Like many other businesses, the sports industry went through a disastrous era. The sector has acknowledged that blockchain may transform income streams and the fan experience through expanded crypto-sponsorships, fan tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or even by introducing blockchain service providers to the market.
Sponsorships have helped viewers and investors become more aware of cryptocurrencies at a time when their use is becoming more common in the media and everyday life. The fastest-growing sponsorship sector in sports marketing is cryptocurrency and for good reason.
The crypto sector is incredibly valuable for leagues, clubs, sportsmen and online sports betting in Kenya and other African nations. In response, leagues, clubs, and professional athletes are making an effort to connect with younger audiences, including Gen Z’ers and Millennials, a hard-to-reach yet important segment of the sports industry.
Although there may not seem to be a logical location for audience overlap, sports and cryptocurrency businesses utilise one another’s audiences to raise awareness of their respective sectors.
Sports may expand into the crypto market’s audience by using sponsorships like the FTX exchange’s branding on baseball umpire jerseys and Super Bowl commercials to reach consumers where they are.
The cryptocurrency sector is attempting to humanise a technology that might seem sophisticated and frightening to the typical individual just getting started. When a famous athlete supports a product, consumers are more likely to try it.
People who already use the product feel that their choice was justified, enhancing brand loyalty for both the sport and cryptocurrency.
A Lost Generation
The big sports leagues must prioritise attracting young fans. The archetypal digital natives are GenZers, who have spent the last 15 years growing up with a smartphone in their hands and a constant online connection. They love online games, social media, and cryptocurrency, but only about 23% of them are die-hard sports fans.
They are the future and are more inclined to think that cryptocurrency is the future, so GenZ is significant for the sports business. They are aware of the digital world and the inevitable rise of internet-native digital currencies like crypto.
They view the traditional ways as archaic and out of date. In other words, the sports business is sending a message that they are aware of the younger population by linking up with crypto through these agreements.
It’s a means for them to engage the following fan base, which will be crucial to the sector’s future development. Numerous professional athletes also use cryptocurrency in novel and inventive ways to develop and profit from their brands.
For cryptocurrency businesses, the sports sector offers the chance to reach a larger audience within the target market that digital asset operators in the field are looking to target. They may successfully generate and maintain client interest, loyalty, and trust when engaged in sponsorship agreements. This kind of trust-building develops gradually.
The Beginning of Crypto Sponsorships
One of the earliest known cryptocurrency marketing attempts was the sponsorship arrangement between ESPN Events and US bitcoin payment processor BitPay. To raise awareness of Bitcoin, BitPay also sponsored the St. Petersburg Bowl, an annual postseason college football game in the USA.
The ideal case study for the current upsurge in this specific sponsorship tale would be eToro. Several Premier League teams were associated with eToro to advertise its cryptocurrency trading service; Bitcoin exclusively funded these partnerships.
The platform became one of Europe’s primary club football sponsors. According to eToro, bitcoin may be utilised for player transfers, ticket-touting prevention, and product authentication.
The first F1 team to collaborate with a cryptocurrency business was Aston Martin’s Formula One team, who partnered with Crypto.com. With millions of active users, the platform will undoubtedly increase its brand recognition in the global race against Aston Martin F1 vehicles.
The Turkish football side Harunustapor was the first team in football history to make a player acquisition using Bitcoin. With the introduction of fan engagement tokens, the fusion of sports and technology has become a fascinating development.
A fan engagement token gives supporters and fans the ability to shape the course of action taken by their favourite sports club. Recently, the Indian multi-million dollar company CoinDCX was named the T20I series’ official title sponsor.
Positive or Negative?
Of course, there are outspoken and vehement opponents of sports sponsorships. However, that is expected. Cryptocurrency is condemned for its adverse environmental effects and retail speculation that occasionally harms inexperienced traders.
Sports organisations have occasionally come under fire for their role in the crypto investment craze. The market caps of Facebook, Amazon, and Apple have decreased more than the whole cryptocurrency market.
Many tech firms have had value losses of 80% or more. Why is there such strong opposition to cryptocurrency sponsorships, but no one seems to be questioning the sponsorships provided by those businesses?
Also, leagues and teams screen potential investors, albeit it’s not flawless. Both sides want to ensure that their relationships will be lasting and mutually beneficial. In a way, the criticism of crypto-sports partnerships proves they are effective.