Chiliz, the blockchain fintech provider, has made a strategic investment in MatchWornShirt, (MWS), the online sports memorabilia platform.

As part of the agreement, Chiliz will receive a 20% stake in the Netherlands-based company.

MWS, which claims to have more than 80,000 active platform users, specializes in the authentication, sale, and distribution of official match worn and autographed memorabilia via its own real time marketplace on MatchWornShirt.com.

The firm works with more than 280 global partners. The platform is projected to sell more than 50,000 shirts in 2023 on behalf of clubs, franchises, charities, and international rightsholders.

Through the investment, Chiliz said it will bring blockchain authentication and new technology experiences to MWS memorabilia, “delivering new enhanced ways for fans to authenticate, engage with, and enjoy the real-world collectibles.”

MWS kits will be available to be authenticated on the Chiliz Chain platform via NFTs, “providing a decentralised database to certify the authenticity of items.”

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In addition to certification, the NFTs will also feature enhanced data points and experiences, such as match details, player data, and potentially access to video footage of the match — the data, video, and authentication will also feature on an NFC chip on the physical item that can be scanned and accessed via a smart phone.

Fan token holders on Socios.com, the mobile engagement platform run by Chiliz, will be able to gain access to the MWS marketplace, allowing them to bid on items in real-time during matches.

Chiliz will work with MWS to grow its brand, promoting its offering to Socios.com’s user base of 1.8 million. In return MatchWornShirt will be integrated into the fan experience on Socios.com.

As part of this integration, Socios.com partner teams will be able to explore adding MWS related rewards into their fan engagement strategies within the app.

In the first half of 2023, MWS will grow its current team of over 60 employees by 50% across offices in Amsterdam, New York, London, São Paulo, and Istanbul.

Alexandre Dreyfus, chief executive of Chiliz and Socios.com said: “At Chiliz we are building an ecosystem of experiences that fans love. Chiliz and MatchWornShirt.com share the vision that collectibles and memorabilia, particularly game used items, are a part of fandom that can be significantly improved through new technology.

“Through working with MWS and utilising our web3 infrastructure we are looking forward to creating real word and digital memorabilia experiences that fans will love.

“We look forward to growing with MatchWornShirt, providing access to our engaged fan community and helping it scale its brand and reach new audiences.”

Tijmen Zonderwijk, founder and chief executive of MatchWornShirt said: “Like Chiliz, MatchWornShirt is committed to bringing the most unique sporting items and experiences to customers all over the world. We are delighted to be joining forces on this mission and are excited by the potential that we can collectively achieve in blending the physical and digital worlds of sporting memorabilia.”

“As the match worn memorabilia market continues to evolve rapidly and the network of global collectors expands simultaneously, we are particularly enthusiastic about the potential that we have as partners to shape the future of digital authentication and bringing the physical items into Web3, utilising Chiliz’s extensive knowledge, experience, and expertise within the blockchain space.”