Cryptocurrency companies take multimillion-dollar step into sports – CNBC
Carli Lloyd of NJ/NY Gotham FC dribbles against Orlando Pride defenders in the first half of the NWSL match at Red Bull Arena on August 29, 2021.
Ira L. Black – Corbis | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Cryptocurrency companies, eager to reach new audiences and push further into the mainstream, are quickly becoming some of the biggest advertisers and sponsors in sports.
From Crypto.com’s record 20-year, $700 million deal for the naming rights to the Los Angeles arena home to the Lakers, Kings and Sparks currently known as the Staples Center, to Coinbase signing a wide-ranging deal with the NBA, to Tom Brady, a self-described “big believer” in crypto, taking a stake in FTX, the deals have been both wide-ranging and coming fast.
The National Women’s Soccer League is the latest sports property to step into crypto, signing a multi-year deal that is described as one of the most significant partnerships the league has ever done with crypto platform Voyager Digital.
Helping crypto reach new audiences
For Voyager, whose other sports deals include sponsorships with the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks, Tampa Bay Buccaneer tight end Rob Gronkowski and NASCAR driver Landon Cassill, the deal with the NWSL is an opportunity to reach a new audience.
“We see this as an opportunity to really engage with the NWSL player, fan and that community in a way that nobody has before,” Voyager CEO Steve Ehrlich said. “What’s really intriguing to me is engaging with women’s sports, and that’s a very important aspect for us because it’s a market that we believe is ripe for education and an opportunity to give these women a stronger foothold on their financial future through crypto.”
Twice as many men as women invest in cryptocurrency, according to CNBC and Acorn’s Invest in You: Next Gen Investor survey.
A “significant portion” of the investment that Voyager is making in the NWSL as part of the deal will create a fund that will be split across each player and put into their own individual Voyager crypto account, Ehrlich said, declining to provide specific financial details. Players will also receive financial education on crypto from Voyager.
“Voyager’s investment in the league is especially innovative because we’ve collectively designed the partnership to include direct financial resources for every one of our players, as well as education on the revolutionary changes underway in digital assets,” NWSL interim CEO Marla Messing said in a statement.
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