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Club Brugge to launch NFT marketplace with Simba Chain

Belgian Pro League football team Club Brugge has entered into a partnership with US-based NFT marketplace Simba Chain.

The wide-ranging partnership includes the potential for match tickets and in-game purchases to be made available through blockchain technology.

Club Brugge will launch its ‘Club Moments’ NFT marketplace at the end of the season as it looks to engage with its fan base in new ways.

The partnership with Simba comes after Club Brugge recently launched a new app, as well as its ‘AskClub’ help centre and a new Club ID loyalty programme. It was also the first Belgian club to sign a crypto-exchange partner and the team said partnering with a blockchain provider was the “logical next step”.

‘Club Moment’ objects will range from pictures of winning championship goals to a video from the Club Media House or a quote from Club Brugge captain Ruud Vormer.

In time, the club hopes to develop the technology to offer ticket sales, expand its loyalty programme or allow fans to make in-game purchases.

Rob van Es, chief revenue officer at Simba Chain, said: “The most forward-thinking sports clubs and franchises, of which Brugge is a leader, are thinking about not only how NFTs shape digital art, but also how Web3 solutions can improve the fan experience, as well as business operations.

“As the leading interface to Web3 NFT solutions, Simba’s partnership with Brugge signals a major shift in the way the business of sports will be played. An entire digital world, filled with fan-first oriented interactive moments, will now be available for Club Brugge fans.”

Bob Madou, chief business officer at Club Brugge, added: “Digital innovation also means daring to ‘jump’ with new technology. We are convinced that blockchain and NFTs will eventually become part of the daily life of every individual.

“The collaboration with Simba’s expertise allows us as a club to quickly learn about this new world and immerse our team in our new digital ambitions. The sooner we adopt this new world, the sooner we will be able to improve in every way the opportunities for our fans and partners, online and in our new stadium.”

Club Brugge and cross-city rival Cercle Brugge are in the midst of complicated plans to move out of Jan Breydel Stadion and into homes of their own.

In November, Cercle Brugge reached a ‘framework agreement’ with the City of Bruges that would see it drop its opposition to Club Brugge’s plans for a new stadium as it advanced a scheme for a new home of its own.

Image: Simba Chain