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Cryptocurrency Sponsorships To Be Worth $5 Billion By 2026


A new report from Nielsen has estimated the sponsorship investment in sport from blockchain organisations, including those involved with cryptocurrency and NFTs particularly, will be worth US$5 billion by 2026.

Nielsen suggested, compared to 2021 figures, blockchain, cryptocurrency and NFT investment in sport through sponsorships could rise by 778%, leading all sponsorship categories for growth, followed by the IT software and hardware category, which is predicted to rise by 44%

The report suggested the sponsorship category’s success could, however, be reliant on current legitimacy and integrity concerns with cryptocurrency sponsorship, as well as the reception and engagement from fans.

Identifying opportunities for brands and sporting organisations to succeed, the report suggested the connection between awareness and conversion will be crucial, with sporting organisations needing to take care to analyse their options and viability, over revenue implications alone.

The report showed 39% of sports fans are aware of cryptocurrency tokens, and 24% have an interest in NFTs, meanwhile 52% of esports fans are aware of cryptocurrency tokens, compared to 30% of the general population.

Looking more broadly across the sports sponsorship market, the report analysed consumer trends to discuss how fans interact with sports properties, with 81% of respondents either completely or somewhat trusting brand sponsorships at sporting events.

Looking into sponsorship trends for women’s sports, the report outlined a 146% increase of unbundled sponsorship investment in women’s sport since 2020, with Nielsen suggesting the unbundling of sponsorship from both men’s and women’s sports leads to greater measurable impacts and value.

This has reportedly led to an increased interest from brands in women’s sport properties and allows brands to effectively reach more consumers who weren’t reached by traditional men’s sport sponsorships.

Providing recommendations for brands investing in sport, the Nielsen report said brands should ensure:

  • Marketing plans are holistic and include definitive influencer marketing strategies
  • Tap into broadening sponsorship opportunities
  • Expand traditional sponsorship measurement

Also providing recommendations for sporting organisations and media organisations engaging in sponsorship opportunities, Nielsen said:

  • Identify and maintain a dedicated first-party data strategy
  • Determine the right balance between short and long-term sales objectives
  • Embrace the power of athletes
  • Measure effectiveness, not just value

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