Crypto-Infused Sports: The Latest Developments and Trends in Cryptocurrency and Sports Sponsorships

  • 2023-02-21

Sports, as an industry, has recognized the power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Cryptocurrencies not only help in further monetization of fan engagement. It also helps in attracting sponsors and connecting to a global market. 

Additionally, teams, clubs, and athletic organizations are innovating new ways to thrive and meet the audience's expectations. As a result, the sports sector is developing new ways to keep clubs and fans linked in a socially-disconnected society. 

The industry came to realize that blockchain has the potential to transform revenue sources and overall experience. This is the result of the rising crypto-sponsorships, fan tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFT). And even the entry of blockchain companies into the marketplace. 

Latest trends to hit the scene 

Sports NFTs 

NFTs or Non-fungible tokens have become a famous way for sports teams and players to monetize their virtual content. Sports non-fungible tokens include unique digital memorabilia and digital trading cards. These can be verified using unchangeable blockchain technology. Now, these are the ideal tools for clubs, teams, and players. They are used when creating digital trading cards, in-game assets, and gaming collectibles for gamers to buy and sell. 

Manchester City's Creation collection is a perfect example of Sports NFTs. This club worked with digital artist Alan Bolton to create a collection with an exceptional design. It has extremely limited digital art elements. Moreover, the digital assets were put on auction from $1,700 to $19,000. 

Crypto Fan Tokens 

The fan tokens are a sort of cryptocurrency or digital assets. These provide fans with access and control over decisions made by their chosen teams. Besides, these entitle fans to vote on club items such as shirt designs, practice ground names, and charitable projects. 

These tokens function similarly to a membership card. Moreover, they provide supporters with exclusive benefits like exclusive VIP access to a wide range of events. All have the same value and are built on the blockchain. 

Offering tokens to supporters enhances the fan experience. It's a sort of compensation to fans for their loyalty to the club. They do this by providing access to special material, merchandise, or events. Purchasing these tokens can be done directly on the site using the relevant cryptocurrency. It's possible to swap them for specific rights, privileges, or benefits. These are certainly new ways for avid followers to connect with their favorite teams. 

Atlético de Madrid was among the first football clubs to use Fan Tokens. Many other major clubs, like AC Milan, FC Barcelona, Valencia CF, Juventus, Manchester City, and AS Roma, have since adopted their own Fan Tokens. 

Crypto-Friendly Teams and Clubs 

Crypto clubs and teams have increasingly accepted cryptos as payment for more product lines like tickets and merchandise. Hence, individuals can use crypto to purchase goods and services digitally, in person, or via the phone. 

Moreover, fans can buy tickets on multiple ticketing systems and get an equal value of cryptocurrency in return. For instance, Liverpool F.C. followers can utilize the LFC Token to buy tickets for home matches. Whereas, Juventus supporters can utilize the Juve Token to buy tickets for away games. The blockchain technology used by cryptocurrencies enables the creation of safe transactions without third parties like banks. Another benefit of using cryptos over regular currencies is the no transfer-fee feature. This

implies that supporters don't have to pay additional fees to cover charges for international transactions.

Cryptocurrency and Sport Sponsorships 

Numerous sports teams and leagues are now collaborating with crypto companies for sponsorships. Sponsorships are wonderful methods that attract new customers and possible investors to the business. So, it's right to say that there's a clear understanding of the sporting business and its association with cryptocurrencies. These digital assets quickly got connected with gambling platforms and have been a good fit since then. 

It has evolved into a channel for major sponsorships and marketing partnerships. Some popular deals include: purchased the naming rights to the Lakers' Staples Center. This resulted in a $700 million deal. 

Coinbase signed with the NBA for all the games for a long-term deal. 

Tom Brady, the NFL player, became the brand ambassador of crypto FTX. 

The sponsorship deals have been diverse and speedy. The National Women's Soccer League is the most recent sports franchise to enter the crypto space. Thus, announcing a multi-year agreement with crypto platform Voyager Digital. So far, this is one of the most important agreements the league has ever done. 

Loyalty Rewards For Crypto Users 

Another trend that is on the rise is loyalty bonuses and deals. Blockchain can be put to use for a variety of reasons other than cryptocurrency. One of them is fan loyalty platforms. Having said this, it can assist sports teams in building a sense of community and belonging among their followers. 

Fans that use cryptocurrencies get rewards. This includes interacting with club websites, as well as generating, sharing, and liking content. They can also participate in loyalty programs. Subsequently, fans can earn incentives, points, or Bitcoins when shopping online. 

Crypto Industry has a long way to go 

The cryptocurrency sector is growing fast. More than 106 million people worldwide are now investing in cryptocurrency. The market has been on the upswing since 2020. Also, this investment sector is estimated to be worth $4.94 billion by the end of 2030. With big sports sponsorship deals, it's easy to believe that the forecast can soon become a reality. As the crypto sector grabs onto a massive audience with attractive deals, sponsorships are gaining more attention than ever before. Essentially, with the passage of time, more and more businesses are accepting cryptocurrency payments. As a result, the industry will experience significant growth in the future. 

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