Man. United and the Washington Nationals Jump on the Sports-Crypto Bandwagon

Last year was bullish for the collaboration between sports and cryptocurrencies. Sports teams joined in several crypto partnerships, the sports industry remaining a go-to for crypto companies hoping to grow their reach and market.

Man. United and the Washington Nationals Jump on the Sports-Crypto Bandwagon

This year, we still have plenty of sporting moves. Crypto companies are wasting no time going after some of the biggest names in the leagues.

Blockchain Enters The Football World

Earlier this month, The Athletic reported that Manchester United - one of the biggest football clubs in the world - had signed a sponsorship deal with the Tezos blockchain. The deal is expected to be a multi-year one, costing the Tezos blockchain’s developers an estimated $27 million annually.

As part of the deal’s terms, the Tezos blockchain logo will now appear on all training kits worn by Man. United’s players - including Portuguese soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo. The Athletic also said the deal could involve several partnerships in the technology space, with possible projects based on Web3 and the metaverse.

The Man. United partnership is just the latest in sports deals being signed by Tezos. Last May, the blockchain’s developers took a massive gamble on Formula 1 as they onboarded Red Bull Racing as a blockchain partner. The deal saw Tezos build a non-fungible token (NFT) fan experience, and it paid off. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ended up winning the Formula 1 World Championship.

Also, in Formula 1, Tezos partnered with McLaren Racing, becoming the team’s official technical partner in a multi-year agreement.

Additional reports confirmed that the deal between Man. United and the Tezos blockchain involves Web3 technologies. Tezos is now the club’s official Web3 and training kit partner, allowing Man. United to pivot into the next evolution of technology.

As part of the onboarding, Manchester United reportedly plans to join other brands to engage with fans in the decentralized Web3 ecosystem. The club hopes to build a fan ecosystem similar to the metaverse concept, allowing fans to enjoy several personalized experiences. Tezos will help Man United gain exposure to these digital technologies and build different collectibles and digital fan merchandise.

Terra Moves Into Baseball

The Tezos partnership isn’t the only high-profile team-up in the sports space. This month, the Terra Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) signed a deal to sponsor the Washington Nationals baseball team.

Terra is the blockchain that powers the UST stablecoin and LUNA - one of the top 110 cryptocurrencies by market cap at this time. The project isn’t governed by a company like other blockchain firms. Instead, it’s controlled by a DAO, which means that all company decisions are thrown to a vote.

The Washington Nationals partnership was proposed by Do Kwon - Terra’s founder - on February 1. After several rounds of voting, the DAO community approved the plan. Terra will commit $38.2 million in UST over the next five years to sponsor the Nationals. It is one of the most impressive DAO voting outcomes ever in the blockchain space, showing that the decentralized operating model could benefit companies.

The deal includes options allowing workers and fans at the Nationals’ home area - Nationals Park - to purchase items with Terra’s UST stablecoin from the following season. The Nationals will also display the Terra logo and signage around their home arena during games and produce a miniseries promoting the blockchain.

The move makes sense for Terra. Nationals Park saw about 1.5 million attendees for games throughout the last season. With coronavirus restrictions gradually lifting in Washington, this number should jump even more. Terra is expected to get even more exposure across the board.

Could More Be On The Way?

Sports have proven to be an excellent way for crypto companies to gain exposure. Last year, Crypto.com - a Singapore-based exchange - made a big splash when it purchased the naming rights for the Staples Centre. Now, the “Crypto.com Arena,” the location plays home to teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.

Several other companies have made inroads into the sports scene. With sports being a massive part of peoples’ lives and the teams needing funds, deals with crypto companies seem to be a great fit.


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