The sports sector has become the ideal target for some of the best crypto apps seeking growth. Some of the largest players in the cryptocurrency sector have announced strategic deals with sports clubs, leagues and organizations to attract new audiences.
Best crypto apps scramble for sports partnerships
The crypto space has grown significantly over the past year, and sports franchises have been open to securing deals in the world of cryptocurrencies. Some of the most reputable athletes have also pocketed deals, such as being brand ambassadors of some crypto projects or accepting their salaries in crypto assets.
Last year, some of the largest crypto sports sponsorships were recorded. The sponsorship deals were worth around $1.2 billion in total. One of the greatest sports deals secured last year was by Crypto.com. The exchange acquired naming rights for the Staples Center in Los Angeles for $700 million. They also spent another $210M in a major deal with UFC.
However, Crypto.com is not the only crypto app tapping into sports deals. FTX has also secured several major deals, including the naming rights to the Miami Heat arena last year. FTX also invested $210M for a sponsorship deal with TSM.
Other top exchanges like Binance and Coinbase are also investing in the space. Binance, the world’s largest exchange by trading volumes, was the major partner for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament. Coinbase is also the cryptocurrency exchange for the NBA.
Regarding the number of sports sponsorship deals secured, eToro stands out, having secured 36 sports deals with football teams based in Europe.
Football attracts more deals
The crypto industry is yearning to attract sports enthusiasts by marketing during major competitions. For instance, Super Bowl, the most televised sports event in the US with an over 90 million audience, attracted advertisements from leading crypto exchanges.
Football has attracted more sports deals than any other sport. At least 56 sports partnerships have been with football clubs, tournaments and players. Football is one of the most-watched sports globally, and it makes sense that crypto apps are focusing most of their attention here.
However, partnerships with football clubs have also attracted attention from regulators. For instance, Arsenal was banned from promoting its fan tokens last year. Liverpool fans also criticized the club’s decision to release a non-fungible token (NFT) collection.
Sports players are also venturing into crypto
Sports players are also entering the crypto space. Odell Beckham Jr, an NFL star, became among the first marquee sports players to receive a salary in Bitcoin. Around 8 NFL players accept part or all of their salaries in digital currencies.
After signing for the Jacksonville Jaguars last year, Trevor Lawrence agreed to take a huge share of his $24M signing bonus in several digital currencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Solana (SOL).
Bitcoin has particularly become the top option chosen by players who want to receive their wages in digital currencies. However, fan tokens are also becoming a favourite, with Lionel Messi accepting PSG fan tokens after joining the French club last year.0