Eyes are still all on FTX, even when it comes to sports and crypto. However, with the World Cup underway, the hype for football-based fan tokens has cooled, and so too has the forward-looking outlook for sports sponsorships and crypto. Meanwhile, an Australian NFT conference put some sports representatives on defense. Each week we dive into the biggest stories surrounding crypto and sports over the past seven days.
Let’s take a look at all of the past week’s worth of action.
The Sports Slice
IEG Speaks On Sports Sponsorships Post-FTX Fallout
IEG serves as one of the biggest sports sponsorship firms in the business. In an Axios report released earlier this week, IEG’s global managing director Peter Laatz, who said that teams and leagues are bound to be much more cautious post-FTX; Laatz told Axios that there “will be some reckoning around whether or not [they] want to align with these types of brands and how volatile they are.”
As Laatz also notes, the NFL was really the only cautious mover when it comes to major North American sports leagues; even the flagship league has engaged with NFTs and engaged with other small exploratory deals in blockchain technology. By and large, however, the NFL is coming out unscathed compared to the damage done within other major leagues like the MLB (who carried an umpire branding deal league-wide with FTX) and the NBA (who’s Miami Heat club carried arena naming rights as part of a team deal with FTX).
The NFL’s traditionally cautious approach paid off this time, as the league generally doesn’t possess crypto exchange partners for the league or teams. We shared Laatz’ sentiment in our 2021 annual report, where we noted that the NFL has “by and large pumped the breaks for team-specific deals in crypto.”
Indeed, the sports sponsorship market’s explosion with new money funneled from the booming crypto market last year will be nearly impossible to replicate. We can only hope the next bull run brings more established and reputable players in the sports sponsorship arena.
Fan Tokens Cool… But There’s Exceptions For Upsets
World Cup is underway, and as we highlighted in last week’s Sports Slice, fan tokens are in the hot seat for speculation. If you think fan tokens can’t reflect results from the field of play, look no further than the impacts on Argentina’s fan token following their upset loss against Saudi Arabia during group play earlier this week.
It’s just group play, but fan token’s don’t take lightly to unexpected losses. Saudi Arabia snuck in a 2-1 victory against Argentina earlier in the week, and Argentina’s token took over a 25% hit as a result. Argentina shows good chances to advance from group play, and after Saturday’s win against Mexico, will face a critical match against Poland on Wednesday as their final, and potentially deciding match in group play.
Tennis Australia Reiterates Long Term NFT Perspective
At Australia’s ‘NFT Fest’ earlier this week, Tennis Australia’s senior manager of NFTs and Web3 Ridley Plummer described the difficulties of onboarding traditional fans, saying that “we all know that there’s the issues with the on-boarding of regular fans into the web three space.” A report from Australia’s SmartCompany shares more insights from sports executives at the conference, including an increasingly common sentiment floating around NFT engagement for casual users: Cricket Australia commercial strategy manager Joan Norton described shifting away from leaning into language around “NFTs,” and instead “talk about them as digital collectibles and [try] to kind of get people into the program [through that] rather than NFTs.”
Argentina's fan token (ARG) has seen major volatility in recent days as the team has hit the pitch. | Source: ARG-USDT on TradingView.com
KuCoin Soccer Survey Released As World Cup Kicks Off
Football, soccer, call it what you will – it’s buzzing right now as the ‘once in every four years’ event, the World Cup, is underway. KuCoin released a new sports-centric report, ‘When Crypto Meets Football‘ this past week. The ~20,000 person survey has a variety of soccer-specific crypto insights, take a look at a few of our favorites:
- A Bright Future For Sports-Centric Tokens: According to the report, “30% of crypto investors are interested in investing in sports-related tokens.”
- When It Comes To Sports, NFTs Are Key: Nearly half of football fans among crypto investors are interested in trading sports NFTs.
- Global Interest In Sports NFTs: The top five countries with crypto users interested in sports NFTs lie all across the map: France, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, and USA. The top 10 rounds out a lot of geographical coverage, and includes countries like Vietnam, Nigeria, and India. The global diversity of crypto also exists in sports NFTs.
Featured image from Pexels, Charts from TradingView.com
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