Despite crypto’s plummeting value and campaigning groups’ concerns about clubs’ crypto tie-ups, Premier League football’s love affair with crypto is on the rise.
According to The Athletic, a sports news website, nearly all of last year’s Premier League’s 20 clubs have at least one cryptocurrency sponsor at some level.
Man City is expected to earn more than $20 million per season after recently expanding its existing partnership with cryptocurrency exchange OKX to become the club’s official training kit partner for the 2022-23 season. OKX will also use select Manchester City players to star in crypto education content.
Chelsea, meanwhile, has agreed to a £20 million-a-year sponsorship deal with crypto firm WhaleFin to be the club’s shirt sleeve sponsor, while blockchain-fan token platform Socios has agreements with six Premier League clubs.
Indeed, cryptocurrency may soon become even more prevalent in the Premier League, with some suggesting that crypto outfits could replace betting sponsors, which may soon be banned, as a mainstay on players’ shirts.
Premier League sponsorship is a cheap way for crypto firms to find new customers, while Premier League clubs are looking to increase their bottom lines by inking more and more sponsorship deals.
Not only are Premier League clubs collaborating with cryptocurrency, but individual footballers are also endorsing NFTs, including former Arsenal footballer Kieran Gibbs, who got half his salary at Inter Miami paid in bitcoin.
Tim Mangnall, CEO, Capital Sports Media, a sports agency that owns and manages rights all over the world, told AltFi “crypto is not going anywhere” and that “crypto and sports are a match made in heaven”.
Mangnall said: “The Premier League is one of the biggest sporting organisations around the world and is one of the most sought after sports rights around the world.
“The fundamental views of [those involved in] bitcoin is that it is for mass adoption, that it’s not controlled by one singular government, one singular person, it is the money for the people.
“So you can understand that if you are really trying to get in on the mass market then football is a natural media outlet.
“I think there will be more regulation that will come into play that will be a good thing,” he added.