The global sports industry is looking to revamp its activities and recover from the after-shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cryptocurrency platforms on the other hand have enjoyed immense growth and are searching for big platforms that can provide better brand visibility. That’s where sports and crypto make a perfect match with many global sports organizations now embracing digital ownership and signing up on mega cryptocurrency sponsorships.
Here are the 11 biggest crypto sponsorships in 2022.
#1- Formula 1 and Crypto.com
Motorsports top event organizer, Formula 1 signed a 5-year deal worth $100 million deal with Crypto.com in June 2021. The crypto platform is set to enjoy both brand visibility in upcoming qualifying rounds and billboard slots in the 2021 season. Formula 1 looks to not only re-open its sporting events but also take advantage of the company’s technological expertise in achieving its sustainability goals.
Formula 1 announced its commitment to an ambitious plan of achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030, yet they have signed a megadeal with a blockchain technology known for its degrading carbon footprint on the planet.
We can only hope their partnership will yield better transparency and innovative solutions to climate change.
#2- Inter Milan and Socios
Italy’s defending football champions welcomed aboard Socios in July 2021 for a 1-year deal totaling $23 million. Fans can purchase crypto on socios.com to access promotions and other special team rewards. Socios will enjoy brand visibility courtesy of the black and blue shirt branding rights for the entire year.
After 26 years of Pirelli-sponsored shirts, some Inter fans were not as welcoming of the new sponsor Socios with some alleging the snake-skinned jersey is a wreck.
Socios CEO, Alexandre Dreyfus, however, has taken the backlash positively and looks to promote the brand more on mainstream media and hopefully win the Inter fans’ hearts.
#3- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Crypto.com
UFC a leading martial arts organization has signed an impressive 10-year sponsorship deal with the leading blockchain provider, Crypto.com for a staggering $175 million. The deal includes exclusive global fight kit branding rights, billboard real estate on exclusive events like the Dana White Contender Series, and other Pay-Per-View events.
Crypto.com is the first-ever global fighter kit partner with UFC. While UFC has existed for over two decades, it has never signed such a momentous deal as this with a huge payday and a sponsor name on their fighter kit.
#4- UEFA European Championship and Antchain
The UEFA 2020 European 5-year Championship deal is a part of an already signed 8-year sponsorship deal that is reportedly worth $283.5 million between UEFA and the Chinese crypto AntChain.
The deal includes displays of English and Chinese versions of its’ subsidiaries, a Chinese-inspired top scorer trophy, and storage of top scorer records. The $100 million sponsorship funds will be used to cover both the 2020 and 2024 UEFA Euro Championships.
Antchain is the largest blockchain network in China yet it is hardly known globally. The little-known crypto platform clinched the UEFA 2020 championship deal on the eve of the championship.
#5- TSM (Team SoloMid) and FTX
According to Forbes, TSM is the largest esports organization in the United States. Dubbed “the largest sponsorship deal in esports history,” the 10-year deal worth $210 million TSM FTX deal has proven that both crypto and esports have come of age.
The crypto platform gets exclusive naming rights which is why TSM has now renamed itself to TSM FTX. The funds are intended to largely assist in signing up big players and opening up new offices in Europe, China, and South America.
The deal includes benefits to all persons affiliated with TSM FTX as the organization is expected to allocate cryptocurrency to all its employees and players.
#6- Valencia and Socios
Valencia launched 1,000,000 $VCF fan tokens on socios.com courtesy of a 1-year deal with the Chiliz blockchain. It became the first team to ever promote a fan token on a football jersey. Fans can purchase a token for €2 to enjoy exclusive promotions, VIP rewards, and voting rights on diverse club issues such as celebration anthems and exclusive shirt designs.
Valencia is the first club to strike the main shirt deal with Socios. However, the deal will last for only one season.
#7- Miami Heat and FTX
Miami Heat agreed to a 19-year deal worth $135 million with the crypto platform FTX. FTX gets to promote cryptocurrency through exclusive stadium naming rights with the Miami Heat home officially renamed the FTX Arena. The name will also appear on the team’s promotions, online platforms, and on all community initiatives.
While the Heat named FTX as its “official and exclusive cryptocurrency exchange partner,” the team has stated that it is not ready to accept crypto as a form of payment.
#8- PSG and Crypto.com
Crypto.com is the official cryptocurrency platform for PSG after signing a 3-year deal worth $90 million. The crypto platform will create PSG branded Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s) and make them available on Crypto.com/NFT.
The team has also agreed to receive part of the sponsorship payment in CRO. Crypto.com hopes to win over new cryptocurrency customers through PSG’s existing and new fanbase now that they have signed up the football legend, Lionel Messi.
Part of Messi’s two-year PSG contract included a cryptocurrency fan token payment provided by Socios. The signing of this popular player led to a fan token buying frenzy that brought in revenues of about $1.2 billion.
#9- Inter Milan and Zytara Labs/DigitalBits
Inter Milan and Zytara Labs signed a 3-year agreement in collaboration with the DigitalBits Foundation that will bring in about $100 million. Zytara is now Nerazzurri’s official global digital banking partner.
The crypto platform will benefit from the branding rights on matchday shirt sleeves for the Men, Women, Primavera, and Youth teams for all matches. According to local media, the shirt sleeve sponsorship with DigitalBits is expected to rake in €5 million ($5.9 million) for the club per year.
Inter will also work with Zytara to integrate their app with the crypto platform so Nerazzurri fans can buy tickets for home matches using DigitalBits.
To commemorate the new partnership, Inter Milan made available limited-edition merchandise to provide their fans with the first crypto purchase experience through XDB token.
#10- AS Roma and Zytara Labs/DigitalBits
AS Roma and Zytara Labs through the support of DigitalBits Foundation have agreed to a 3-year deal worth $42 million. The crypto platform logo will appear on the front of the alternate, home, and away shirts for the Men, Women, and Youth teams.
The DigitalBits blockchain is set to get fully integrated into the club to provide the fans with a new digital payment avenue. The duo will also create digital player cards and NFT’s to keep records of AS Roma’s historical moments.
To commemorate the partnership, AS Roma made available the first 11 jerseys of the 2021-22 season and 25 commemorative rings for sale using the XDB token.
The proceeds were donated to a local charity, Roma Cares, that supports the local communities through initiatives in areas such as sports, culture, and education.
#11- Portland Trail Blazers and StormX
StormX is the official blockchain partner of the Portland Trail Blazers in a 5-year partnership deal worth $50 million. The crypto platform is also the team’s first International Rights Partner giving it the mandate to conduct the team’s global marketing activities.
StormX’s logo will appear on the left patch of the team’s game and practice jerseys. They are also set to receive TV, on-court, community initiatives, and courtside brand exposure.
The Portland Trail Blazers is the first team to sign a crypto jersey patch sponsor in NBA history.
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