Crypto and Sports — the Perfect Match

4 min readDec 2, 2021

The sports industry took a massive hit due to the pandemic. Various deals and sponsorships fell through, and the industry was left hanging. The sports players and fans had to connect virtually more than ever due to the circumstances.

The industry devised new strategies and partnerships to keep the teams and fans connected. It recognized how blockchain could revolutionize their revenue as well as fan experience. This led to an increase in crypto-sponsorships, fan tokens, and even non-fungible tokens or NFTs.

According to a new Morning Consult poll, sports fans are twice as likely as non-sports fans to say they are familiar with cryptocurrencies and thrice as likely to say they are very familiar with them. In addition, two out of three self-proclaimed themselves as “avid” sports fans, and 72% of sports bettors said they are familiar with cryptocurrency.

When various businesses struggled to maintain their ongoing deals and partnerships, the sports industry also had to find new ways to acquire sponsorships. The cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto-based companies took the opportunity, and now the world’s popular sports teams are partnered with crypto exchanges. They used the high visibility of sports to grow awareness of cryptocurrency.

The primary audience of sports are millennials and Generation Z. With increasing crypto partnerships, more members of these generations will be exposed to the crypto world.

Sports and Crypto Partnerships

Crypto sponsorships have highly benefited the crypto industry by bringing new investors and causing the market to flourish. Many sports-based businesses have started to accept crypto as a new mode of payment for tickets and merchandise. Even football clubs are offering to pay player salaries and transfer fees in crypto.

The cryptocurrency brands have a lot of money to spend, and sports sponsorships are usually at least a couple of million dollars worth — a win-win situation for everyone.

Crypto and sports partnerships have been a long-awaited crossover, particularly for those involved in fantasy sports or betting. Introducing crypto into these spaces will revolutionize the industry and make it more legitimate. Also, building a platform around the blockchain is not as difficult as it seems.

Let us look at some of the notable examples of sports teams partnering up with crypto exchanges.

One of the earliest sports-crypto sponsorship deals was signed in December 2014 between BitPay, a US-bitcoin payment processor, and ESPN Events. It was one of the first recorded crypto marketing initiatives. BitPay also later sponsored the St. Petersburg Bowl, an annual post-season football game for colleges in the USA, to promote Bitcoin.

In 2018, CashBet became the club’s exclusive official blockchain partner of the Arsenal Football Club. This deal was designed to promote the launch of CashBet Coin, a cryptocurrency specially designed for use on CashBet’s online gambling platforms.

At the baseball league level, MLB has signed a multi-year deal with FTX, due to which the crypto exchange’s logo was placed on umpire uniforms. The fans will thus see FTX brand promotion during nationally televised MLB games, various social media platforms, and more.

UFC and Formula 1 also secured sponsorships with worth over $15 million per year. The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One team was one of the first to partner with a cryptocurrency firm —

Individual sports teams have also partnered with various crypto exchanges like — NHL’s Montreat Canadiens, FTX — NBA’s Miami Heat, etc.

Sports and NFTs

Another crypto gaining momentum in the sports industry is NFTs. NFTs provide a wide range of unique tangible and non-tangible items stored in digital wallets. Thus, each NFT is an individual digital item.

Regular trading cards and collectibles are part of a multi-million dollar industry that immortalizes sports with pictures and other items. An NFT aims to do the same by containing unique information on a verifiable blockchain network. An NFT can be a sports card, digital sneakers, or any collectible.

Usually, you can find NFTs on various NFT marketplaces. But what if there was an NFT marketplace dedicated to sports players and their fans? This is where PlayersOnly comes in.

PlayersOnly is the world’s first decentralized sports metaverse designed for athletes, teams, fans, and brands to interact and build a global community. It has a sports NFT marketplace where buying, selling, and trading of NFTs will be available. In addition, PlayersOnly has its own NFT collections as well as collaborations with the athletes.

The metaverse incorporates the sports social media app, utility token — the PlayersOnly Token(PO), wallet, and the NFT marketplace. If you want to be a part of this metaverse, sign up on the PlayersOnly social media app and purchase the PlayersOnly token from PancakeSwap to get started.