Planet ReFi seeks to make Messi mania and fútbol a force for environmental good

By Riley Kaminer

For all intents and purposes, Alex Avellanet is a Miami native. Uruguayan by birth, Avellanet has spent more time in South Florida than in her homeland. She is also a Miami Dade College alumna and former sports newscaster for 305 La Radio, on top of having built a variety of agencies to promote business development through soccer.

Avellanet is now working as the Chief Marketing Officer of Planet ReFi, a global sustainability platform and the native ecosystem token of Join the Planet. The token just launched last May, but Avellanet has been part of Join the Planet since its inception around two years ago. Now, Join the Planet has a team of around 20 people internally, plus around 50 contractors.

Its goal is simple yet ambitious: leverage the power of web3 technology, combined with the excitement of soccer, to address pressing social and sustainability challenges.

Planet ReFi has started by focusing on real-world asset tokenization. In layman’s terms, that means turning expensive assets into digital shares for easier buying, selling, and tracking ownership on a secure online ledger.

And it all starts with Lionel Messi’s left shoe.

Planet ReFi is selling 50,000 limited edition collectables inspired by the soccer star’s famous left boot (available for $749, or a 30% discount when you purchase it through the $PLANET token).

“It arrives at your house in a box,” Avellanet explained. “Soon, you’ll be able to download our app and link the physical replica to your app. That will put your digital twin in your wallet.” 

“Only Planet ReFi will be able to give you the additional perks of having that twin shoe in your wallet,” she continued. “You’re going to have to have $PLANETs in order to be able to activate it. So you activate your wallet and it opens a whole plethora of different perks.”

The collectables are made of recycled materials from the Paraná River in Messi’s hometown of Rosario, Argentina. While Messi is the first collaboration for the Planet ReFi team, Avellanet signaled that there will be many more to come.

For Avellanet, who is also a FIFA-recognized soccer agent and founder of nonprofit Upright City FC, the link between soccer and web3 is clear. “In the future, we won’t be able to live without these new technologies,” she shared. When it comes to sustainability, her argument is straightforward: “Blockchain allows for the transparency and traceability that younger generations demand.”

Miami is at the core of all of this: Messi’s here, web3 is here, and we’re increasingly vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. “Miami is becoming the hub for everything fútbol,” asserted Avellanet, noting that Miami is the headquarters for CONCACAF, FIFA has offices in Coral Gables, and there are more and more major tournaments here.

Ultimately, Avellanet is excited about the positive impact that Planet ReFi can have. “We’re being very creative and are always finding ways to engage our community to create clean-ups, help the planet, and bring people together.”

Alex Avellanet, a Miami native, is CMO of Planet ReFi

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Riley Kaminer