Published för 1 år sedan • 3 minute read

A Guide to Crypto’s Relationship with Sports

Online sports betting has changed in the last few years. Ever since the Supreme Court decided to hand over the question of gambling legislation to the states, more Americans than ever before have signed up for customer accounts.

Although online betting in California is not legal yet, there is a wide range of choice for people in some states who are interested in gambling on their favorite teams. Another major development in this field is the involvement of cryptocurrencies. In fact, digital currencies and related companies have become a regular fixture in sports in general. Here are a few ways in which the two worlds have collided.

 Sponsorship and Advertising

 One of the most visible ways that crypto has become part of the sports sphere is in sponsorship and advertising. Millions of dollars have been spent on advertising space and time – including some very prominent Super Bowl halftime ads earlier in the year.

 But it is the sponsorship of sports where the relationship has really grown. A number of crypto-related companies have bought naming rights for stadiums and all the major sports have big deals with businesses that deal with digital currencies and/or sports betting.

 Team Ownership

 Owning one of the major sports teams in the US takes a lot of money. Many of the owners might be heavily involved with the cryptocurrency – such as Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks. But crypto companies are not quite at the stage of actually owning a team in one of the big four.

 But smaller operations have been busy further down the sports hierarchy. It has not always been met with overwhelming support, but smaller crypto groups have looked to become owners of smaller teams – especially soccer clubs in the UK. There is the feeling that even lower down the league pyramid, it could be a profitable move.

 One example is Crawley Town, a team in the fourth-tier of England’s soccer league. WAGMI (we’re All Gonna Make It) United completed a takeover of the club in April of this year. The group has used the introduction of NFTs as a major part of its operation. Whether it is ultimately successful or not, we will wait and see.


Fan Engagement

 One of the ways that WAGMI has promised to make money for Crawley Town is through NFTs and other crypto-assets. But it is not just in the smaller leagues that this is happening. Top soccer clubs across Europe have been offering fans these tokens as a way of investment.

 The schemes are advertised as a way for fans to become more engaged with the day-to-day operation of the teams they support. By purchasing these tokens, fans can make decisions that directly affect the team. There has been criticism of this as well, but more and more clubs have become involved.

 Athlete Investment

 The possibility of making money from this ‘new’ crypto world has also attracted the athletes. Some have part of their salary paid in digital currencies and see that as an investment that can bring in more money than being paid in a fiat currency. With athletes being paid so much, they can afford to take a hit at times if there is a chance that the investment could really pay off.

 There are countless examples of athletes trading NFTs as well. There has always been a very lucrative sports collectibles market and this could be seen as just a modern version of that.


The Future of Crypto and Sports

 It would seem as though the relationship between crypto and sports will only grow stronger in the next few years. Some caution should probably be shown, as this can still be a very volatile market. But the potential returns are certainly turning the heads of sports teams, leagues and individual players.

 With the entire world going more digital we can expect more developments in this area. How it plays out depends on whether the legal and regulatory landscape shifts in time with the partnerships.


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