• Home
  • Topics
  • A Guide For Sports Organisations To Partnering With A Cryptocurrency Provider

A Guide For Sports Organisations To Partnering With A Cryptocurrency Provider

Crypto Coin Montage
Wednesday, 18 May 2022 By Joshua Kay

One of the most noticeable trends in the sporting world since the emergence of COVID is the increased prominence of cryptocurrency brands in the world of sports sponsorship. According to Nielsen’s Global Interactive Marketing Report,[1] investment by blockchain and cryptocurrency companies in sports sponsorship is estimated to reach US$5 billion by 2026. In the same report, Nielsen estimate that investment by cryptocurrency and blockchain brands in sport sponsorship will increase by 778% when compared to the levels of investment in 2021; for context, investment in sport sponsorship by automotive brands is projected to rise by 5% from 2021 to 2026.

In February of this year, Manchester United agreed a multi-year deal with Tezos for sponsorship of the training kit of its men’s and women’s teams. Manchester United’s announcement[2] of the deal mentions the introduction of “fans to Web3 technology through the Tezos blockchain” and “several new fan experiences built on the Tezos blockchain”. Only a few weeks later, Manchester City announced[3] that OKX, a global cryptocurrency exchange, is to become the club’s “Official Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner”. It is now being reported that Liverpool are exploring the possibility of a front-of-shirt sponsorship deal[4] with a cryptocurrency exchange from the 2023/24 season onwards.

This trend in sponsorship investment isn’t just restricted to football. As of Christmas Day 2021, Staples Center, the home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, was renamed the Crypto.com Arena. This adds to Crypto.com’s already impressive suite of sports sponsorships: a multi-year fight apparel deal with the UFC, an agreement to be a “Global Partner” of Formula 1 and the “Official Cryptocurrency Platform Partner” of Paris Saint-Germain.

The sums involved in the majority of these cryptocurrency sponsorships are significant and rightsholders across the sporting world are understandably taking note – however, given the nature of these deals, it is important for both the rightsholder and the sponsor to ensure they are minimising the risks involved from a legal, regulatory and compliance perspective. 

This article examines the steps that sports organisations should take when considering such a partnership, including:

To continue reading or watching login or register here

Already a member? Sign in

Get access to all of the expert analysis and commentary at LawInSport including articles, webinars, conference videos and podcast transcripts.  Find out more here.

Related Articles

Written by

Joshua Kay

Joshua Kay

Josh is a commercial and regulatory lawyer in Wiggin’s Digital Entertainment team based in London. He is experienced in advising clients across the production and distribution chain in the sports, esports, advertising and games sectors on a range of commercial and regulatory matters including the acquisition, licensing and distribution of content via various digital platforms as well as sponsorship arrangements and data rights issues.

+44 (0) 7826 797595

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.


Legal Advisors

Copyright © LawInSport Limited 2010 - 2022. These pages contain general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter. The information provided here was accurate as of the day it was posted; however, the law may have changed since that date. This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. LawInSport is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.