Cryptocurrencies are growing at a phenomenal rate. The concept is still in its relative infancy really, certainly when you think of it in the context of all of human history. However, many industries have already accepted that crypto is here to stay and even use it to their advantage.
One of the industries that have been very quick to adopt the advances of crypto is the sports industry. In this guide, we explain five of the ways in which the sports industry has accepted, embraced, and even helped crypto to grow.
Gambling and sports have gone hand-in-hand for hundreds of years. Where there are sports being played, there are often people who are gambling on the outcome. From crypto horse racing betting to other sports such as soccer and football, there are plenty of sportsbooks that now allow you to use cryptocurrency for gambling.
Historically, people may have seen crypto as something to invest in, but there is proof that crypto has practical use. In gambling, it enables fast, often anonymous transactions. The decentralized nature of the currency is appealing due to this speed and the low fees incurred by moving currency around.
Sports teams often sign some amazing, eye-watering deals with companies for sponsorship. These deals may be as simple as having the company’s logo displayed on their shirts, but many of these are worth big money.
Manchester City, the Premier League giants, has recently signed a deal with crypto exchange OKX thought to be worth around $20m. Staggeringly, this is only for the training kit and not the matchday shirts.
There have been other examples of cryptocurrency sponsorship within stadiums, and the revenue from ads like this is often what keeps sports going. It is rumored that Liverpool FC has also negotiated with cryptocurrency companies regarding sponsorship.
This is something that we have only just scratched the surface of, but we certainly expect it to grow in the future. Staying in European soccer, a lower league Italian football club, Rimini, was bought out using a cryptocurrency. The club’s president announced that 25% of the holding company for the club was bought and paid for using Quantocoin.
Investment opportunities are always out there in the world of sports, and plenty of people who have made money from cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have bought stakes in sports clubs. We expect this trend to continue, but as for now, Rimini seems to be the only club bought partially using cryptocurrency.
Of course, this is what cryptocurrency is all about. It wouldn’t be a currency if you couldn’t use and trade it. Many businesses now accept crypto. For instance, you can go to your local city center and probably find a restaurant chain that will let you pay with crypto. The same can also be said of sports teams, their stadiums, and their stores.
In 2022, the Tennessee Titans made history by becoming the first franchise to accept cryptocurrency payments in their business. This option is currently only available for things like recurring payments and large purchases, so if you want to get a season ticket you can pay for it with Bitcoin. Suites and sponsorship can also be paid for using crypto.
Eventually, the organization plans to allow customers to use cryptocurrencies for everything, including smaller items, merchandise, and even food and drink in the stadium.
Did you know that some professional sports players even choose to be paid in cryptocurrency?
In 2019, Russel Okung, while playing for the Carolina Panthers, tweeted that he would like to be paid in Bitcoin, and in the next year or so, his wish came true.
The defensive tackle received half of his salary, an impressive $13m a year, through Zap’s Strike product. This is a system designed to take traditional currencies and convert them into crypto, such as Bitcoin.
You can see from a look at his online presence that he is a huge advocate of cryptocurrency. His Twitter bio once read “life, liberty and #bitcoin”.
Sports fans tend to be pretty forward-thinking and accepting of new ideas. Whether it is the way they gamble on their favorite sports or the way they pay for a hotdog, there are lots of ways Bitcoin can be used directly in transactions between sports fans and vendors.
On top of this, the world of investment and even sponsorship in this goliath industry can be mutually beneficial for both the crypto giants and the sports teams.