Every Sunday, we sit down to deliver the latest sports and crypto crossover headlines over the past week with The Sports Slice. This week was host to many existing players in the space that decided to send themselves deeper down the rabbit hole. Who could blame them? The likes of DraftKings and Adidas, who were already getting involved in the blockchain and crypto community, are showing interest in digging in further. The gaming community, however, was less receptive with Ubisoft’s latest announcement.
Let’s look at all of this action, and more, from the past seven days.
The Sports Slice
DraftKings Doubles Down On NFT Marketplace
In July, sports betting firm DraftKings entered the NFT atmosphere, announcing their intent to launch an NFT ecosystem and exchange, courtesy of a partnership with Tom Brady’s Autograph.io. In October, DraftKings hit the newswire again, this time for a fresh partnership with eco-friendly blockchain Polygon.
DraftKings is back at it again this week, announcing a new partnership with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) in a deal that will grant name, image and likeness rights to DraftKings to utilize in it’s NFT marketplace, beginning next football season. DraftKings has said that they will use these rights to build a new fantasy-style game where users play head-to-head with player NFTs.
We’ve yet to see a major integration of fantasy sports and crypto, but it looks like it’s certainly on the way.
The Signs Come Down
Staples Center is now a thing of the past. It’s been less than a month since we first reported on Crypto.com’s massive new naming rights deal with one of Los Angeles’ most recognizable venues. Building owner AEG and the crypto exchange seem to be right on track with the anticipated deadlines, as the initial press reports stated that the partners expected to have new Crypto.com signage on the building’s face by Christmas Day. Now less than two weeks away, Staples’ signage is down, and the new signage appears to be on it’s way.
Christmas Day has historically been a massive day for the NBA, with games running throughout the entire day. The timely maneuver could send Crypto.com’s public facing brand identity back in the spotlight by the time the year is out.
Gaming Is Hesitant: Tezos & Ubisoft
Ubisoft is one of the biggest video game developers to integrate crypto, pairing up with Tezos to launch select NFTs under what the company is calling ‘Ubisoft Quartz.’ Quartz will release three NFTs, called Digits, for Ubisoft title Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.
However, the move has seen a less-than-ideal response from the gaming community. The trailer for Quartz saw massive dislikes on YouTube. While some outlets reported that the trailer was subsequently delisted, others noted that the video was simply published as unlisted from the start, and was not adjusted after the negative feedback. Discord decided to pause after seeing massive pushback from consumers on integrating crypto, so don’t be too surprised if Ubisoft follows suit.
Gaming and crypto, while seeming an endemic fit, has seen quite a bit of friction from the traditional gaming community. Expect it to be a long climb, at least until gamers start reaping real rewards from blockchain integration in video game titles.
Related Reading | NFTs In A Nutshell: A Weekly Review
Crypto.com once again finds it's name mentioned frequently in the Slice. The growing exchange continues to make headlines when it comes to engagement in sports | Source: CRO-USD on TradingView.com
FaZe Clan Goes Crypto
Crypto and gaming, despite carrying rigid reactions, are still a hand-in-glove fit when it comes to partnerships. This week, one of the biggest organizations and content umbrellas in esports, FaZe Clan, found a new crypto partner in MoonPay. FaZe members had previously made headlines for promoting questionable crypto projects that became rugpulls.
This week, MoonPay becomes the org’s official crypto and NFT partner, as part of a deal that will integrate MoonPay brand assets into FaZe content beginning next year.
Baron Davis To Drop ‘Black Santa’ NFTs
Former NBA hooper Baron Davis has been a student of crypto for a quite a while now, showing genuine interest in emerging technology for many years. Now, the basketball legend is teaming up with Crypto.com to release his own ‘Black Santa Holiday Collection’ NFTs. Davis created Black Santa as a way to “give children a magical world of untold possibilities filled with enchantment, adventure, and positive characters of color while imparting the importance of giving year-round.”
Athletes like Davis continue to push the fold when it comes to sports and crypto, showing initiative to build a better future of sports engagement for the next generation. The NFTs will drop on December 17 on crypto.com/NFT.
Featured image from Pexels, Charts from TradingView.com
The writer of this content is not associated or affiliated with any of the parties mentioned in this article. This is not financial advice.