In a strengthening of its ties to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has announced a partnership with crypto-exchange Binance.

Under the terms of the five-year agreement, Binance will become a naming sponsor of the Argentinian national football team and the Argentine Primera División, as well as an official Fan Token provider. 

Bianace has further detailed that the Fan Token will be ‘launched on the market shortly’, whilst the company has also lauded the deal as its first collaboration with a national football team, ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Claudio Tapia, President of the AFA, said: “In recent years we have added many important commercial agreements, significantly increasing the income of the AFA, in addition to venturing into new digital businesses with ample growth potential. This agreement with Binance meets all the conditions we are looking for.

“It is a leading global brand in its field, innovative and with a vision of creating new digital assets. We are very happy with the addition of Binance as a trading partner of the AFA. This is an alliance that is undoubtedly strategic and will generate excellent results for both parties.”

The deal marks a further extension of the AFA’s ties with blockchain, cryptocurrency and the burgeoning Fan Token sector, building on a prior agreement with Chiliz’ platform – which has launched a national team Fan Tokena and serves as the primary the top-flight league for the 2021 season. 

Additionally, towards the end of last year the AFA signed a naming rights agreement with Bybit, another cryptocurrency exchange, in a two-year partnership. The sporting body has previously described itself as one of the ‘fastest’ national associations to capitalise on the cryptocurrency.

Leandro Petersen, Commercial and Marketing Manager of the AFA, added: “This agreement with Binance is strategic because it meets all the objectives that we set for ourselves and leads us to work together with the world leader in this field. 

“In addition to the economic importance for AFA and for the clubs of the Professional League, this agreement will bring us closer to millions of fans around the world who will be able to acquire new digital assets from the AFA. 

“In a year as important as the one we are starting, with a World Cup ahead, we are convinced that Binance will be a commercial partner that will enhance all the work we have been developing.”

Meanwhile, for Binance, the agreement represents an expansion of its sports-oriented commercial strategy, following on from similar partnerships clinched with the ongoing 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and Italian Serie A side Lazio, as interest in blockchain, crypto and Fan Tokens in the sporting space continues to grow.

Commenting on the firm’s deal with the AFA, He Yi, Co-Founder and CMO of Binance, remarked: “Football and cryptocurrencies are life in Argentina, so it makes sense for Binance to partner with AFA. 

“Through this agreement, we hope to support Argentina’s football at all levels and introduce Binance, the crypto world and blockchain to football fans across the country and globally.”

Insider Analysis: The ongoing trend which has seen rising engagement between sports and blockchain continues to grow, with numerous football organisations expressing interest in Tokenization as a means of driving revenue and engaging with supporters. 

These links have not gone criticised however, with some expressing scepticism at the long-term sustainability of such arrangements, especially given the largely unregulated nature of blockchain in many countries and the volatile nature of the global crypto market.

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