Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice
One platform has raised $10M to build the next blockchain sports game, while several other sports crypto platforms have fallen. Meanwhile, a new Seton Hall survey shows that there’s a strong audience interested in both sports and crypto – and the UFC has yet again another crypto partner.
Every weekend, we provide you with a weekly dose of sports and crypto crossover. Let’s review everything from last week.
The Sports Slice
New Survey Displays Strong Crossover Sports And Crypto Audience
A new survey from Seton Hall University shows that a majority of their surveyed “avid sports fans” – 57% to be exact – have purchased NFTs at some point. Where did these fans want to see NFTs applied? Rewards. Fans responded to the survey that “upgrading a ticket at no additional cost” was a top desired perk to club NFT ownership.
Professor Charles Grantham, Director of the Center for Sport Management within Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business, sponsored the ~1,500 person survey and had this to say:
“The numbers would seem to indicate that NFTs represent fertile ground for leagues to enhance the fan experience… but, perhaps because teams and leagues don’t fully understand the nature and potential of NFTs and perks like a digital VIP card, that ground has yet to be sown effectively by major sports organizations in the United States.”
$10M Raised For A Sports Blockchain Game
California-based SuperTeam Games has raised a hefty $10M to build a sports blockchain-based video game. Team members of SuperTeam Games sat down in an interview during Consensus 2022 in Austin, describing the atmosphere as “untested,” riddled with distrust from traditional gamers.
The UFC’s New ‘Official Layer 1 Blockchain Partner’
The UFC has been no stranger to crypto deals, and a new one has come into the fold this week courtesy of a new global marketing partnership with VeChain this past week. In-arena brand assets for VeChain were quickly on display for yesterday’s UFC 275 event.
This year alone, we’ve seen the league partner with Dapper Labs, and distribute some fighter bonuses via crypto.
Rugs Get Exposed
FootballStars.io had once onboarded soccer stars like Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young, and Mateo Kovacic – among many others – to promote their platform. Now, the platform is seemingly all but dust, and the token price has gone a similar route too. Sports outlet The Athletic covered a dive on the rugged project.
Meanwhile, notorious rug spotter ZachXBT provided a perspective on Players Only, an NFT project with NBA co-signers that included the likes of Dennis Smith Jr., Jerami Grant, Terrence Ross, and others. Athletes, with the exception of Michael Carter-Williams, are nowhere to be found in the project’s Discord, which is now shutting down. Since Zach’s initial post, some athletes had even refunded users. Kudos to Zach’s efforts exposing projects that fail to deliver on promises.
IMG’s Henchman: Blockchain And Crypto Sponsorship Is “Here To Stay”
Robbie Henchman, EVP of strategic partnerships with sponsorship powerhouse IMG, sat down in an interview to chat this past week over a multitude of topics – and one of those being the emergence of the “flavor of the month” sponsorship category, blockchain / crypto / Web3. Sponsorship spend has been immense in the sector lately, exhibited by a recent sponsorship report detailing the NBA’s sponsorship breakout, which saw crypto and blockchain firms rising from mid-40s to number 2 in top sponsorship spend from the previous season to this year.
While it was Henchman himself who described the category as being that ‘new flavor’ with all the attention, he also said that the sponsorship category isn’t going anywhere. About these big-spending incoming players, he added:
“They obviously need a lot of noise and exposure at the moment in terms of what they’re putting out to the market… They’re paying either market value, or they’re competing at such an aggressive level that it’s difficult for traditional partners to perhaps keep up.”
Topps Rolls Out Scottish Professional Football League NFTs
Another week, another “first ever” sports league rolling out NFTs; this week, it’s Topps and the Scottish Professional Football League commemorating SPFL champs Celtic. Topps will roll out NFTs from the top division of the SPFL, the Premiership, consisting of 12 clubs in the league.