Manchester footballing rivalries commence in field of Web3

In Forbes' 2021 most valuable clubs list, United came in fourth with a value of $4.2 billion while City came in sixth place with $4 billion.
In Forbes' 2021 most valuable clubs list, United came in fourth with a value of $4.2 billion while City came in sixth place with $4 billion.

Leading English football club Manchester City have announced an inaugural cryptocurrency exchange partnership with OKX across both its men’s and women’s teams, as well as the clubs emerging e-sports ventures.

According to the club’s press release, the collaboration will focus on “exclusive experiences for OKX’s global customer base, in addition to an in-stadium presence across the Etihad Stadium and Academy Stadium.”

Rebranded from OKEx in mid-January this year, OKX — a Seychelles-based corporation with reportedly over 20 million customers — is the second largest spot exchange in the industry, facilitating over $4.3 billion in normalized trading volume over the past twenty-four hours. This total places them ahead Coinbase in third at approximately $3.3 billion, but someway behind Binance’s dominance at the top of the table with over $16.2 billion.

CEO of OKX, Jay Hao, noted that "Manchester City is a Club that represents the effect football has to make a positive difference in people’s lives, to bring people together around a shared love of the beautiful game."

Related: Penalties and extra time: The scoreboard for soccer club crypto deals

Amid an ever-present rivalry, and fierce jostle for bragging rights in the city of Manchester — especially in light of the upcoming derby match this Sunday — both club’s commercial sides are taking considerable strides in the digital asset space, respectively scoring lucrative deals with industry firms, and racing to expand their influence in the Web3 sphere.

Manchester United preceded their counterparts after teaming up with blockchain firm Tezos in early February to become their new official training kit and technology partner, including plans to enter the metaverse, tokenomic, and nonfungible token, or NFT, collectible space.

In April 2021, Forbes published the latest statistics ranking the world's most valuable football clubs. While Spanish-giants Barcelona and Real Madrid took the top spots, Manchester United came in fourth with a value of $4.2 billion and a revenue across 2020 of $643 million. Meanwhile, Manchester City came in sixth place at $4 billion and $609 million, respectively. 

Similarly, fellow Premier League North-London based club, Arsenal attempted to enter the fan-token market, only to be halted in their endeavours by Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA, for breaching rules, and according to the regulatory body: “irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience and for failing to illustrate the risk of the investment.”