D.C. United Add Blockchain Technology Provider as Front-of-Shirt Sponsor

Major League Soccer side D.C. United is hoping their new front-of-shirt sponsor will bring more to fans than just a logo on the front of their jerseys.

The club announced on Tuesday that they’ve signed a three-year deal with blockchain technology provider XDC Network to not only put the company’s logo on the front of both their home, away and training jerseys, but also to create “one of the most engaging fan experiences in professional sports.”

D.C. United’s new home kit for 2022, complete with sponsor logo. (Courtesy MLSStore.com)

“Our partnership with XDC Network enables us to present more meaningful fan experiences using their cutting edge blockchain technology and create rewarding engagement opportunities for our ever-growing Black-and-Red community,” said D.C. United president of business operations Danita Johnson.

“What makes this really unique for us is that it goes beyond a partnership. Through support from the XDC Foundation, we will utilize the blockchain by building a new fan experience on the XDC Network, which will deliver innovative ways for fans to engage with the club and gain access to blockchain education. We are excited to be a pioneer in professional sports and look forward to building a welcoming and transformative future together as we embark on this next chapter for D.C. United.”

One of those fan experiences will come in the form of “fan tokens,” which will allow fans to vote on decisions regarding the club and reward fans with exclusive experiences and special access.

Recently, similar fan tokens have been adopted by high-profile football clubs in Europe like Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Manchester City, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid. Notably, supporters of Serie A side S.S. Lazio used fan tokens to choose what colour their sponsor’s logo would appear in on their home shirts.

Courtesy @DCUnited / Twitter

“Individuals will also be able to buy, sell, trade or interact with NFTs on the XDC Network through an innovative video platform and have the opportunity to learn about blockchain technology,” Tuesday’s announcement reads.

“It’s one thing to build this technology. It’s another thing, however, to see it being used throughout mainstream markets and by recognizable legacy brands. This partnership is about bringing the value of blockchain to the D.C. United fanbase to elevate their experience, drive deeper engagement, and connect the growing crypto ecosystem to the club,” said XDC Foundation executive director Billy Sebell.

“The vision of inclusivity that we share with D.C. United and the Washington, D.C. soccer community, paired with the growth of the global game in the United States create the perfect fit for us. By bringing blockchain to the real world, through the D.C. United community, we can build a more inclusive community on the XDC Network. This partnership will build on top of the network’s enterprise development and adoption.”

D.C. United’s previous shirt sponsor was engineering company Leidos.

Feature photo courtesy @DCUnited / Twitter