FC Barcelona cancelled a marketing agreement with Ownix, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, CoinDesk reported. This is happening less than a week before the world-famous club is scheduled to auction its first NFT collection through the platform.
Cancellation follows arrest of mogul on fraud charges
According to reports by the Associated Press and other publications, the decision was made after Israeli crypto mogul Moshe Hogeg was arrested on Thursday. He is accused of fraud involving cryptocurrencies and assault. Reportedly, Hogeg is connected to Ownix, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Ownix is listed in the Interests section of the mogul’s LinkedIn profile.
Barca released the following statement:
In light of information received today that goes against the Club’s values, FC Barcelona hereby communicate the cancellation of the contract to create and market NFT digital assets with Ownix with immediate effect.
NFT auction to take place on Nov 24
Announced around two weeks ago, the FC Barcelona NFT auction will take place on Wednesday, November 24. It will be based on photos and videos from the club’s 122-year history. It will feature statements from Joan Laporta, the current president of FC Barcelona, and other important representatives of the club, CoinDesk learned from an email from an FC Barcelona representative.
Guy Elhanani, CEO of Ownix, said in a press release:
As NFTs surge, we think it is important to give those collectors who are Barça fans an opportunity to own a piece of the club’s history. This new and exciting asset class allows collectors to own things that weren’t possible to own before, and we’re thrilled to offer sports fans an opportunity to spearhead the movement. Our mission is to bring customers to purchase NFTs not simply for marketing them further onwards, but for the pleasure and pride of owning a piece of club history.
According to a ranking by Brand Finance, Barca is second in value only to Spanish rival Real Madrid. However, the team is expected to lose value with the departure of Lionel Messi for Paris St. Germain. Messi has his own NFT collection and the transfer agreement also included NFTs.
NFTs are a way to generate revenue for sports teams
Sports clubs worldwide have found NFTs a valuable way of generating revenue and increasing fan engagement. In recent years, FC Barcelona has faced severe financial problems. CEO Ferran Reverter told reporters last month that the club had been “technically bankrupt”.
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