Many of us would be of the opinion that the sports field does not need crypto funds owing to the umpteen number of sponsorship offers. Whatever said and done, money draws money, and crypto money is no different. Both the crypto and sports industries are finding ways to benefit each other mutually.
Some of the relatively obvious strategies which can be implemented by sports and crypto are:
- Using sports stars to raise funds for crypto projects.
- Raising money by using cryptocurrencies for clubs, teams, or sportsmen.
- Offering tokens which will act as tools to influence and allow fans to be a part of important decisions with regard to teams, players, leagues, or even sports events.
- Creating and distributing tokens to fans which they can use for purchasing services on a sports platform such as betting, buying merchandise, etc.
Crypto-acceptance in the sporting sphere has been happening for some time now. In 2014, Sacramento Kings, the NBA team, started accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment for purchasing merchandise, and tickets, and this was considered one of the first moves of the sporting industry. From then on, umpteen number of organizations have started exploring the use of digital tokens.
As we know, football teams across the world have mammoth fan bases and these fans have a notoriously insatiable appetite for memorabilia, right from jerseys to signed apparel. They are always on the lookout for more immersive and memorable experiences to support their teams. Many of Europe’s largest teams have adopted a blockchain-based solution which will enable fans to interact with the team using token-powered utilities. Football clubs such as Paris Saint Germaine, West Ham, Roma, and Juventus have each partnered with Socios, the blockchain-based fan engagement platform.
This platform allows fans to launch their own fan token to be used on the platform. Socios offers two voting mechanisms: binding and nonbinding. Binding votes mean that the club has to carry out the conditions to which a majority of the fans vote. If they vote for the color of the jersey to changed, the club is bound to act upon it. But in a nonbinding vote, the clubs need not necessarily act upon the opinions of the fans. The cryptocurrency token used by Socios is Chiliz. It is also listed on the crypto exchange.
Another use case of digital tokens is by Benfica, the Portuguese Football Club, which accepted cryptocurrency payment in 2019 through its cryptocurrency platform, Utrust for tickets and merchandise. Supporters or fans can trade using Bitcoins, Ethers, and Utrust tokens. This was done to satisfy the demands of 7 million fans social media fans. Prominent players also promote various blockchain projects. One such example is Lionel Messi, the popular Barcelona football player who supports various blockchain initiatives.
There are numerous companies which are based on cryptocurrency betting. In 2018, Prem Heavyweights Arsenal signed a deal with CashBet, a California-based gambling company. Wolverhampton Wanderers, a premier league club, is involved in an ongoing advertising deal with the cryptocurrency exchange CoinDeal.
In 2019, there have been more recent endorsements deals between sports teams and cryptocurrency companies. Cleveland Cavaliers, the American professional basketball team, has announced a partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange UnitedCoin. This partnership will be advertised at the team’s stadium, and it will be promoted during online competitions and social media platforms. Miami Dolphins has partnered with Litecoin and has announced it as their official cryptocurrency.
Sports and crypto seem to make a good pair. Leveraging blockchain technology for sports provides athletes, sponsors, fans, and advertisers with a seamless approach to work and interact with one another. Blockchain-powered projects in the sports sphere will open up more avenues and provide access to its massive community.