Introducing “The Sports Slice,” on Bitcoinist: a refreshing new set of content hitting your web browser each weekend that covers the full week’s action of crypto engagement in sports. Your local news has it, your Sunday paper has it, why can’t your go-to crypto outlet cover some sports action as well? Let’s take a look at the past week’s slate of sports industry engagement in crypto.
The Sports Slice
The NFL Looking To Hire A “Blockchain Specialist”
Reports were swirling this week that the NFL could be making crypto strides; the league posted a new job listing hiring a Director of Emerging Products. The role cites the desire for a candidate who can address growth areas for the league in “emerging areas such as digital products related to blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).” In March, the league reportedly was actively discussing potential partners for digital collectibles.
FTX Furthers Esports Initiatives
League of Legends (LoL) has been a dominant esports title for many years. Just a couple months ago, FTX entered the esports realm in a major way, partnering with leading esports organization TSM in a naming rights deal that rebranded the team as TSM.FTX. The ten year deal was valued north of $200M.
FTX is continuing the esports push, entering sponsorship with LoL competitive formats by partnering with the League Championship Series (LCS) this week. The deal locks in FTX as the “Official Cryptocurrency Sponsor” of the LCS.
In an odd twist of events, the deal this week comes after the Riot Games-owned LCS had previously told FTX that they could not integrate their naming rights deal with TSM on LCS tournaments. It looks like FTX was insistent on brand integration with League of Legends content one way or another.
Wyoming Sports Betting Legislation Cites Crypto Integration
Legalized sports gambling in the U.S. continues to slowly find more open doors, state by state, this year. New legislation signed by the Wyoming governor this past week specifies that sportsbooks can allow “digital, crypto and virtual currencies.” Wyoming continues to take an aggressive pro-crypto stance across many different legislative discussions.
Soccer Club AS Roma Lands Massive Crypto Partnership
Arguably one of the biggest soccer club and crypto firm partnerships went relatively under the radar this week. Italy’s AS Roma secured a new partner with blockchain fintech firm Zytara Labs in a 3-year, $42M deal.
The soccer club’s red and yellow colorway will lead Zytara partner DigitalBits new branding, and the partnership will integrate AS Roma players and team assets into DigitalBits NFTs.
India Is Rewarding Olympians With Crypto
According to a report from Vice this week, India is rewarding it’s Olympic winners with cash, cars, and yes… crypto. India-based crypto platform Bitbns is giving medalists systematic investment plans (SIPs) in cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Chiliz is building it's roster of sports teams that are looking to engage with fans in a fresh new way. | Source: CHZ-USD on TradingView.com
Chiliz Adds To The Leeds United To The Roster
Leeds United is the fourth Premier League team to join the Chiliz roster. In a team announcement this week, Leeds shared that they are partnering with Chiliz for a new fan token #LUFC on Socios.com.
The announcement came just days after the platform added Everton FC to their soccer club roster. Fan tokens through Chiliz and Socios.com continue to see substantial growth this year.
FTX To Sponsor Axie Infinity Players
Could Axie Infinity be the next… esport? FTX seems to think so. The exchange has partnered with decentralized gaming startup Yield Guild Games with a deal that gives FTX lifetime naming rights to over 130 players from developing countries.
Sponsorship dollars will cover Axie “breeding” costs for players based in the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, India, and Latin America. Additionally, assuming Axie can show long-term sustainability, these sorts of deals show the potential to make excellent case studies on how crypto can bring equity to countries in ways that fiat hasn’t.
UFC And Panini Put The Gloves On Upcoming NFTs
The UFC is partnering with trading card company Panini in a fresh new deal for fighters. Historically a sports league that has been viewed as underpaying it’s talent, the UFC could change that perception with NFTs. The new licensing deal with Panini will allow fighters to see a share of royalties in digital collectibles. In fact, that share will be greater than the splits seen on clothing and apparel.
Panini’s digital marketplace is expected to go live with UFC NFTs as early as this coming week.
Related Reading | Yahoo Japan To Introduce NFT Trading In Partnership With Line
Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com