How the Crypto Rise can Affect the Future of Sports
During my playing career, receiving bonuses and endorsements in the form of cryptocurrency was virtually unheard of, at least it wasn’t making many headlines. In today’s society, cryptocurrencies have been gaining popularity, especially with many celebrities and high-profile personalities such as Elon Musk and Jay-Z publicly supporting crypto options. Recently, another sector of prominent social figures has also started getting more involved with digital currencies, professional athletes.
With the vast investment opportunities and currency choices that athletes now have in front of them, it becomes even more important to stay educated, especially when you factor in the new NIL opportunities for collegiate athletes.
As our President and Co-Founder, Bryan Goodwin, has stated before, the sports industry is primed for a great tech disruption; from the way fans consume media, the interactions between athletes and their audience, and now even the way athletes monetize themselves. An athlete’s personal brand becomes even more of a viable revenue stream when done correctly and building their brand during an athlete’s prime becomes more vital.
Crypto in Sports
While these athletes are not typically being paid directly from their team in cryptocurrency, they are depositing portions of their salaries and bonuses into a digital wallet that allows them to convert and trade into various cryptocurrencies.
Some of the world’s most prominent athletes have been making news when it comes to cryptocurrency. Trevor Lawrence, the 2021 number 1 NFL draft pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars, recently made big waves by designating his entire signing bonus into a crypto account with Blockfolio. Others are turning to NFT options, such as Tom Brady’s co-founded Autograph, which has names like Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, and Naomi Osaka.
Another major name to get into the crypto world that made recent headlines was none other than Lionel Messi and his new contract with Paris-Saint Germain. Messi’s new contract included a payment in the form of a large number of fan tokens. Fan tokens are an alternative form of cryptocurrency that allows owners to vote on minor decisions related to the team they are associated with. These tokens can also be sold and traded on digital currency exchanges, like Bitcoin.
More than Just Monetary Value
Another added value that many celebrities, not just athletes, are seeing when it comes to getting involved with cryptocurrency is additional marketing and brand-building opportunities. By partnering with crypto providers, they are presenting themselves to different audiences and positioning their own personal brands as ahead of the curve, or tech and financially savvy, or even as a risk-taker in certain aspects (ie Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets).
Athletes betting on cryptocurrencies have become headline mainstays and are garnering attention throughout the media, so an athlete attaching their name to a crypto deal can be an effective way to get publicity, especially if they are interested in the realm of digital currency.
As the world becomes more digital and cryptocurrencies continue to gain popularity, I expect more and more athletes to be making headlines with crypto investments.
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