Cryptocurrency is transforming everything, including sports marketing. According to a new report from sports analytics firm Nielsen Sports, crypto trades in sports might reach $5 billion by 2026.
This comes on the heels of a slew of new sponsorship deals revealed in recent months.
Given the tremendous engagement that sports receive from fans, crypto entrepreneurs have turned to sports sponsorship to gain legitimacy for their initiatives.
From Bitcoin to Dogecoin, many successful crypto projects have one thing in common: a big and passionate community fueling their growth. These are the communities that projects wish to reach out to.
However, organically developing communities takes time, especially in an age when there are thousands of crypto ventures. As a result, crypto companies have agreed on employing sports sponsorships to attract the type of audience they require.
From football to Formula One, crypto sponsorship has permeated practically every sport. Manchester United and Manchester City, rivals in the English Premier League, recently struck ties with cryptocurrency startups.
Tezos has agreed to a $27 million per year sponsorship contract with United, with the blockchain company’s name appearing on the club’s warmup jerseys.
In addition, City signed a sponsorship agreement with OKX that will bring branding to both the Etihad and Academy stadiums. The EPL is looking into NFT arrangements in order to follow in the footsteps of other big European football leagues.
Formula One attracts millions of dollars in advertising
Tezos also sponsors McLaren and is the official blockchain partner of the Red Bull racing team in Formula One.
A three-year agreement exists between Bybit and Red Bull Racing, and the Fantom blockchain is supporting the Scuderia AlphaTauri squad. Crypto.com is the official sponsor of Formula One.
The importance of cryptocurrency sponsorship was highlighted in the United States during this year’s Super Bowl, with major exchanges including as Coinbase, Crypto.com, and FTX all purchasing TV advertising. A series of stadium deals have also been revealed, with naming rights costing billions of dollars.
In addition to paying $700 million for the naming rights to the Los Angeles Lakers’ arena, Crypto.com agreed to a $175 million sponsorship contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
However, it is not all about sponsorships and deals. Sports clubs have also issued fan tokens, with varying degrees of success.