Cryptocurrency companies have gone all-in, spending billions on advertisements and sponsorships.
Cryptocurrency companies have committed more than $2.4 billion to sports marketing in the past 18 months, reports Bloomberg.
These new advertisements are crypto’s way of matching the advertising power of beer brands, carmakers, telecom service providers, and other stalwart sports sponsors. Even in a down market, crypto platforms and services are trying to lure converts and attractive customers from the competition.
Cayman Island company Binance Holdings Ltd. has deals with soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo. Coinbase Global Inc. has struck agreements with the National Basketball Association and top star Kevin Durant. FTX in the Bahamas has arrangements with Major League Baseball and franchises ranging from the NBA’s Miami Heat to e-sports squad TSM. Even the Drone Racing League is getting crypto money, says Bloomberg.
It is unsure if these companies’ willingness and ability to continue throwing money at leagues, teams, and athletes will continue after the cryptocurrency market hit a big slump this year. But for now the deals are still rolling out, leaving franchise owners and executives to view crypto as sports’ next great benefactor.
“There’s this avalanche of dollars that’s falling out of the sky,” says global managing director of sponsorship researcher IEG Peter Laatz.
Some of the most valuable athletic franchises have some kind of partnership with a crypto outfit—the Dallas Cowboys, FC Barcelona, Golden State Warriors, Manchester United, and New York Yankees.
The NBA is one of the leading partners with cryptomarket. Coinbase committed to spend almost $200 million over four years with the league. That puts it in the ranks of corporate partners such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, AT&T, and PepsiCo. Crypto helped lift the league’s sponsorship revenue 14% last season from a year earlier, to a record $1.6 billion.
Even as companies retrench or go bust, IEG’s Laatz says he expects sports executives to keep feeding on crypto ads. Indeed, new contracts have been signed since the crypto crash earlier this year.
Bitcoin and other currencies have had a strong week, but the coins and related companies have had a tough time in the markets since the fall of 2021.