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With Web3 and blockchain technology, Modex enables new revenue streams and dynamic value generation for football clubs and federations

March 6, 2024

On March 4th, in Bucharest, representatives of Modex's top management and investors met with tech and business journalists during an event organized in partnership with Forbes Romania. The roundtable touched upon many interesting subjects, including new ways of increasing revenue for football clubs and federations by leveraging the latest technologies while offering fans collectibles and awesome experiences to rave about.

Fueling the passion of global fans.

Commenting on the sporting industry, Antonio Lorenzon, Chief Marketing Officer Modex, stated: 'If you look at the sporting industry, let’s take football for example, federations, teams, clubs, players and fans are all part of the same mechanics, but they share value with the same approach they had 20 years ago, while today there is a much more effective way to look at how they engage and generate extra value for each other and for the whole industry by leveraging the passion and the enthusiasm that sports trigger. This new way is based on a trusted and reliable ecosystem called Web 3.0.'

Razvan Rat, Modex investor and former captain of Romania's National Football team, also added a comment on the fans’ perspective: 'You fuel your passion with money. If I were to make a comparison, spending is like fueling your emotions. Sport sells emotions - no doubt about it.'

Modex's plug-and-play approach.

Moving towards the tech side of the roundtable, Antonio added: 'Web3 and blockchain allow you to build new revenue streams that weren't possible before. The biggest source of revenue for clubs comes from media rights and ticket sale. But with today's many platforms and the new generation that watches sporting events across social media platforms, the revenue you get from media rights is thinner and thinner. On the other side, clubs have millions of fans around the world. They don't monetize that passion. So, when we talk to clubs, we show them there's a new way to generate extra revenue stream that doesn't kill the existing, traditional ones. It completes them. And you can see they're excited about this new opportunity.'

On average, these clubs don't have many digital skills, so they don't know how to make full use of the new technologies to increase their revenue. What do you do then? Antonio has the answer: 'We can tell them let's look at the existing assets you already have and improve them, do things better and in a more effective way. Our approach is a plug-and- play approach. We don't go to clubs and say: 'We'll train your guys in Web3 and coding.' Our approach is more like giving the  an USB stick, inserting it into the computer port and then everything runs smoothly!'

Technology that 'just works' feels magical.

Shai Sand, Chief Product & Technology Officer, weighed in: 'You don't speak about technology when you use an iPhone or when you switch on the lights with your voice. It just works. It's all about the application, what you develop on top of technology. Right now you see more and more club owners starting to see the ways and opportunities of monetizing on what's already existing. If you look at certain clubs, they've already been

doing this - selling T-shirts, memorabilia, etc. - but on a small scale. If a fan comes to the game, they can sell a T-shirt. But now the clubs can expand their business, push the boundaries. That's what technology does, that's what Modex is enabling them to do.'

Enabling football clubs to own their business.

Shai also spoke about the process of ticketing. 'It's extremely complex because any company that wants to do this, they will probably go with a different business to enable ticketing. I want to start selling tickets, but I don't want to do promotions, reaching out to different agencies, etc. I want to contact a company and have them do the ticketing business. We are showing them that now they can benefit even more from the existing line of business. You can really own the data, own the extracurricular business that you have. You can enjoy a bigger cut of the profit. That's where the new technologies - Web3, blockchain and others - come into play. We are enabling clubs to own their business once again. And we're happy to see the excitement from club owners that they can get more profit from the things they've bee  doing for a long time. That's the technology revolution that we are bringing to the table.'

Shai added: 'Football fans are here for the love of the game. They don't care much about the technology, how the ticket was sold, etc. All they want is to watch a game and enjoy the moment to its fullest. I would say it's the same thing for the football club owners. They know how to run their business; they know how to make money from the existing revenue streams. They don't care about technology too much; they just want to run the business in the most effective way, and they want to make more money.'

Finding new ways to monetize data.

A topic that all panel attendees agreed upon is that data is paramount in the present context. Commenting on this, Antonio said: 'Clubs sit on a treasure and, in most cases, they know that. Before even talking about the ticketing system, they have plenty of old videos in their archives. And then you add technology into the mix, you can monetize all that. When you find new ways to monetize the data you already have, that's when you're talking about evolution and increased revenue. In marketing, knowledge is power. And in business, knowledge is driven by data!'

Why is data the biggest asset? Razvan Rat shares his views on this: 'Because you can know precisely, for a certain club, what is valuable for its fans. So, by harnessing the available data, you'll understand what your fans appreciate the most. Everything is driven by data.'

Shai believes that if you have more data, you can go to an agency, and they would do wonders with it. 'You have more data; you can go to a ticketing agency, and they can target specific individuals. Data is key. Web2 was read and write. Web3 is also trustable and reliable transaction and enhanced executions. So now, thanks to this, business owners can execute on what they already have. And this execution, that's what brings innovation. So now, the clubs’ owners can start increasin  their revenue in-house, eliminating the big agencies they previously relied upon.'

'Part of the blockchain and Web3 promise is that you own your future. When you remove the layer of the big companies which were taking a big cut from the profit, you suddenly see news ways of reaching your fans and engaging with them in a way that you never thought possible before. It's clear that the latest technologies are e abling a global outreach,' concludes Modex's Chief Product & Technology Officer.

Tailoring technology and driving simplicity.

Antonio is convinced that what Modex does can be visualized as a dynamic Rubik cube: 'its multiple faces can be considered multiple layers of technology: blockchain, the FIFA agreement that we have, the NFTs used to make the drops on FIFA+ Collect, etc. What we can do is to tailor the cube for every football club size. At the end of the day, what Modex provides is a simple way to look at all these faces. We offer an effective solution removing the complexity because complexity is the enemy of action. If you drive complexity into a system, nobody will move. If you drive simplicity, people will understand easier the concept you're talking about. That's exactly how we designed our technology.'

Referring to the changing football industry and the new tools at the disposal of club owners, Omar Ulrich - Modex Chief Business Development Officer - stated: 'We can see that the football industry is changing, going from passionate club owners to businessmen. So, we are bringing new tools which allow them to run their business in a more efficient way, faster and better. Ultimately, these tools allow owners to generate more revenue, not just fuel their passion for the game.'

A strong paradigm shift in the industry.

Mihai Ivascu - Modex founder and Board member - shared his thoughts on the financial aspect. 'What do I do with the merchandising of a club? As a fan, I spend money on a T- shirt or a cap that I wear from time to time, then it sits in a drawer. All the things that fans buy from a particular club they love are just expenses. I would never buy a T-shirt form a rival team, from a rival football club. But if I know they have a phygital (a reinvention of customer experience by bringing together physical and digital experience) limited edition campaign, I might look at it and I might want to be part of that limited run.'

Mihai added: 'The idea of opening, decentralizing access to collectibles - I think that's a very strong paradigm shift in the industry; the concept that a club with a massive fanbase can activate international football fans who can be part of their new journey. On FIFA+ Collect we'll have phygital, limited editions that will come from clubs from all over the world. And the audience is a massive football audience - the football legion has 5 billion adepts globally. The online Marketplace we've put together is addressed to all of them.'

 'Starting from local communities and local fanbases, you can have a huge audience interested to see what you're doing. Until now, you couldn't have done this with a simple T-shirt or a cap. And I strongly believe that fans want to be part of this journey, also from the investment point of view, not just because they're passionate about a club', concludes the founder of Modex.

Value and revenue for stakeholders.

Antonio Lorenzon believes that keeping things simple and driving value for the industry are two key-elements for success. 'By owning a digital collection, you're not a buyer of an asset that expires anymore - like a ticket that's gone when the match is over. Instead, you invest time, passion, and money into an asset that suddenly becomes tradable. You can keep your collection if you want, or you can trade with someone else on the Marketplace.

Our audience is not made only of crypto lovers, NFT lovers, blockchain lovers. Our audience is the broader industry, all the humankind. To make a broader industry jump onboard, you need to drive value to all players involved and the blockchain technology allows that, every stakeholder that is part of an asset will benefit from the creation and the trading of that asset for as long as they agree. Data and trading are a source of value. By offering flexible and scalable solutions, we can reach a large spectrum: from small clubs to bigger ones, from players to fans, from partners to owners.'

Modex's Chief Marketing Officer also gives an interesting example. 'For the FIFA Club World Cup Saudi Arabia 2023 in Jeddah, we made two drops on FIFA+ Collect. It was the VIP Card - we put 100 up for sale, each for a price of 1,000 USD. They were sold out in 3 hours. Some of the buyers are currently reselling those cards on the Marketplace. The number 1 card, for instance, guess for how much? 200,000 USD. So, you buy something because you want to be the first one, you have the passion to do it. You can keep it or, at some point, if you want to monetize it, you can do that. And everyone who is linked to that asset benefits from that reselling. While today, in the traditional system, if I have - for example - a membership card or a match-ticket and I would like to transfer/resell it to someone else, neither FIFA, nor clubs, nor federation get anything from that trade. So, we see a significant shift in the way you approach the entire sport industry, as every single stakehol er can generate value and revenue thanks to Web3.0 ecosystem', concludes Antonio.

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