If you thought Crypto.com had a big year in sports last year… well, they’re off to another hot start this year. The booming exchange locked in a new deal with basketball superstar LeBron James. Adidas is back in with NFTs, courtesy of a new collaboration with Prada, and South America is host to drama in a new sports fan token deal that have Binance and Socios in an awkward position.
These are just a few of the new stories to hit the wire this past week. Let’s cover all these, and more, with The Sports Slice.
The Sports Slice
LeBron James Partners With Crypto.com
If you thought Crypto.com went big with last year’s high-flying arena deal to take over the former Staples Center naming rights, think again. Crypto.com has doubled down in LA sports, partnering with basketball legend, and arguable GOAT, LeBron James.
The partnership will be honed in on education youth through James’ charitable organization, The LeBron James Family Foundation.
Barstool’s Portnoy Punches In 7 Figure Bitcoin Ticket
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has made his name recognized through building a booming business, paired with his eclectic personality. Portnoy has had a love/hate relationship with crypto, seemingly, but this past week, Portnoy is back in.
He shared on Twitter that he purchased 29 BTC this week, at a price point of roughly $1.1M bucks.
Iqoniq Liquidation Leads To Sports Sponsorship Criticisms
Fan engagement platform Iqoniq had deals with LaLiga, Crystal Palace, McLaren, and many more powerful brands, clubs and properties. According to reports this week, Iqoniq is liquidating – despite CEO Kazim Atilla’s insistence on operational capabilities – and has apparently not paid dues to clubs like Real Sociedad and Crystal Palace.
Iqoniq’s liquidation will put increased heat on fan tokens, and has led to already increased conversations around the level of due diligence that leagues, brands, and clubs are conducting around sports sponsorships.
Adidas’ Latest NFTs
Adidas had it’s name plastered all over sports and crypto headlines late last year, after exploring new realms in The Sandbox and collaborative work with Coinbase, as well as a Bored Ape purchase. This week, Adidas paired up with fashion house Prada for a new NFT collaboration on Polygon. The NFTs are featured on SuperRare.
Related Reading | NFTs In A Nutshell: A Weekly Review
Polygon continues to find itself as a mainstream name in major brand integrations when it comes to NFTs. | Source: MATIC-USD on TradingView.com
In The Social Media Rounds, OBJ Takes Are Abound
In mid to late November last year, just a mere three months ago, LA Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. announced his intent to take his salary in crypto, as part of a new partnership with Cash App. It would be tough to say that his timing could have been worse, at least here in the near term perspective – and social media is reminding everyone about it this past week. At the time of publishing our piece on Bitcoinist on OBJ’s announcement, Bitcoin was priced in the high $50,000’s.
Athletes like Aaron Rodgers, OBJ, and Shohei Ohtani have taken a substantial hit on their crypto investments, at least since their formal public announcement in support of crypto. This year will determine whether many of these athletes have diamond hands, or if they were just looking for a quick (extra) buck.
Binance Secures Deal With Argentine Football Association, Socios Looks To Shut Down Partnership
Early in the week, Binance announced a new deal with the Argentine Football Association, or AFA – which has since led to some under-the-radar drama. The AFA already had a fan token deal established with Socios (Chiliz) and the two released a fan token just last year. Later in the week, Socios has shared that it has temporarily blocked the Binance deal, and according to Ledger Insights, the “ruling orders the AFA not to take actions that would hamper Socios’ exclusive rights.”
It’s week one of what could be a long battle between the three parties – so we’ll look to keep our eyes on this story as it progresses.
John Terry In Trouble?
The Premier League trophy is iconic for the league, an undoubtedly powerful IP for the league’s brand. This past week, former Premier League star John Terry removed the trophy’s imagery from collaborative NFTs released in partnership with the ‘Ape Kids Club’ project.
Additionally, tweets from the former Chelsea player that included NFTs featuring the trophy have since been deleted, after the league wrote to Terry and the Ape Kids Club to have their trophy imagery removed. According to a report from The Guardian, “Uefa, which organises the Europa League and Champions League, has taken legal advice and is investigating the matter.”
Related Reading | Nas & Royal With New NFT Drop, Featuring Songs Off Album ‘Rare’
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.