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Real World Fan Engagement through NFTs

For the better part of the year, we’ve been working closely with our partners in 2112 Chicago, in our International startup program, in support of Italian entrepreneurs in media. As media evolves and our world shrinks through social media, streaming, and virtual experiences, countries are increasingly working together to align mentors, investors, and companies, to better serve startups and founders. The Italian Trade Agency was among the first of many to embrace this trend and therein, GENUINO’s work in sports, music, fashion, and art, joined the MediaTech Ventures community.

Today, GENUINO announced VIOLA 9.5, a project that will allow fans to buy, exchange, and own exclusive memorabilia, a digital, physical, certified, and authenticated, connected engagement between fans and their favorites; this news, in partnership with ACF FIORENTINA

Non-Fungible Tokens and Real World Applications

In all forms of media, from art and photography, to even music and video, blockchain and cryptocurrency are at the forefront of transforming much of how our industries work. Leading that adoption is what are called NFTs, a technology that we’ve explored and explained, here, in some detail before. Commonly, an NFT is understood to be a digital file or a digital collectable in that there is code associated with the files making them unique, identifiable, and more; as soon that technology was realized, innovative creators such as the team behind GENUINO, started exploring the possibilities of these “tokenized” digital files in connecting digital with the real world, and enabling fans to have closer relationships with their favorite artists, athletes, and entertainers.

GENUINO’s VIOLA 9.5, is being launched in conjunction with the debut of Fiorentina’s 2021/2022 official jerseys, paying homage to Fiorentina history during its 95th anniversary this year.

The GENUINO collaboration was born from an intention to give fans exclusive access to authentic products and experiences. Starting with elements of advanced technological progress we wanted to create a cutting-edge experience for fan engagement that was unprecedented in the sports world”

– Joe Barone, General Manager of ACF Fiorentina

From jerseys worn on the pitch and exclusive club moments, to limited edition products and original works of art, VIOLA 9.5 is an opportunity to collect and exchange NFTs that correspond to physical objects, offering a revolutionary fan engagement model for the sports landscape. NFTs — Non-Fungible Tokens — have become popular digital assets created on blockchain platforms, as tokens representing unique and non-fungible objects.

The first collaboration between GENUINO and ACF Fiorentina dates to December 2019, using blockchain technology to certify the authenticity of match-worn jerseys — another first for sports. VIOLA 9.5 was first introduced last year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (tune in to our chat with Gary Shapiro, CEO of CES, earlier this year).

GENUINO is a fan engagement platform where fans can buy, trade and sell authentic digital collectibles backed by certified assets in the worlds of sports, music, art and fashion.


In economics, fungibility is the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are essentially interchangeable and whose parts are indistinguishable from another part. A typical digital file is fungible because it’s easily copied, reformatted, or repurposed.

Hence, a Non-Fungible Token, is a digital file that is unique and encrypted so that it remains so.

GENUINO’s certification protocol leverages blockchain technology, Internet of Things and identification tags, and connects digital and physical worlds strengthening brand consumer relationships. The innovative Italian startup founded in 2019 before joining MediaTech Ventures’ incubator, and quickly reached important milestones such as the Premio Marzotto, special recognition by Ernst & Young, the victory of IoT World Cup Italy, and being shortlisted at the IoT of the Year during the Blockchain Summit in Malta 2019. GENUINO has been promoted by the Italian Trade Agency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and recently admitted to the 50th edition of the acceleration program MassChallenge in the USA.

“We are proud to present along with ACF Fiorentina an innovative model of fan engagement that uses blockchain technologies and Internet Of Things to link the digital and physical worlds. It will grant fans, collectors, and expert crypto investors exclusive access to authentic memorabilia, limited editions, and unique and unforgettable initiatives. Through the GENUINO marketplace, enthusiasts can relive a consumer experience that goes back to childhood: the excitement of opening a pack of trading cards, but digitally, in the form of an NFT,”

Eleonora Mulas, co-CEO of GENUINO

A series of wonderful Twitter Spaces discussions have been held by GENUINO, exploring the technology, the possibilities, and what their work can do for your organization.

If you have questions about blockchain, NFTs, or other technology in media, join us, and if you’re ready to develop your startup, or startup community, with us, let us know.

Paul O'Brien

Silicon Valley technology and startup veteran, Paul O'Brien is affectionately known as SEO'Brien for an extensive past in the search industry. Today as CEO and Founder of MediaTech Ventures, O'Brien works in Venture Capital Economic Development, serving the investment and venture capital economies directly, through thought leadership, consulting, and startup development. More, a regional Director of the Founder Institute incubator and mentor in DivInc, Galvanize, and various startup Accelerators.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks Paul! Really looking forward to meeting you in Chicago to empower together fans to collect digital and own physical ;-))

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