Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice

Crypto.com made a splash into esports when we covered last weekend’s Sports Slice. This week, the growing exchange made another sports sponsorship splash – this time with an NBA team.

Each week, we take a fresh perspective on the last seven days of sports and cryptocurrency.

The Sports Slice

Crypto.com Heads To Philly

Just days after inking a jersey deal with esports org Fnatic, Crypto.com is back in traditional stick and ball sponsorship. The exchange secured a deal with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, one that sent Crypto.com over $400M in sponsorship spend on the year, according to Bloomberg. The move is a refreshing change of pace for Sixers fans, who have been swimming in headlines around Ben Simmons departure rumors. The new partnership will be the second crypto jersey patch in the NBA, with the first being StormX and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Meanwhile, in a move that was certainly less “on the radar,” Crypto.com also inked a deal with ‘DeFi The Game,’ a fandom startup, in a partnership that will look to bring NFT collections tailored around global cricket athletes.

While many exchanges have aggressively pursued sports sponsorship deals this year, Crypto.com and FTX have undoubtedly been the leaders in both visibility and spend.

John Wall’s Less-Than-Ideal NFT Release

Last week’s Slice covered some NBA athletes who were showing some excitement around crypto and NFTs. Foot on the gas for NBA guard John Wall, who has gone on to release his own ‘Baby Baller’ NFT series.

However, the project came with substantial criticism from NFT collectors, who quickly claimed that ‘Baby Baller’ backdrops were copied from video game title Fortnite, and that the design wasn’t up to snuff – imitating a bit too closely characters from the “Boss Baby” film.

The official ‘Baby Ballers’ are set to release this coming week, but this is a rocky start for Wall and his team.

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Another Collegiate Sports Athlete Releasing Their Own Token

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux has been battling an ankle injury early in the college football season. While the lineman looks towards his anticipated return to the field in the games to come, he’s been looking to take advantage of the changing name, image, and likeness landscape.

In a story first broken by ESPN, Thibodeaux is launching his own crypto token, $JREAM, on the Rally platform. The token’s name comes from the athlete’s Jream Foundation, which he founded to provide disadvantaged youth with more opportunities.

Thibodeaux has already signed a six-figure memorabilia deal and a partnership with United Airlines, among other brands. It’s a new era for collegiate sports stars, and crypto is here for it. In a Sports Slice earlier this month, we covered UCLA basketball athlete Jaylen Clark, who was the first D1 collegiate athlete to create their own crypto token.

Crypto.com has been an absolute powerhouse in the world of crypto and sports sponsorships this year, surpassing over $400M in sponsorship spend this year alone. The platform has delved in to nearly everything - from cricket, to basketball, to esports - and everything in between. | Source: CRO-USD on TradingView.com

More Soccer Clubs Find Crypto Deals

Soccer clubs across the globe have been pretty receptive to crypto deals thus far, and fan tokens with clubs like Juventus, PSG, and AC Milan dominate broader fan token volume.

This past week, more crypto deals came to life. Southampton, who had already partnered with crypto sports betting platform Sportsbet.io, found a new partner in learncrypto.com. The crypto education platform will sponsor the club’s training kit and will look to “spread the word about the positive impact crypto can have.”

Demarcus Cousins With A 1/1 Sports NFT

Demarcus Cousins was widely considered one of the best big guys in the NBA for many, many years. While injuries have sidelined his career, Cousins is still respected for his skillset.

This past week, Cousins released a 1/1 NFT in partnership with animator DeeKay. The NFT initially sold for 3.5ETH.

FTX Puts Rubber On The Road

That’s right, Crypto.com wasn’t the only exchange to hit the sports sponsorship headlines this week. After Crypto.com’s previous partnership with F1, FTX has sealed a deal with Mercedes F1. The multi-year deal will see FTX branding on car and on driver uniforms. Branding will be unveiled immediately, with this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix being the first event with FTX brand assets. NFTs and joint corporate social responsibility events will be in the cards later down the road as well.

Related Reading | India Tops The List Of Crypto Ownership With 100 Million Hodlers, Where Does Your Country Place?

Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com