Crypto assets and NFTs have seen their popularity soar over the skies, especially in the past 12 months. But even if most cryptocurrencies have seen their value decline brutally in the past few days, their volatility can be such that they might be up and running again by the time you read this article.
Cryptos are becoming another standard of financial products, and a very accurate way to measure its impact on our society is by looking at the many sponsorships that crypto companies are closing with the biggest sports entities in the world.
It’s no secret that the sports industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world. With TV audiences that can reach millions every weekend for a single sports discipline broadcasted around the world, it is normal that the best brands would want to be showcased on the billboards of the stadiums or the teams’ shirts to gain notoriety.
One of the last big actors to enter the market of sports sponsorships are betting companies. Their activity is strictly linked with sports, and not only they’ve benefited from this obvious relationship but also, from the hyper-globalization of sports broadcasting: Now, fans from Argentina can watch Messi’s PSG on TV on top of betting on the game online, or fans in the USA can watch every Premier League game on local TV.
The sponsoring of sports betting with sports institutions has led to the proliferation of online betting sites that offer bets for a large range of sports disciplines. The many betting platforms you can find on the shirts of teams you can find as well in this kind of platforms, guaranteeing you a way to safely bet online, with sites fully licensed and offering increased standards in cyber security as well as 24/7 customer service.
And now the crypto industry is surely trying to replicate the success that betting companies have had with their association with sports. And although cryptos, NFTs and sports don’t necessarily interact in the same spectrum of activities, the last few months have seen some of the biggest deals between decentralized finance companies and sports franchises.
Crypto.com, the cryptocurrency exchange has agreed on a 20-year deal to rename the iconic Staples Center in Los Angeles, a notable concert venue, mostly known for being the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, the most successful basketball franchise in the history of the NBA.
Another example is the Italian football team Internazionale having signed a deal with Socios, a Malta-based company that develops fan tokens to promote fan engagement among football clubs. This is a special deal as the inclusion of Socios in the shirt of the team meant the displacement of tire manufacturer Pirelli, who was Inter’s main sponsor for the past 26 years.
Sorare is another company that’s making huge developments by associating directly with sports. Sorare develops NFTs in the form of digital trading cards that users of their platform can buy and trade with other users and even win cash prizes. They’ve strived in the initial phases by launching football trading cards, and among their investors, you can find high-profile footballers such as Gerard Pique or Antoine Griezmann.
And recently, the Major Baseball League (MLB) has announced a deal with Sorare that will pave the way for an MLB fantasy game to be launched later in the year.
Other NFT collections have had great success in the US sports ecosystem, like NBA’s Top Shot which has seen some of their trading cards in form of video highlights being traded for thousands of dollars.
The company behind this series is Dapper Labs who now has also signed a deal with Spanish LaLiga and is often seen on the LED boards in the football arenas of the top division in Spain.
The market is still very young for cryptos as they’re just starting their immersion into this kind of deals but it seems that it’s the right way for them to become noticeable and finally break the glass ceiling with the public.
The decentralized assets remain an abstract subject for many consumers, but they could soon become a well-known topic for a larger portion of them.
Sponsorship of arenas, teams, and projects such as those pushed by Dapper Labs or Sorare are just the perfect example of how sports can become the perfect ally for cryptos in their way to break out to a larger public.