, which is powered by Liquiditeam’s Fan Platform solution, will start in early access mode for interested users tomorrow.
BVB Aims to Build a Participatory Digital Fan Experience
With the BVB-FanToken App, the club aims to establish a participatory digital ecosystem for its fans worldwide. It will be a platform that enables a new form of direct interactions between fans and the club, fueled by votings and crowd ideations.
Carsten Cramer, BVB’s managing director, outlines the strategy behind the project: “The relationship to our fans worldwide means a great deal to us. When it comes to the digital-native generations, we observe that their behavior is changing. They have been brought up in an online world. They have different habits and expectations when it comes to community and participation. Liquiditeam’s innovative platform will allow us to empower our fans to become co-creators of their fan experience.”
The app is part of Borussia Dortmund’s efforts to better reach Millennial and GenZ fans. BVB’s Head of Digital and Innovation, Simon Mayr, gives a sneak peek into the app’s development process and future plans: “We focused on our fans and their user experience. Together with Liquiditeam, we constantly ask ourselves: ‘What will the fan experience of the future look like? What would digital-native fans really like when interacting with their favorite club?’”. According to Mayr, one example that resulted from this process is that the app will use votings to hand real decisions over to fans across the globe.
A More Collaborative Digital Environment Thanks to FanTokens
The application’s interaction model is built around blockchain-based tokens, so-called BVB-FanTokens. While blockchain is the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, BVB-FanTokens have a completely different concept: they are a social instrument that users can use inside the community to support ideas, content, and comments they enjoy. To this end, the app introduces a feature called “boost”. Jonas Rubel, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Liquiditeam, illustrates: “You can think about boost as a ‘like with superpowers’, a truly valuable and impactful digital interaction.”
While fans will be able to purchase FanTokens in the shop, there will be plenty of other ways for them to collect tokens. Explains Rubel: “We designed the community and its ‘token economy’ in such a way that users directly benefit when they make quality contributions. So, whether you write a comment that receives a lot of engagement or come up with an idea that the club implements, you will be rewarded with tokens. In doing so, we want to incentivize constructive and collaborative user behavior. We aim to create a space that feels markedly different from what people experience on social media nowadays.”
The BVB-FanToken App can be accessed here as a web app from mobile and desktop browsers. Native iOS and Android apps will shortly also be available for download. New users will be activated daily until the start of public operation in March 2021.