Spanish Football Giants Barcelona and Real Madrid Seek Crypto Trademark Protection

Football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid filed a joint crypto trademark protection covering various virtual products, according to licensed patent and trademark attorney Michael Kondoudis.

Kondoudis tweeted:

“Football powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona have filed a joint trademark application covering: virtual reality gaming, virtual clothing, footwear, headgear, cryptocurrency transaction management software …and more.”



Under serial number 97536450, the trademark protection was filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on August 5 and seeks to safeguard the football powerhouses’ virtual reality software and downloadable software used to manage crypto transactions. 

Barcelona and Real Madrid also intend to shield non-downloadable virtual products like headgear, footwear, and clothing for an enhanced experience in the Metaverse. Furthermore, their e-commerce and e-payment platforms will be protected.

Earlier this year, Real Madrid set foot in the Metaverse after partnering with Astosch Technology by creating a digital recreation of its Santiago Bernabeu stadium. 

The football giant sought to boost its fans’ experience by offering them a chance to walk through the famous arena, including the trophy cabinet, which had a 3D recreation. 

With the new crypto trademark petition, the El Clasico rivals intend to continue exploring the web3 and metaverse spaces. 

Meanwhile, Barcelona entered the crypto sector in 2020 after partnering with fintech firm Chiliz for a blockchain-powered fan-engagement platform, Blockchain.News reported. 

Barcelona sought to render a tokenized engagement platform to its more than 300 million fans worldwide. Fans were to purchase the Barca Fan Tokens (BAR) through an innovative procedure called Fan Token Offering (FTO).

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Barcelona FC Preparing to Launch its Own Cryptocurrency & NFTs

Barcelona Football Club, a major professional football club based in Barcelona, Spain, announced on Monday that it is planning to develop its own cryptocurrency and launch a variety of its NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). - 2022-03-02T121354.903.jpg

Joan Laporta, the President of Barcelona FC, confirmed the development. Since his re-election in March 2021, the executive revealed that several crypto firms had approached Barcelona over a potential partnership. The prominent leader further disclosed that the club had rejected such advances to create its own in-house digital currency. Laporta said the club wants to be innovative in such an approach to make extra revenue streams outside football.

While speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, Laporta highlighted his vision and stated that the club is currently taking steps to build a metaverse filled with a cryptocurrency and a collection of NFTs unique to the Blaugrana brand.

“We’re developing our own metaverse, [which is why] we rejected the chance to be associated with any cryptocurrency enterprises. We want to create our own cryptocurrency, and we have to do that ourselves. We are different because we survive financially from what we can generate through the sport. We do not have big corporations or shareholders behind us. That forces us to be imaginative, innovative, brave and be a step ahead in many areas that surround the sports industry,” Laporta elaborated.

Barca is currently exploring ways to monetize the supporters who follow the club worldwide to boost its financial position. Laporta mentioned that the crypto venture is something that the club can share with its fans around the globe, about 300 million of them.

“The players know what we’re working on, that this is a modern club that makes use of new media. There are clauses in their contracts related to the NFT world and the metaverse.” Laporta further highlighted.

The executive said that the club wants to create new growth opportunities. He said that although the club’s aim is to win titles and make its fans happy, they have to profit from possibilities in the sports industry.

Rejecting “Unethical” Crypto Deal

Late last year, Barcelona terminated its deal with NFT marketplace Ownix. The club announced the arrest of an alleged crypto fraudster Moshe Hogeg, a consultant for the NFT marketplace. The Police arrested Hogeg together with other seven individuals for massive crypto-related fraud.

Barcelona partnered with Ownix two weeks before the termination. The football club terminated the partnership because of its information, which is termed ‘goes against the Club’s values.’

The Barca formed the partnership to allow its fans to purchase NFT for virtual items linked to its history.

As reported by Blockchain.News on November 5th 2021, Barcelona partnered with Ownix to launch NFTs bought using a digital currency known as Ethereum. The NFTs would have enabled people to purchase digital certificates of authenticity of virtual items linked to the team’s history.

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FC Barcelona, Man City canceled crypto deals show cash is not everything

The sports industry took a hard hit from the coronavirus pandemic. Most leagues got suspended, and then teams played without the audience for an extended period. Sports clubs started to seek out new revenue streams, and the crypto industry arrived to aid with juicy deals. 

Numerous partnerships between major sports clubs grabbed headlines over the last year. Even national teams and major club unions joined the trend. So, it became even more surprising when FC Barcelona and Manchester City, two of the biggest soccer clubs in Europe, terminated their crypto-related sponsorship deals in the same week.

FC Barcelona canceled its partnership with nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace Ownix following the arrest of Moshe Hogeg, an Israeli crypto entrepreneur who was among the company’s consultants. Ownix was quick to deny any organic link to Hogeg in a Twitter flood. Cointelegraph reached out to Ownix but the company declined to comment further on the issue.

Manchester City also suspended its deal with 3Key, which the club has announced as a regional partner in “decentralized finance trading analysis and advisory technology” just a week earlier.

Related: FTX buys Super Bowl ad slot to promote crypto to a TV audience of 92M

The sports industry is eager to join the NFT hype, which Morgan Stanley predicts to become a twelve-digits market by 2030. Timothy Mangnall, who helps sports clubs better understand crypto and the NFT world through his NFT agency Capital Block, told Cointelegraph that it is easy for clubs to forget to do the basic due diligence on companies and professional backgrounds before jumping into long-term commercial deals.

Barcelona had been approached by a number of NFT marketplaces in the months leading up to the announcement of the deal with Ownix. Many of the contenders already had strong track records in the NFT space, yet Barcelona chose to go with a rather unknown brand in this space, Mangnall explained:

“What this shows me is that is Barcelona solely looked at the money on the table rather than doing what they would do for every other sponsorship agreement which is proper due diligence.”

The crypto market is full of small NFT firms who are ready to dash out ten times more money than major exchanges just to score big deals with sports clubs, he added, warning that this should be a red flag for any club, who should then double down on its internal review process and deep dive into the company and the owners.

Related: Staples Center in Los Angeles will be renamed Arena

Tokenization is a product of blockchain technology that attracts huge companies with massive brand values and fan bases, adds Ahmet Usta, co-author of Blockchain 101 and co-founder of Avaxtars and Crypto Mandala NFT projects: “Clubs are naturally aiming to get high returns from fan tokens and NFTs as early adopters. However, they should focus on adding value with innovation and solid business models to their token and NFT offerings.”

NFTs are not going anywhere and will be part of our future, Timothy Mangnall summarized, adding that “clubs should not be scared to miss out on the hype at the moment, but take a step back to understand the sector and plan for the next 3 years minimum.”