Former England and Manchester United player Paul Scholes at a promotional launch for the 433 Token blockchain initiative in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace

Former Manchester United icon Paul Scholes, known as one of the greatest English footballers of his generation, is joining a growing legion of sport icons associated with the world of celebrity-backed tokens.

Start-up Soccer Legends Ltd, headquartered in Hong Kong, made Scholes a “Principal” of the 433 Token initiative, which says it will bring Blockchain technology and Smart Contracts to football. In his role Scholes reportedly will mentor youth and attend events.

The 433 Token initiative is a ERC-20 token that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. At the core of the initiative is the virtual game, the “Global Legend Series,” where participants will be able to choose game venues and player rosters. They will also be given the chance to be mentored by “legends” and participate in sports memorabilia auctions.

Former AC Milan and Ukrainian national player Andriy Shevchenko joins Scholes in the 433 Token “Fellowship of Legends” and both players are part of an attempt by Start-up Soccer Legends Ltd’s founders Raymond Wong and Jason Sze to raise US$27 million.

“433 Token is a game changer for football fans. Token users can directly sponsor a legend, like Paul Scholes, in mentoring the next superstar. They can also bid for events, say a charity dinner, at which they can interact personally with the legend,” said Wong.

While crypto-currency markets continue to tank, sports star-backed tokens and blockchain initiatives are gaining in number. Lionel Messi is global brand ambassador for Sirin Labs, developer of a blockchain smartphone; Floyd Mayweather hyped up the ICO of a blockchain-based content marketplace, Hubii Network, joining others like Mike Tyson, Luis Suarez and Lothar Matthaus.

433 Token is treading the path of Singapore-based Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX), which announced plans in March 2018 to launch PAC coin, the digital token for Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, along with the OWN coin, for English football legend Michael Owen.

“You have to be brave and sometimes put faith in things,”Asia Times reported Michael Owen as saying at the GCOX event in Hong Kong. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for the clean-cut Scholes, who almost never put a foot wrong in his illustrious career.

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