In August 2018, blockchain technology company Quantocoin started a trend, rocking the blockchain and sports communities alike with the purchase of Rimini FC 1912, an Italian Serie C football club. 25 percent of the team was purchased in Quantocoin tokens. This purchase marked the first football team purchase in history to be made in cryptocurrency.
On a much bigger stage, the StormGain blockchain platform partnered with English Premier League football team Newcastle United, becoming official sponsors of the team. This collaborative effort to bring cryptocurrency to the forefront for English football fans is exciting on many levels.
StormGain is a margin trading platform, touting itself as a tool for the masses. For now, this could easily mean football fans watching Newcastle beat Tottenham could be converted to cryptocurrency investing. And because StormGain is so user friendly, on-boarding new investors would be simply and fast.
StormGain’s CEO, Alex Althausen, reacted to the partnership with Newcastle “We are thrilled to be partnering with an exciting and a leading football club such as Newcastle United. We believe the collaboration of cryptocurrencies and mainstream sports is inevitable, therefore it’s a privilege and an honor for StormGain to be the spearhead of the blockchain community colliding with mainstream sports”.
Football all around?
The StormGain—Newcastle sponsorship announcement is not the only recent news of major sports franchises joining forces with cryptocurrency projects. It is also not the first cryptocurrency-backed sponsorship of a major football team.
The month of May brought even more exciting news to both communities, with major cryptocurrency data leader CoinMarketCap sponsoring Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem.
With the CoinMarketCap name and logo across their jerseys, the Beitar Jerusalem team currently stands 4th in the Israeli Premier League. Moshe Hogeg, owner of Beitar Jerusalem, is also a tech entrepreneur and has recently entered the blockchain economy.
In 2014, Hogeg founded well known cryptocurrency project SIRIN Labs. The SIRIN Labs project focuses on securely connecting blockchain technology with mass market data systems, while simultaneously improving the user experience.
The CoinMarketCap sponsorship news followed a May 2019 announcement that CoinDeal’s sponsorship of the Wolverhampton Wanderers would be renewed for a second football season.
Originally partnering with Wolverhampton in June 2018, the collaboration resulted in CoinDeal’s branding being viewed on over 350 million TV screens over the next year.
Other sports venues
Digital asset exchange Singularity-X was one of the first blockchain projects to realize enormous marketing success from a major sports partnership. Singularity-X joined major brands from industries more traditionally associated with sports advertising, such as sportswear and car manufacturers, putting an ad in live broadcasts.
The cryptocurrency exchange ran ads during several live broadcasts in August 2018, including a Valencia vs. Madrid match as well as a Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona match. Viewers in Europe as well as Turkey and Israel saw the broadcasts.
With an offer to trade Bitcoin with no fees, Singularity-X hit the sports market hard with a very enticing promotion. The offer was an attempt to attract more business to the cryptocurrency exchange, which at the time was new to the European market. At the time of the initial advertisements, Singularity-X offered six currencies for trading in addition to Bitcoin.
News such as this is a boon for each individual platform. However, it has much more far-reaching implications to the cryptocurrency community.
Right steps, right time
The search for avenues to pursue mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency has been a rough road. It has been difficult to determine a clear plan or course of action. But the relative ease with which the blockchain economy has begun to interact with professional sports is an exciting step in the right direction.
The StormGain announcement and Newcastle partnership represents the next step forward for the cryptocurrency industry. By growing partnership-based connections with top-of-mind sports franchises, the cryptocurrency community will drum up massive new adoption.
It is a great opportunity for both industries as well, as they come together in a harmonious, mutually beneficial arrangement. English football will undoubtedly gain increased support from cryptocurrency users as well.