UEFA and AntChain, the blockchain business of Ant Group, entered into a five-year global partnership to jointly explore how blockchain technology can be used to further the digital transformation of football industry and improve the experiences of fans around the world.
Under the agreement, AntChain will become the official global blockchain partner of UEFA EURO 2020. This is the first such partnership for UEFA, which has also revealed the tournament’s Top Scorer Trophy designed by Alipay.
The UEFA EURO 2020 Top Scorer Trophy is the first major international football Top-Scorer trophy to use blockchain in its design and will feature a hash value at its base through which the scoring records of the tournament’s top scorers will be uploaded and permanently stored on a blockchain based on AntChain’s solution.
The design of the trophy draws inspiration from the first character in Alipay’s Chinese name, 支 (pronounced as zhi), which means support, as well as payment.
The character reflects Alipay’s roots that trace back to 2004, when the company was founded as an escrow service to tackle the lack of trust between online buyers and sellers, facilitating online and offline commerce.
“Following the eight-year global partnership between UEFA and Alipay, we are pleased to reach this partnership with AntChain,” said Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA.
“In this challenging year for the traditional sports industry, the cooperation with AntChain fully demonstrates UEFA’s commitment to accelerate its digital transformation and working together to find way to offer better fans’ experiences,” said Epstein.
Geoff Jiang, president of Ant’s intelligent technology business group, said that AntChain will explore how innovative technologies including blockchain can help the sports industry better develop and facilitate its digital transformation, particularly as football and technology increasingly come together to innovate for fans globally.
“We will also work to make global sports more inclusive by making it more accessible to underserved communities through digital technology, so that more people around the world can experience the joy of football,” said Jiang.