4 Billion people all over the world watched the world cup final on Sunday for the love of the sport The pomp and color made for a great showing as fans screamed their lungs out every time Lionel Messi or Kylian Mbappe touched the ball.
Crypto In Sports
As the masterpiece event played out, Crypto.com was one of the big brands that were displayed in the background. It was a reminder of how much the crypto and financial sector in general had poured into the sport.
Sponsors who are willing to pay are desired by teams and leagues. Crypto companies want users, and by partnering, they hope to benefit from the brand recognition that comes with a logo on a jersey or a moniker atop a stadium.
However, the attraction may be fading. Or, at the very least, it has progressed beyond the stage of infatuation. FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried’s company was a heavyweight in the world of sports sponsorships a few months ago. Its demise has left many sports organizations in need of funding. Furthermore, it has made many players wary of any blockchain collaborations.
$100M FTX Sports Sponsorships
FTX spent nearly $100 million on sports sponsorships in 2021, according to consulting firm GlobalData. Only Crypto.com ($144 million) and Socios.com ($132 million) came close.
The year 2021 was a watershed moment for sports contracts with cryptocurrency companies.
Once upon a time, Bankman-Fried’s partners included the NBA’s Miami Heat, the University of California at Berkeley’s athletics department, and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing team. Those organizations have suspended or canceled their previous commitments. However, even before FTX’s bankruptcy, crypto and sports had a strained relationship. According to GlobalData, the number of deals signed since July is down more than 50% from the first half of 2022. There have also been other break-ups: Amber Group ended its relationship with English soccer team Chelsea FC, and DigitalBits still needs to keep its promises to FC Internazionale Milano SpA, an Italian team.
Are the Partnerships Gone? Not Entirely.
Companies like Crypto.com continue to invest in sports sponsorships, including a $700 million deal for the naming rights to Los Angeles’ former Staples Center and a five-year, $100 million deal with Formula One racing.
Will Crypto.com return to the World Cup in 2026?
Don’t hold your breath. Between a bear market and FTX fallout, all of crypto is injured — and four years is an eternity in such a young industry.
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