2021 hasn’t particularly brought the jump that crypto fans expected - especially towards the end. However, adoption has still grown significantly this year.
One area where the industry experienced massive growth was the sports scene. Crypto companies are doing more to mark their presence across several sports, ensuring high-level visibility.
Big News Out of Los Angeles
This month, Crypto.com purchased naming rights to the iconic Staples Center in Los Angeles, achieving what is perhaps the biggest integration into sports news for the crypto industry to date. Crypto.com announced it had spent about $700 million for the naming rights, which would see the iconic location renamed “Crypto.com Arena” over the next two decades.
Staples Center is a versatile location, with facilities for everything from shopping to events. The impressive arena is recognized as the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings also play here.
According to the terms of the deal, the renaming should kick in on Christmas Day - just in time for the Lakers’ matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. The match will be the first nationally televised at the location, granting Crypto.com massive exposure.
Of course, there is a learning curve. For one, the Crypto.com Arena renaming is ruffling feathers amongst Los Angelinos. Speaking with news reporters, a Los Angeles resident said of the renaming:
“Nothing means anything until we decide that it means something. This place is only going to be known as Crypto Dot Com Arena (it really doesn't roll off the tongue, my goodness) if people buy in and agree to call it that."
Paul George, star player for the Clippers, also explained it would be hard for him and his teammates to get used to the new name.
A Big Year for Crypto and Sports
The renaming deal for Staples Center will take some time to adjust to. However, it is undoubtedly an important step towards collaboration between the sports and crypto industries. Besides Crypto.com, several blockchain and crypto firms have started building names for themselves in the world of sports.
Last month, FTX - another top-ranked crypto exchange - was reported to have purchased an ad spot in the upcoming Super Bowl. The February 2022 event will feature an FTX ad costing a reported $6.5 million.
While the context of the ad remains unknown, the Super Bowl itself is one of the biggest ad opportunities available, accounting for 28 of the top 30 broadcasts in U.S. television history based on the ratings.
FTX has been most active in the National Football League. The exchange recently signed Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady as an ambassador. It is expected that Brady will star in the exchange’s upcoming ad.
FTX is also active in the NBA. The exchange signed two-time league MVP and three-time champion Stephen Curry as an ambassador in September, reports suggesting that Curry also acquired an ownership stake in the exchange.
Last month, North America’s largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, announced it had signed on to become the NBA’s official cryptocurrency platform. The announcement pointed out that Coinbase’s deal encompasses every aspect of the NBA - including the WNBA, the NBA’s G League development program, and the NBA 2K League.
As part of the deal, Coinbase will create “unique content, innovations, activations, and experiences” to help basketball fans learn more about digital assets. The exchange hopes to engage with the NBA, the WNBA community, and athletes across the world.
Sports are certainly a popular means of engagement with people. Initiatives like Crypto.com’s and others will help ensure that these companies stay in the minds of consumers and communities. At the same time, educational concepts like Coinbase’s can help provide the fundamental knowledge people require to enter the crypto market.