Socios, the blockchain-based fan engagement platform, has made its first entry into American football’s NFL and soccer’s MLS after partnering with the New England Patriots and New England Revolution (both from Boston, US).

The platform has struck a wide-ranging deal with Kraft Sports and Entertainment, which owns the two franchises.

Thus far, Socios’ only foray into the US sports scene has come in basketball’s NBA, securing partnerships with 24 of the league’s 30 teams.

Socios, which is owned by blockchain fintech provider Chiliz, has now expanded its US footprint in the New England region in its first partnership with an ownership group spanning multiple sports.

The Patriots will use the partnership to engage with their fan base through activities available in the mobile app while the blockchain platform will also serve as the presenting partner of the Patriots Fan Predictions game on the team’s website and app.

The partnership also positions Socios as the official sponsor of the Patriots' indoor practice field house.

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The platform will also present a fan prediction poll throughout the Revolution's run in the MLS Cup Playoffs this season.

Jim Nolan, chief operating officer at Kraft Sports and Entertainment, said: " is an industry leader in utilising new technologies to engage fans in creative and imaginative ways.

"We look forward to teaming with them and exploring the technologies available to reach new audiences and provide additional fan enhancements."

The Patriots’ deal with Socios is a rare foray into the crypto and blockchain world for an NFL team, with the league previously telling its teams to limit sponsorship deals in this space.

However, the tie-up between the Patriots and Socios potentially shows the league is softening its stance on the entry of crypto firms and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the NFL.

It has also been reported that the top American football league recently entered into an agreement with Dapper Labs, the consumer blockchain company, to set up a marketplace for NFTs.

The first team-specific crypto partnership in the NFL came back in May when the New York Giants partnered with Grayscale.

Several NFL stars, including the Giants’ Saquon Barkley, are also taking 100 per cent of their endorsement fees in Bitcoin, while athletes such as Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence have signed individual crypto deals and taken a stake in exchange firm FTX.

Conrad Wiacek, head of sport analysis at GlobalData Sport, commented: "The deal signed by Kraft Sports and Entertainment to partner with fan token site Socios may be the first of many such agreements – up to this point, the only crypto deals signed in the NFL have been with individual athletes, namely Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence.

"By partnering with Kraft, owner of two leading franchises in the NFL and MLS, Socios has taken the first step in establishing itself across the US sports market, something it has successfully done in Europe and Asia.

"The deal could represent a thawing in terms of the NFL’s attitude to crypto and digital financing, and may be the first of many such agreements across the NFL and MLS. While the NBA has embraced crypto, the NFL has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach – which could now be starting to shift."

In recent years, a total of over 100 top-tier sports bodies and clubs have struck partnerships with Chiliz and Socios, mainly across European soccer.