Is it a Good Match?
One would think that the sports field is surely the one area that has no lack of sponsorship offers and there’s no need to bring crypto funds to the game. However, money draws money, and crypto money is no different. As a matter of fact, both industries are finding multiple ways to benefit from each other.
Sport, unlike anything else, unites people, and it’s this fact that serves as a great foundation for money-raising purposes. While other projects struggle to build their community for months or even years, with sports everything is already there. Clubs, teams, and players themselves tend to have a massive fanbase and all you have to do is find the right way to reach them.
There are quite a few relatively obvious strategies, that sports and crypto can implement:
- Raising money via crypto for teams, clubs, or sportsmen.
- Use sports stars to raise funds for a crypto project.
- Create a token and distribute it among the fans who will use it for purchasing services on that sport’s platform (like betting, buying merchandise, etc).
- Offer tokens as tools for influence and allow fans to take part in important decisions related to a particular player, team, league, or even sports event.
So let’s have a look at what has been done already.
Crowdfunding, Sports, and Crypto
One of the most iconic cases happened in 2014 when the Jamaican bobsleigh team got a surprising donation of $30K to go to the Olympics, raised with the help of the Dogecoin community.
Needless to say, there are quite a few projects that issue tokens for crowdfunding purposes. Among them SportyCo, which was created in order to provide athletes and various sports organizations with long-term investment. In exchange, investors get a share of the athlete’s or team’s future income. Newcastle United and Cardiff City have endorsed this initiative hoping to raise funds through their own cryptocurrency.
Bitcademy, a promising startup that is about to launch its STO, wants to help and empower young players using a combination of AI and blockchain technologies. The platform would also let fans take part and influence the development of world-class football players.
Big Players Promoting Crypto
BitPay was probably the pioneer of crypto and sports collaboration with their “Bitcoin” St. Petersburg Bowl back in 2014.
Four years later, a gaming token, CashBet, apparently made quite an attractive offer to Arsenal. In exchange, the soccer club agreed on promoting their ICO.
Later the CoinDeal exchange sponsored the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club and the teams put its logo on their t-shirts. And then eToro, a multi-asset investment platform, signed an impressive deal with several major soccer clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Newcastle United, Southampton, Cardiff City, Brighton, and Crystal Palace. The crypto exchange asked the clubs to create crypto wallets and paid them in Bitcoin.
In October 2018 the British Masters golf tournament received funding from LIFElabs, creator of the crypto token, LIFEtoken.
Individual celebrities are no strangers to crypto promotions either. Earlier, we mentioned Lionel Messi, who backed the SirinLabs campaign, and Floyd Mayweather who embarked on a less successful ICO journey.
Two soccer stars, Eden Hazard and Sergio Agüero, are endorsing All Sport Chain, a platform that aims to become a major sports entertainment and predictions platform. You can already buy their SOC token on a number of popular exchanges. However, the project is still at the stage of ‘a work in progress’, although they do systematically publish weekly reports.
And while some of the stars act cautiously when advertising crypto, others jump all in and even create their own coins. Take, for example, Ronaldihno and his Soccer Coin. His project was designed to boost soccer’s development worldwide and help less fortunate countries prove themselves on the field. But something went wrong and the public sale got frozen. Another soccer star, James Rodriguez, decided to give crypto a go and issued his own coin to promote a crypto company, SelfSell app.
Sports Fans and Crypto
Another way to build a bridge between the sports industry and crypto is to get fans involved. One good example is the Fan360 project. It is a community for sports fans that allows them to keep up with their idols and get rewarded for their devotion with FAN tokens. Fans can later exchange FANS for money or valuable sport-related awards like tickets and merch.
A similar project, Fanchain, offers fans to get FANZ tokens, which are linked to their favorite teams. The FanPay system allows them to make purchases using FANZ on online stores, apps, and even sports bars that have already agreed to partner up with the project.
The Stargraph app gives its users the exciting opportunity to get personalized autographs if they take part in important events like matches or races.
One of the most well-known blockchain-powered celebrity management platforms, TokenStars, offers sportsmen, their fans, and advertisers interaction with each other in a more productive way. The TEAM token will be used to provide incentives to fans and help agents find talent, as well as bet, take part in auctions, etc.
Remember when CrytoKitties became a hit and everyone started using baseball cards as a perfect example to explain crypto collectibles? Well, we didn’t have to wait long until such a thing as crypto baseball cards appeared, and that’s how MLB Baseball came to life.
You cannot use these cards as a mean of payment, however, you can sell and collect them, just like you do with physical ones. A little fun game to spice up interest and educate sports fans and introduce them to a token system.
And in the case you’re not quite sure where to store your cards as well as all other crypto collectibles, worry no more, because that’s exactly why we created Lumi Collect. A crypto wallet that signs crypto transactions, allows you to play blockchain games and safely store your non-fungible tokens.
Crypto and sports seem to go quite well together. Both industries have been attracting a lot of funds and are driven by very enthusiastic individuals. Blockchain can provide athletes, fans, sponsors, and advertisers with a new seamless way to work and interact with each other. Sports industry, in turn, can open access to its massive community for blockchain-powered projects. From crowdfunding to token rewards to celebrity promotions to crypto collectibles — the possibilities for cooperation are endless.