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FTX continues to dominate the headlines as fallout – or suspicion of it – ensues. Sports is no exception; FTX once held a bevy of sports sponsorships and partners across a variety of verticals; those deals are in the rearview, and other ones are getting questioned.
Nonetheless, the World Cup is underway and there is plenty of chatter around crypto engagement in Qatar and within soccer at large. Let’s take a look at all of the biggest sports stories from the past week.
The Sports Slice
FTX Fallout Spans Across All Sports
FTX’s full portfolio of sports partners are all a thing of the past; we covered a deep-dive into some of the biggest sponsorship deals that turned to dust, including the MLB umpire patch deal – a first of it’s kind – and the firm’s massive arena deal with the Miami Heat. Other damage existing through deals in F1, esports, and with individual players like Tom Brady and Steph Curry.
Stories have continued to emerge that the aforementioned Curry, Brady, and other headlining sports stars and being cited in a class action lawsuit for their promotion of the platform.
Sports Tokens Find Traction… But Is It Temporary?
Despite generally bear market conditions throughout this quarter, fan tokens like Chiliz have been making traction ahead of the World Cup, which gets started with group play this week. There is no sign that the World Cup will have any sort of fan token engagement, however the prominence of soccer throughout fan tokens has been enough momentum to persist past broader bear market weather.
Manchester United Takes A Shot At NFTs
Bear market builders exist in sports, too. The Athletic took a look at Manchester United’s new NFT collection, operating on Tezos, with plenty of healthy skepticism. Bear market conditions have hit ‘altcoins’ like Tezos substantially, but it’s promising to still see major teams willing to continue pushing forward with existing deals.
Chiliz (CHZ) is one of the leading players in fan tokens, with a wide portfolio of soccer partners. Now, with the World Cup underway, Chiliz has seen growing momentum, paired with short-term selloffs. | Source: CHZ-USD on TradingView.com
With World Cup Kicking Off, Binance Launches New Campaign With Ronaldo
Binance is rolling out their first global advertising campaign around global soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo this past week. That came in tandem with a NFT collection, ‘CR7 NFTs,’ and donned Ronaldo in a Binance jersey.
It’s a long but likely targeted campaign to take advantage of World Cup excitement. The initial partnership between the global star and the powerhouse crypto exchange was first established back in June, and NFTs were cited on day 1 as the initial point of emphasis.
The timing gave fans plenty to riff about; Ronaldo had recently criticized his former Premier League club (and aforementioned NFT launching club) Manchester United for being a ‘marketing club.’ Now, there is a slice of irony that both Ronaldo and his ex-club are promoting their own respective NFT projects.
Crypto.com Under Scrutiny
With FTX’s downfall, scrutiny has scoped into Crypto.com for their massive sports sponsorship deals, including the LA arena naming rights deal and an official World Cup partnership that is seeing it’s first real traction as the global tournament is underway. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek has been on defense night and day, attempting to reassure customers that there are no liquidity concerns.
Time will tell if exchanges like Binance and Crypto.com, who are working to shift the perception from defensive to offensive, can find traction through major sports events; regarding the World Cup, Marszalek said in a live stream that “Crypto.com is going to be all over this. It’s going to serve to raise awareness and maybe help a tiny bit with issues of trust because of the visibility and being right next to the most trusted brands in the world.”
Regardless, the long-term sports sponsorship perspective around crypto at large is undoubtedly hindered by SBF’s actions and FTX’s downfall. The perceived risk will largely outweigh potential gains for many more conservative ownership groups across the sports landscape.
Featured image from Pexels, Charts from TradingView.com
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