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Voting participation and engagement in blockchain-based fan tokens

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Abstract

This paper investigates the potential of blockchain-based fan tokens, a class of crypto asset that grants holders access to voting on club decisions and other perks, as a mechanism for stimulating democratized decision-making and fan engagement in the sports and esports sectors. By utilizing an extensive dataset of 3576 fan token polls, we reveal that fan tokens engage an average of 4003 participants per poll, representing around 50% of token holders, underscoring their relative effectiveness in boosting fan engagement. The analyses identify significant determinants of fan token poll participation, including levels of voter (dis-)agreement, poll type, sports sectors, demographics, and club-level factors. This study provides valuable stakeholder insights into the current state of adoption and voting trends for fan token polls. It also suggests strategies for increasing fan engagement, thereby optimizing the utility of fan tokens in sports. Moreover, we highlight the broader applicability of fan token principles to any community, brand, or organization focused on customer engagement, suggesting a wider potential for this digital innovation.

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Notes

  1. Figure A.1 in the Appendix displays a screenshot of an exemplary fan token poll from Socios.com. This poll enabled holders of Apollon Limassol fan tokens to select the 2021/2022 season kits based on three predefined answer options. Participants were limited to voting with up to 200 tokens to prevent centralization, regardless of the number of tokens in their possession. In total, 15% of all tokens voted, whereas a successful vote required at least 5% of tokens. The poll opened on Jan 07, 2021, and closed on Jan 10, 2021.

  2. SSU Loyalty Tokens are the proprietary reward tokens of the Socios.com application, allocated to users upon advancing levels by accumulating points within the platform. Fans can earn the tokens through active engagement, including predicting match scores and voting in team polls. Initial allocation occurs upon user registration. SSU Loyalty Tokens serve a dual purpose; they enable users to partake in official decision-making polls and are redeemable for various rewards, including unique experiences, within the Fan Rewards section of the application. SSU Loyalty Tokens serve the same purpose as any other fan tokens; however, individual clubs, rather than Socios, issue polls. Therefore, these polls often concentrate on broader topics, such as leagues (e.g., “Who was the Decisive Player of LaLiga Santander 2022-23?“) or events (e.g., “Who will be the most missed player at the World Championship?“).

  3. The FanMarketCap API classifies fan token poll types as either “integrity” or “engagement” but does not define these terms. Our analysis shows that polls labeled ‘integrity’ significantly correlate with the token limit (r = 0.84). This finding is logical because polls focused solely on engagement likely need fewer safeguards against voting fraud.

  4. Correlation analysis and variance inflation factors (VIFs) reveal that all presented variables are suitable for regression analysis.

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Correspondence to Lennart Ante or Aman Saggu.

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Ante, L., Saggu, A., Schellinger, B. et al. Voting participation and engagement in blockchain-based fan tokens. Electron Markets 34, 26 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-024-00709-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-024-00709-z

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