Alternative sports organization Fan Controlled Football (FCF) has raised $40 million in Series A funding from crypto and blockchain companies to support the league’s expansion plans, including four new teams and an NFT (non-fungible token) project.
The FA was founded in 2017 by Sohrop Farodi, Patrick Dees, Ray Austin and Grant Cohen and spent the junior season in Atlanta during the height of last year’s pandemic. FCF has an indoor version of American football in a seven-to-seven player format, and the games are streamed live on Twitch.
The league’s uniqueness lies in the fact that teams are controlled by their fans, who have the ability to vote on everything from player acquisition, in-game play, brand building and team selection. Next season, the NFT teams will play a key role in the voting process for half of the teams.
The $40 million Series A funding round was led by NFTs, crypto firms Animoca Brands and Delphi Digital. The money will be used to expand the league from four to eight teams in the 2022 season, as well as launch an NFT called the Ballerz Collection.
All four new teams are owned by characters associated with NFT projects, with Bored Apes and Boys Cats being the latest announced following the introduction of Knights of Degen and Team 80KI (owned by DJ and NFT supporter Steve Aoki). in October.
CAF releases 8,888 Ballerz NFT avatars for every new team fans can join and be eligible to vote for their team. NFTs will vary in rarity and value, with more expensive tokens providing more benefits such as sound amplification, exclusive content, and game tickets.
All Bored Ape Yacht Club or Boys Cat NFT hodlers will receive a 50% discount on Ballerz NFT purchases if they purchase tokens that match those teams. NFTs are expected to decline later this month, with a global stamp cost per token of 0.1776 Ether (ETH), or about $580.
Four new teams for FCF: fcf.io
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Animoca Brand Chairman and Co-founder Yat Siu confirmed that fan codes can allow fans to participate directly in their favorite sports:
“One of the most powerful things that the token does is unleash fan energy into tangible forms of value and meaning, and we see that impact in NFTs as well as social tokens.”
“Fan-controlled football is an evolution in which the game is in the hands of the fans from the start, and the introduction of blockchain technology will give it a deeper meaning and purpose for all fans who play FCF,” he added.
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In an interview with Forbes on January 12, FCF co-founder Faroudi stated that the organization is “testing” the format and will continue to do so to see what works best for fans and the league.
“We don’t know exactly what will work and what won’t. But we don’t have a union. We don’t have 30 owners around the table saying no. I’m going to do some experiments to see what works and what the fans like,” he said.