Some of the latest crypto projects are happening within the wide variety of sports industry. Sponsorships in football, Formula 1, UFC is the newest trend among crypto projects. The multi-million-dollar investments in sports deals are primarily targeted at establishing credibility and engaging sports enthusiasts. According to Nielsen Sports, crypto partnerships with sports clubs and leagues increased by over 100 percent in 2021 and are predicted to reach $5 billion by 2026.
The vast communities supporting Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Shiba Inu coins are substantially responsible for their growth. Companies in the cryptocurrency space have realized the value of having a huge community behind them. A large community aids in project marketing, luring decentralized application (dApp) developers, generating funds for new dApps, and inflating the coin or token price through demand.
Crypto in Football/Soccer
Tezos and Manchester United F.C. announced a multi-year endorsement arrangement for $27 million per year in February. Tezos brand will feature on the soccer team’s warm-up jerseys before matches, according to the agreement. Tezos has also partnered with McLaren Racing, a Formula One and IndyCar squad.
Manchester City F.C. announced a sponsorship arrangement with OKX (originally known as OKEx) on Friday last week, which will see OKX add in-stadium advertising at the Etihad stadium. This may be OKX’s first sports sponsorship contract, but it’s also a strong indication that crypto companies see value in sports sponsorships.
Crypto in Formula 1
In Formula 1, Red Bull Racing has a three-year partnership deal with crypto firm Bybit and Tezos as its authorized blockchain partner, while the Alpha Romeo F1 team is endorsed by cryptocurrency firm Floki, the Scuderia AlphaTauri team is endorsed by Fantom Blockchain, and the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team has partnered with crypto firm Velas Network AG. And crypto.com is the official title partner of Formula 1.
Crypto in American sports (American Football, Basketball)
Crypto businesses FTX Trading Crypto.com, and Coinbase paid up to $6.5 million for 30-second ad spots during Super Bowl LVI in February. The $700 million Crypto.com deal to rename the Los Angeles Lakers’ arena to Crypto.com Arena is the most notable deal in basketball.
Crypto in UFC
Crypto.com has also struck a $175 million endorsement contract with UFC, which will see its logo appear on UFC athletes’ clothing. This sent a strong indication in 2022 that crypto companies are willing to pay a lot of money to reap the benefits of sports sponsorships.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has completed a number of major sports-related agreements. The endorsement of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2021) in January, the sponsorship of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), and the relationship with the Alpine F1 team to provide a platform for fans to acquire non-fungible tokens are just a few examples.
The sports industry is constantly looking for new ways to collaborate with the crypto industry. Manchester City F.C., for example, is constructing the world’s first metaverse football stadium to allow spectators to watch matches online. Furthermore, sports teams are seeing an increase in fan tokens, which are boosting fan engagement and relations with the teams.
Fan tokens are cryptos linked to a certain team or league that can be used to exchange team-related value such as tickets, voting on club matters, granting retail discounts, and increasing fan participation. Fan tokens have already been implemented by Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain FC, AC Milan, Juventus. The crypto industry has observed some significant growth in their brands among people who watch their logos when appeared on sports.
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