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Crypto sponsorship exploding within the sport industry

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Brands spending over $107m in H1 2021, according to GlobalData

  • 49 new sponsorship contracts have been agreed by crypto brands and sports industry rights holders in 2021, with these deals estimated to be worth over $107 million a year.
  • Lucrative partnerships have seen the sponsorship value of cryptocurrency brands in 2021 grow nearly ninefold, with new agreements in 2020 worth just over $12m compared to $107m in 2021.
  • Volume of newly signed deals is close to double the number of deals that were penned in 2020 (29).

As cryptocurrency brands are enjoying a new wave of popularity, the increasing share price of various cryptocurrencies is having a spill over effect into the sports industry, with crypto brands securing ever more exclusive sponsorship assets from rights holders. The growing share price, and increased usage of cryptocurrencies over the past 12 months has resulted in a huge spike in the value of this sector’s sponsorship agreements, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Patrick Kinch, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “2021 is a landmark year for the cryptocurrency sector, with 49 new deals already secured this year between cryptocurrency brands and rights holders in the sports industry. While this is nearly more than double the number of new crypto deals that were secured in 2020, the key thing here is value, and the exclusivity of the assets being secured by the crypto industry. In 2020, new deals reached an estimated $12m in annual value, in 2021, this figure is now over $107m, a near ninefold increase.

At $20m a year, Antchain’s deal with the men’s and women’s UEFA European Championships is the second most valuable in the sector, trailing trading platform FTX’s naming rights partnership with eSports team TSM. Other high-profile partnerships within the crypto sector include Socios.com’s front of shirt partnership with La Liga side Valencia ($7m per year), Formula 1 with Crypto.com and FTX’s title sponsorship deal with NBA’s Miami Heat, taking the naming rights for their venue off American Airlines, with the deal coming into effect from October. 

Kinch adds: “With crypto becoming more mainstream after years of interest from the finance and tech industries, it may not be long before we see crypto brands securing the most exclusive of sponsorship assets. Notable deals expiring this year include Amstel’s $59m a year deal with the Champions League, and Serie A side Juventus’ front of shirt partnership with Jeep ($56m annually), as well as PSG’s front of shirt partner Accor Hotels ($73m annually). No doubt there will be crypto brands considering where the next big marketing opportunity lies, as highly prized sponsorship assets free up in 2021. With growing share prices and increasing consumer interest, it may not be long before we see crypto firms appearing as the chief partners of the biggest properties in world sport, from the Olympics to European soccer clubs.”

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