Are cryptocurrencies invading sport?

Cryptocurrencies are no longer a type of currency of the future: on the contrary, their popularity is growing day by day and their relevance within various industries is growing remarkably, demonstrating that they are already part of our present both economically and digital.

One example is the sports industry, where crypto-related businesses are forming important alliances with industry giants. An example is the sponsorship obtained by the team for which the Mexican Sergio Pérez participates in Formula 1: Red Bull Racing. Before the start of the 2022 season, he added to the company per bita Singapore-based cryptocurrency company, as one of its official sponsors.

The above is just one example of how cryptocurrencies are gaining more and more traction in such lucrative areas as sports.

Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly tangible to people and there is strong interest in using them as a means of payment for everyday consumption. Proof of this is the intention of sports institutions, very close to the public, to bet on said sponsorships, displacing traditional industries”, believes Eduardo Abarca, managing director of Aurea Capital Markets.

As in the case of Red Bull Racing, in Mexico there is already a precedent: the Tigers of the National Autonomous University of Nuevo León have reached an agreement with Bitso, another platform for buying and selling crypto- currencies, with which they seek to explore the use of cryptocurrencies for the daily life of the club.

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What does this mean for cryptocurrencies?

First of all, it is important to point out that sponsorships such as those mentioned above imply an important approach to this type of currency among the general population: considering only the example of the Tigers, we are talking about a sport of which 58% of Mexicans declare themselves fans, according to a Mitoffsky survey.

There are other examples such as, which includes a full list of related partners from the UFC, Serie A italiana, Copa Libertadores, and clubs such as Paris Saint Germain del fútbol inglés and the NBA 76ers, among others. Even the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, formerly known as Staples Center, now bears the name Crypto Arena.

Speaking specifically of professional basketball, in October last year the NBA entered into an alliance with Coinbase, an American cryptocurrency buying and selling company, which now has a large presence in both television broadcasts and in advertising in the arenas of various teams, both in the aforementioned league and in the Wnba (Women’s National Basketball Association).

The NFL is not far behind, and currently Bitcoin is already the payment method of one of the protagonists of this organization: since 2020 Russell Okung, Carolina Panthers Offensive Line, he earns half of his salary in this cryptocurrency. When the decision was made, the player himself announced it with a simple but powerful tweet: “Paid with Bitcoin »after that in 2019 he expressed his desire to collect in said currency.

Alliances and actions such as those mentioned above generate a greater perception of trust and security around the use of these assets for the purchase of everyday products. It even positions sports clubs among the “evangelizers” regarding cryptocurrencies in the national mass.

Sports fans around the world, in general, want to know more about the use of cryptocurrencies: Morning Consulting points out in a study that 47% of fans are familiar with digital currencies and 27% indicate that they already have at least a fraction of one of their own.

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In other words, the sport is positioning itself as the ideal platform to position cryptocurrencies within popular knowledge, even with a niche already attracted to its use.

“We cannot yet confirm that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will be the currency of exchange in stadiums, or what other athlete signings and salaries will be made with this type of asset. What we are sure of is that the alliances between teams, leagues and sports organizations with companies in the digital currency sector are an important first step towards a future in which their use is daily,” concludes Eduardo Abarca.

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