Legendary football star Luís Figo has become the latest athlete to turn initial coin offering (ICO) promoter.
The Portuguese footballer — winner of both the 2000 Ballon d’Or and the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year awards — has signed on to serve as brand ambassador for Stryking Entertainment, whose platform, Football-Stars, seeks to tokenize fantasy sports.
“When I heard about Football-Stars for the first time I immediately liked the idea. Football becomes more and more data driven with detailed statistics about all aspects of the game – this is what Stryking’s platform utilizes to create a compelling fan experience. I am happy to support the experienced team at Stryking and spread the word about their platform that allows fans to engage with the teams and players they are backing,” Figo said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
With Figo’s help, the company plans to distribute its STRYKZ token through an ICO, the details of which have not yet been released.
Figo joins a growing list of celebrities who have endorsed ICOs.
Last month, eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and retired English football star Michael Owen signed on to promote GCOX, a Singapore-based ICO whose system will allow celebrities to create their own cryptocurrencies which fans can use to pay for exclusive content hosted on the platform.
Luis Suarez, another famous footballer, promoted prediction market Stox’s ICO last August, a pursuit he was joined in by boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, whose ICO endorsements have become the subject of more than a little controversy.
Most recently, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the founders of Centra Tech — whose token sale Mayweather had promoted on social media — with fraud.
Similarly, the SEC charged AriseBank, whose ICO had been endorsed by fellow retired boxing star Evander Holyfield, with selling its token through fraudulent means.
To date, it does not appear that the SEC has taken any enforcement action against celebrities who promoted fraudulent token sales, but it has issued a bulletin stating that these celebrity ICO endorsements may in some cases be illegal.