HomeBest of 2022Crypto And NFT Partnerships Dominate Metaverse Despite Crash

Crypto And NFT Partnerships Dominate Metaverse Despite Crash

Crypto And NFT Partnerships Dominate Metaverse Despite Crash

2022 saw teams, tournaments and athletes from all sports explore cryptocurrency partnerships, in January, the Australian Open tennis, ICC and UFC released NFT collections, while the AFL signed a five-year deal to make Crypto.com the league’s official cryptocurrency partner.

February saw high-profile cryptocurrency deals for several esports teams as well as Red Bull and Alpine in the F1, while the NRL signed a deal with Brisbane-based cryptocurrency exchange, Swyftx.

Global football swarmed onto blockchain deals in March, with Liverpool, Manchester City, Barcelona and Melbourne Victory all announcing partnerships, while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo linked up with Socios.com and Fan Craze respectively.

In the esports world, G2 sued NFT sponsor Bondly for US$5.2 million, claiming:

Bondly and its agents knew that their representations were false when they made them, or made the representations recklessly and without regard to their truth. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

In April, the NFL eased its restriction on blockchain partnerships, resulting in 13 teams handing their rights to Socios.com.

The AFL and Cricket Australia launched NFT collections, while Sorare published a Major League Soccer NFT fantasy game.

Wimbledon released an NFT platform in May, and June saw Queensland Rugby League launch ‘The Ultimate Queenslander’ NFTs in partnership with Ministry of Sport, amongst others.

July saw sports media company, DAZN, create an NFT marketplace for boxing, then in September the PGA Tour partnered with Autograph to build an NFT platform.

Denver Broncos fans NFL crypto

Crypto Enthusiasts For The NFL Team

A decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) comprised of attorneys, athletes and accountants showed interest in a takeover of the Denver Broncos.

In February, the Pat Bowlen Trust announced the Broncos were up for sale, with the Buy The Broncos DAO reportedly raising US$4 billion in a bid to buy the franchise.

Unlike traditional investment pools, a DAO is operated by cryptocurrency and Buy The Broncos were planning to use Ethereum and NFT membership items.

The DAO hoped to use cryptocurrency as a legitimate payment following an announcement by Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, that the state plans to accept cryptocurrency tax payments.

Celebrity Sports Investors Face FTX Collapse

Cryptocurrency exchange, FTX filed for bankruptcy following a failed takeover by Binance, causing issues in sponsorship deals across world sport.

FTX had high-profile partnerships in basketball, baseball, American football, esports and F1, as well as endorsements with individual athletes.

FTX had the naming rights for the Miami arena, concluding a planned 19-year, US$135 million deal after just 16 months.

They were also an official partner of MLB umpires, as well as owning the naming rights for esports organistion, TSM and UC Berkley’s football team.

Brand ambassadors including NBA stars, Shaquille O’Neal and Steph Curry, tennis player, Naomi Osaka and quarterback, Tom Brady were given equity stakes in FTX.

FTX had a peak value of US$32 billion.

Earlier, NFT company, Iqoniq, was liquidated, leaving several football, basketball and rugby clubs short-changed.

NFL fans and gamers will be able to connect with the world of sports through authentic, immersive gaming products – Troy Jones, StatusPRO co-founder and CEO.

NFL VR and Blockchain

The NFL lifted their ban on blockchain sponsorships, although cryptocurrency and fan token partnerships are still banned.

The March announcement saw the NFL partner with Dapper Labs to create NFTs and evaluate the possibility of putting blockchain rights on the market.

Blockchain partnerships can only be a maximum of three years and the partnership cannot ‘create regulator or brand risk’.

Simultaneously, the NFL announced a partnership with StatusPRO to produce a virtual reality simulation game.

The game, available on Meta Quest and Play Station VR, is the first officially licensed sports VR game.

Sport Betting Cryptocurrency

With the progression of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies, the interest in cryptocurrency sports betting is growing.

As the US and state governments began to relax laws on sports betting, with a predicted peak of US$20 billion if all states passed legislation.

The state of Wyoming has began investigating crypto-based sports betting, while betting company Draft Kings have also hinted at future cryptocurrency betting.

Reported spending in the cryptocurrency-sports intersection has tripled since 2020.

Crypto sports betting impact on the US

Esports Jumping Into The Cryptoverse

Just like sports teams around the world, esports organisations also jumped into the cryptoverse, which included Cloud9, Gen.G, Guild Esports and more.

Cloud9 announced their launch into crypto by signing a multi-year deal with Blockchain.com, which saw them become the official cryptocurrency and wallet exchange.

Cloud9’s announcement followed Guild Esports, who signed a three-year £4.5 million (AUD$8.6 million) deal with Bitstamp, who had their branding added to Guild’s jerseys.

Following the cryptocurrency trend, Gen.G partnered with Korean crypto exchange, Bithumb, which aims to grow the organisation’s presence throughout the cryptoverse.

Finally, Russian esports organisation, Team Spirit, leapt into a partnership with Bitget, where the pair received branding on team jerseys and digital channels, while they also collaborated on several esports trading competitions, giveaways, and promotions.

To Round out 2022..

Italian club AC Milan, and the Spanish La Liga both announced NFT collections, with the collapse FTX in mid-November prematurely ending several of the deals agreed throughout 2022.

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