Cryptocurrency is one of the fastest-growing sponsors in sports. It is easy to see why. Crypto companies pay millions of dollars to advertise their products to sports fans.

Sports attracts billions of people. So, even if a crypto project pays $10M for a sponsorship deal, it is likely to recoup this money quickly. On the other hand, sports leagues and franchises earn more than money when they accept crypto sponsorships.

They attract the attention of millennials and GenZers—two crucial demographics sports must win over to grow. In this article, we’ll talk more about the relationship between crypto and sports.

More importantly, we’ll outline crypto’s growing role in the future of sports. Let’s get started. 

Fan Tokens

What does PSG share in common with Man City, Barcelona and Napoli? For the most part—these teams dominate in their local leagues. What’s more, they all have fan tokens.

Fan tokens are digital assets built on the blockchain that give fans access to special rights. For example, token owners can vote on important matters regarding their teams. 

Developers created fan tokens to help sports organizations increase engagement with their fans. In turn, fans could have a bigger role in how their preferred teams are managed. 

Sports tokens were a big hit in 2021. However, these coins faded into obscurity after Bitcoin crashed in 2022. With Bitcoin rocketing in 2024, fan tokens are gaining a resurgence. 

These assets could become a popular idea if teams can find ways to make them more useful to fans. For example, teams can give out free tickets to token owners. They could also allow token owners to actually make pertinent decisions such as jersey colors and vote on players their team should sign.

Crypto Sports Betting

Crypto holds real monetary value. In fact, you can use your Bitcoin, Ethereum, or USDT coins to pay for shopping, buy a new car, or bet on sports online. The number of businesses accepting crypto keeps increasing, which further helps validate Bitcoin as real money.

If you’re a sports fan who bets on sports occasionally, find a crypto bookmaker. There are lots of them. The best Bitcoin betting sites reward you with a bonus after you create an account and make your first deposit. 

Crypto sports betting bonuses tend to be generous. You can receive up to 1000 USDT at a good betting site. If you prefer to use Bitcoin, you can receive up to 1BTC as a betting bonus.

Free sports bets double or triple your first deposit. This allows you to take bigger risks or bet on more games. Bonuses also come in handy when you deplete your deposit amount. They ensure you have credits to bet on your favorite games every weekend.

Sponsoring Sports

Crypto sponsorships are growing by the day. Not so long ago (2022), the now-collapsed FTX crypto exchange sponsored an ad during Super Bowl LVI. In the same year, ran an ad promoting its exchange to the 100M+ people who watched the Super Bowl.

American football aside, crypto companies have been running ads in the NBA, MLB, and Premier League Football. As we mentioned earlier, advertising helps crypto spread awareness to millions of people.

Sports sponsorship is an excellent avenue for crypto to increase its global fan base. However, this exposure comes at a cost. Super Bowl ads cost as much as $7 million. Long-term partnerships can cost up to $50M per year.

Fortunately, sponsorships are beneficial to both parties. Sports leagues make money from advertising. Crypto companies increase brand awareness and investors.

Bitcoin Salaries

Crypto’s impact in sports transcends sponsorships and tokens. It has also influenced athlete salaries. Due to its tendency to gain tremendous value quickly, some athletes are now taking their salaries in Bitcoin.

Odell Beckham Jr, who plays for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, is a case in point. In 2022, the Wide Receiver made headlines after he signed a contract to receive half of his salary from the Los Angeles Rams in the form of Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin’s dip in 2022 dropped Odell’s salary significantly. However, had the WR continued to accept his salary in crypto, he would have evened out his losses by now. Bitcoin costs $51,000 at press time.

Although paying athletes in crypto sounds risky, there are ways to mitigate potential losses. For example, an athlete can take their salary through a stable coin like USDC or USDT.  Then he or she could convert his funds into another cryptocurrency or into liquid cash. 

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in eSports 

NFTs are yet another crypto innovation that has had better days. Non-fungible tokens used to be a big thing in 2021. However, they lost their value during the recent bear season.

NFTs are digital assets built using Blockchain technology. They can be tokens, images of popular athletes, or sports paraphernalia. NFTs can’t be duplicated, which is how they build their value.

Let’s say you mint an NFT of Cristiano Ronaldo. If it’s a beautiful digital image, it could attract the attention of your fellow sports fans. In 2021, the most valuable NFTs cost as much as $2 million.

These days, NFTs are resurging in popularity. They’re particularly popular in eSports, where gaming fans can mint digital images of popular skins and characters. Top-tier digital assets command tens of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin.

Tickets and Merchandise

Not only can you buy sports tickets with Bitcoin, but you could also use BTC to pay for jerseys, cleats, sneakers, and sporting equipment. Soon, some teams will begin creating tickets produced through the Blockchain.

The blockchain is secure, tamper-proof, and transparent. As such, you can’t lose your tickets. Also, no one can forge their tickets. Franchises can limit the number of tickets fans can buy with their crypto wallets.

In doing so, they could help avoid ticket gouging; a habit that often hikes the prices of tickets during important matches. That said, Blockchain technology has more benefits to sports. For example, it can help with supply management and record-keeping.

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